Family’s fury as 60 different carers visit in 30 months

An 84-year-old left disabled by a stroke had 60 different home carers in less than three years, her family have revealed.
18th March 2014  08.26

'DIABOLICAL': Stroke patient 84-year-old Audrey Arundel from Ossett. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe‘DIABOLICAL’: Stroke patient 84-year-old Audrey Arundel from Ossett. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Audrey Arundel’s daughter and son-in-law eventually demanded a new firm provide her care because of the string of different staff, which they 
branded “diabolical”, and other issues.

A search is now under way for another suitable company after the family had a disagreement with Wakefield Council over her care package.

Mrs Arundel’s son-in-law Malcolm Oates said: “From one company we have 60-odd different carers in two-and-a-half years. It’s diabolical.”

Mrs Arundel’s family spoke out after the Yorkshire Evening Post revealed the plight of Leeds pensioner Lily Latham.

Mrs Latham, 88, was left stuck in bed for 15 hours after her home care service insisted on bringing her night-time visit forward to 6.30pm.

As she is totally immobile, she was left unable to get out of bed for anything and was found the following morning in tears.

In the latest case, Mrs Arundel has been receiving care for three-and-a-half years after being left disabled by a stroke.

The pensioner’s left side has been affected by the stroke and she is doubly incontinent.

She lives with her daughter Linda and her husband Malcolm in Ossett, but they cannot manage her care on their own.

They need carers to assist them with washing and changing Mrs Arundel, as well as her personal care and getting her out of bed using a hoist.

Mr Oates struggles to carry out the help by himself as he has a back injury which forced him to give up work as a lorry driver.

Visits are made twice a day with a longer visit once a month to allow the couple to go out.

However the couple claim there was a string of problems with the first private care firm commissioned by Wakefield Council.

Mr Oates, 67, said: “They kept sending people who had just started and couldn’t do the job properly.

“It’s also well known that older people should have the same small number of carers.

“It makes them a lot happier.”

After the problems, the couple asked the council for a different firm.

However a row erupted after the family said a firm was suggested which could not provide a suitable service.

After Mr Oates made a complaint and the Yorkshire Evening Post became involved, he was told a more appropriate provider would be sought.

Wakefield Council said they were working to resolve the current situation.

Rob Hurren, director for integrated care, said: “We are 
aware of the issues raised regarding Mrs Arundel and are continuing to work with her and the family to ensure that her identified care needs are being met.”

As previously reported by the YEP, Age UK says funding for social care cannot keep up with demand. The charity said social care had been “stripped back to the bone” as local authorities come under financial pressure.