Why did they cut Jim’s care after his leg amputation?

James Lynch with Jackie Scott. Picture: George McLuskie
James Lynch with Jackie Scott. Picture: George McLuskie

A disabled diabetic man who had his leg amputated says he has become almost completely housebound after having his social care cut from 12 hours, to four hours a week.

Jim Lynch (58), of Kirkcaldy, has had three strokes, and recently returned home after being in hospital for five months. Now he has has been left in a state of depression after receiving no counselling in relation to the loss of his leg.

He has a weakness in his right side, and medics have fears for his left foot, asking him not to put any pressure on it – which means he can’t get into his stair lift to use the wetroom upstairs.

His partner, Jackie Scott, says he is stuck at home and rarely gets out. He is eligible for a more suitable home, there are none available.

Jim has a temporary disabled ramp but it can take around half an hour to set up, eating into social care time.

“How can you offer just four hours care a week? He now gets less care than when his leg was amputated. He’s had no counselling. They just told him a few days beforehand that they were going to amputate his leg.”

Jackie said she has notified the council that Jim gets personal care in his home that is not needed – it increased by a single hour per week after the loss of his leg – but he actually needs social care to get out.

“I will take him in my own time to help out. It just comes down to quality of life, that’s all he wants. He’s a depressed disabled man, and they’re doing nothing to help. All he needs is a carer to help him get out.

“But they say his needs are not critical. What do you have to do, chop off the other leg? He’s stuck 24-7 in a house that’s not suitable.”

Jim said: “If I had an appointment at the hospital, I’d phone patient transport the previous day, then I’d book it in the hope that they’d pick me up. But it’s getting ramps set up at the door. How do I do that without falling out my chair?”

Jackie adds: “He can’t do this himself, if he had 12 hours before going into hospital, why doesn’t he have less now?”

Jim said: “I need more hours allocated with a carer so they can take me from A to B, like Asda, the garden centre, and things like that.”

Jennifer Rezendes, service manager, Fife Council health and social care, said: “Mr Lynch’s package of care has in fact increased since leaving hospital. We will continue to work in partnership to ensure the support in place reflects any change in Mr Lynch’s need or circumstances.”