Disabled Denbeath man left unshowered for ten weeks

Eck and Diane McGough
Eck and Diane McGough

A disabled man in Denbeath has had to endure ten weeks without a proper wash - because of ‘bureaucracy gone mad’.

Eck McGough (64), who is unable to walk, couldn’t get from his bed to his bathroom - a distance of just three metres - because he was waiting for a shower seat.

“Home care staff marked the request as urgent but two weeks later they sent out the frame but not the seat,” said Eck’s wife, Diane (61)

The family waited for a replacement and made numerous calls to Fife Council, with no result.

Eck, a former Merchant Navy deckhand, developed severe epilepsy after undergoing two operations for a brain tumour at the age of 18.

Furthermore, he developed neuropathy in one leg 16 years ago which left him unable to walk.

Without a shower, home carers were still able to handwash Mr McGough but two weeks ago the family moved his bed from one side of the room to the other - to enable him to reach shelves himself.

Diane, who is also disabled, said: “The carers came in and said ‘You’ve moved the bed?’

“I told them I had.

“‘We can’t work with him that way, it’s going to hurt our backs’, they said.

“I don’t see the difference.”

Fife Council did, however, and point blank refused to give Mr McGough a bedwash until the bed was moved back.

The deadlock lasted ten days until, following more complaints from the McGough family, a senior boss visited and saw there was no problem at all,

“Moving the bed gave carers more access to my husband, not less,” said Diane

“In any case, it’s our house, not Fife Council’s! ”

Following the intervention, the long-awaited shower chair arrived on Wednesday.

A relieved Diane said: “I asked the carers if Eck could finally get a shower.

“They said ‘no’, he had to be assessed and, besides, shower days were Tuesdays and Fridays.

“It’s unbelievable!”

Cindy Graham, service manager told the Mail that health and social care staff were working with Mr McGough and his wife to agree and implement his personal care plan.

“We will continue to work with them to make sure Mr McGough receives the care that has been agreed,” she added.

Diane commented: “It has been resolved but what’s annoying to me is that no-one should have to make such a big kick-up to get basic things done.

“What happens to elderly and disabled people when they don’t have anyone to help them question the system?”

Diane concluded: “These people are meant to look at a person’s problems rather than sit behind a brown desk,”