LambethNews

Amputee ‘left to rot’ in flat with no wheelchair access for eight months

An amputee and his partner have been “trapped” in their home with no wheelchair access and little medical support for eight months after social workers “stopped coming to visit”.

Anthony Mark Beakhurst, 60, and Patricia Rose Kelligan, 45, of Newpark Road, in Brixton said that they have been “left to rot” by Lambeth council and Metropolitan Housing, a housing and care provider.

The couple have been bidding for a wheelchair accessible property with the housing association for eight months. 

Patricia Rose Kelligan (Picture: Patricia Rose Kelligan)

Mr Beakhurst said: “The housing officers, the social workers, no-one is returning our calls, we have had no support from anyone.

“This property doesn’t have wheelchair access. I can’t move around.

“I have open wounds on my hands from the operation and I have had one consultation in eight months.

“I need 24-hour care to help with washing and changing my dressing and no one is coming to help. My partner is having to do everything.”

Mr Beakhurst collapsed in September last year and ended up in a coma for nine weeks. He had developed sepsis in his feet and hands and had to get his hands and lower legs amputated.

He was discharged from hospital in December 2022.

Mr Beakhurst with the couple’s dog before the accident (Picture: Patricia Rose Kelligan)

A home visit report by the Bowley Close rehabilitation centre – run by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust – explained that the flat was “not suitable” for Mr Beakhurst in April.

It stated that Mr Beakhurst being lifted up and down the stairs to his front door by his partner and son was “extremely dangerous”.

The report also stated that the “very limited wheelchair access” within the flat is putting Mr Beakhurst at higher “risk” of complications with his wounds.

An occupational therapist from the centre had contacted Metropolitan Housing to explain these issues, the report states.

Mr Beakhurst has been living with open wounds since December.

Ms Kelligan said: “They told us we would come back in a couple of weeks, February at the very latest for an operation, to cover the wounds.

“It’s September, he’s had open wounds on his arms for nine months.

“We used to think people were cared for when they left hospital, but we have just been left.”

Ms Kellingan explained that carers were organised to visit Mr Beakhurst three times a week to change his dressings and help him wash after he was discharged.

She said: “Sometimes they just wouldn’t turn up, then they said they were scared of our dog – which is only just bigger than a chihuahua. The legs they gave him didn’t even fit.

“We have just been left here, everyone has let us down. Trying to care for him on my own is very, very difficult.”

Ms Kelligan is also suffering from a cut she has on her leg from two-and-a-half years ago.

She said: “I cut my leg at work and now I have ulcerated feet, legs and hands and doctors don’t know what’s causing it.

“It feels like we’ve been left here to rot.”

A Lambeth council spokeswoman said: “Lambeth council has been working hard to meet this household’s care needs, and we will contact their landlord here to see what we can do to assist in terms of their housing situation.

“The council offered adult social care support on discharge from hospital in December last year, which was declined. They subsequently request the council carry out a needs assessment in April which was completed a short time later.

“We have continued to support this household making several offers of respite placements over the summer, but these were also declined. In August after further discussions an agreement was reached that the council would provide 17.5 hours a week in home care support.”

A Metropolitan Housing spokesman said: “Over the past nine months, Mr Beakhurst has experienced some major health challenges, and those have meant that his current home is no longer suitable to live comfortably in.

“Throughout this time, we have been working hard, along with partners, to provide support and find a new, more suitable home. We have been in regular communication, exploring various housing options. Regrettably, none of these alternatives have met his requirements and expectations.

“This has been an extremely challenging time for Mr Beakhurst, and we are committed to working together to provide support, and find a new, more suitable home that aligns with his needs.”

A spokeswoman for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are sorry to hear that Mr Beakhurst was unhappy with the care received and would encourage him to contact us directly to discuss any concerns and the best way forward.”

Pictured top: Mr Beakhurst after his operation last year (Picture: Patricia Rose Kelligan)

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