MP David Ward calls for health care co-operation after paralysed man left without ramp (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Case of paralysed man’s five-month wait for ramp highlights health care communication failure
An MP is calling for better communication between health bodies and councils – after a paralysed man was left for five months without a ramp at his Bradford home.
Bradford East MP David Ward revealed the man’s plight during a Commons debate, stirring criticism of the division between health and social care authorities.
Health Minister Norman Lamb said the “shocking” episode – the ramp was needed to allow the unnamed man to go home from hospital – had also exposed the system to be “dysfunctional”.
Mr Lamb said to MPs: “It is crazy that someone returning home needs that little adaptation to maintain their independence, but it does not arrive for so long.”
Mr Ward said: “The gentleman had had an occupational injury and was tetraplegic.
“He received some support – four times a day he was visited to help him get out of bed with a hoist – but the rest was left up to him.
“The disparity between the first-rate service in the NHS and the level of support received once he returned home was stark and depressing.”
Mr Ward said approval for the ramp was eventually given, but it was “simply dumped on the man’s wife, for her to sort out herself.”
The case was uncovered by Mr Ward, also a Liberal Democrat, as part of his report into social care, produced last week.
The study – which involved a consultation with 35,000 households – exposed the harsh reality faced by many disabled people in Bradford, struggling to cope in homes that need adaptations.
It is intended to give Bradford residents a voice in shaping Government reforms, proposed in the draft Care and Support Bill.
Mr Ward added: “As part of the Integrated Care Management Board, Bradford Council has made some good progress, but more must be done to speed up this reform.”
Last night Lyn Sowray, Bradford Council’s assistant director for adult and community services, said: “We appreciate and understand that this is not an easy situation for this gentleman and his family, but as far as we are aware we haven’t kept this gentleman waiting for five months and did as much as we could to ensure his needs were met.
“The hospital carried out a home assessment on December 14 and it wasn’t until December 17 that we were made aware that a temporary ramp would not be suitable for the house.
“We did all we could to ensure that the family were provided with a direct payment as quickly as possible so they could arrange for a ramp to be constructed and this was installed in February.”