"Two stories into one difficult experience !"

About: Newcastle-under-Lyme

(as a carer),

Well, not "What happened?", more "What's happening?"

Firstly, I am a kidney dialysis patient awaiting a transplant. I have four hourly treatments three times a week.

My wife has MS. She is at an advanced stage, needing hoists for transfer, she has a supra-pubic catheter fitted & has problems with her bowels. We get care & the bulk of this is paid by 'Direct Payments' but we have to make a financially crippling £52.00 per week contribution towards this.

The social worker assigned to my wife's case is constantly changing, hence no continuity of care from that angle. The care company we are with also do not provide her with any consistency of care, with care workers leaving due to poor management, bad pay, badly organised hours etc.

The personal nature of the care my wife requires would be best served by a level of consistent care, the same team of say 6/8 carers visiting. I do appreciate care companies have to cope with the day to day problems of staff management but really no effort seems to be made.

My view is one of regret that private companies, two a penny regards availability, are too easily granted licence to operate & do not seem to have the clients' best interests at heart.

For my part, I am in receipt of benefits that mean I cannot get carers allowance despite doing a full caring role, in spite of debilitating side effects of my own condition.

Basically, for my wife I expect consistency of care both in the level of excellence that should be a given & in the staff used (usual problems aside, holidays, sickness etc.) to allow a rapport to develop which makes the experience run smoothly.

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Response from Vicki Graham, Customer Services Support Officer, Community Relations, NHS North Staffordshire

Dear IB57

I am sorry to hear about the problems that you have detailed.

This is a complicated issue that falls outside of the PCT, The contact you need to speak to is Helen Trousdale. She can be contacted via email on helen.trousdale@staffordshire.gov.uk or via telephone on 01785 277008.

If you would like further advice, please contact our PALS Officer on freephone 0800 030 4563 and she will be able to help.

I hope we can help you to resolve this as soon as possible.

Kind regards

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