Disabled woman from Brighton forced to sleep in wheelchair amid social care crisis

Mandy Page travels to hospital three times a week for dialysis

A disabled woman from Sussex says she is being forced to sleep in her wheelchair after her care support in the evenings was withdrawn.

Mandy Page, 56, from Brighton, needs frequent kidney dialysis in hospital.

She travels to the Royal Sussex County Hospital three times a week for treatment and is often dropped off by hospital transport after 6pm.

Ms Page said two weeks before Christmas, she was told by her care provider, the MyLife East Sussex Agency, that they were no longer covering her care and that it would be provided by her local authority.

"I asked the care company who was coming the following day, and they said, 'nobody'. I asked why and they said 'we're not doing your calls anymore'.

"I was told that the social worker had known for two months."

  • Mandy Page, describes her current quality of life

She told ITV Meridian the lack of care means she is often left to sleep in her wheelchair at night, as she is unable to get into bed herself without any support.

She added of sleeping in her wheelchair: "It's uncomfortable and has given me back ache, and my shoulder hurts.

"The chair tilts, but it only tilts so far. I hate being left in this situation but I just have to get on with it.

"I have no life, apart from at home and dialysis. I can't go out for the day, because I'm in bed all day.

"There's just no end in sight, not at the moment.

"I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been left like this. There's probably plenty of people who won't come forward."

A report has revealed the social care sector could face extra pressure from those who avoided services during the pandemic Credit: PA

A new report has revealed the social care sector could face extra pressure from the “unmet need” of people who avoided such services during the first and second waves of the pandemic.

New requests for support from older people to local authorities in England went down from 1.37 million in the year 2019/20 to 1.34 million the following year, analysis by a health think tank found.

The King’s Fund said this was most likely because people avoided contact with formal care services in the pandemic.

But research showed that requests for support from working-age adults increased from 560,000 to 578,000 in the same period and that, overall, the number of people receiving formal long-term care services rose.

Mandy added, "More money is needed to fund more carers.

"Give them an incentive to stay rather than letting them all leave."

Brighton and Hove charity, Possability People, said: "Care providers across the board are facing unprecedented difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff.

"Without a creative approach to how care could be delivered and paid for, stories like Mandy’s may become the norm."

Brighton and Hove City Council says it is doing all it can to find other help for Mandy and has admitted her situation is unacceptable.

Brighton and Hove City Council has admitted Mandy Page's situation is 'unacceptable'

In a statement, a spokesperson said, "In October her home care provider gave us notice of stopping their services as they no longer felt able to meet her needs.

"Since then our care matching team have been chasing potential care providers every couple of days.

"We're very sorry to say that so far none have been able to offer the level of support Ms Page needs."