A Care Inspectorate investigation has launched following allegations a wheelchair-bound MS sufferer was left abandoned for two days and nights without vital care.
Karen Henderson, from Glenrothes, who suffers from a degenerative form of multiple sclerosis which leaves her without any use of her legs and requiring care visits throughout the day, claims she had to sleep in her wheelchair for two nights – and survived by eating fruit and a packet of oatcakes.
Mrs Henderson alleges her ordeal started when care workers left at 11.45am on Saturday, April 29, following a routine visit.
Despite calls to the offices of Care Plus Ltd – the company contracted to provide care – Mrs Henderson said she received no further visit until the next carer arrived at 7.40am on the following Monday, 44 hours later.
The 49-year-old mother-of-three, who lives alone, described her ordeal as a “nightmare” and “deeply distressing”.
“I’ve had a series of problems with the level of care provided but this was by far the worst,” said Mrs Henderson.
“Despite repeated calls to the company no one came, it was a nightmare.
“I was left to sleep in my wheelchair over Saturday night despite calls, still nobody came at any time throughout Sunday, which was deeply distressing.
“I have a catheter and normally need to drink lots throughout the day but with no carers coming to assist me. I was terrified to drink because of the possible health implications of the catheter bag not being changed.”
Claiming she was forced to sleep a second night in the wheelchair, assistance finally arrived on the Monday after Mrs Henderson pleaded with care bosses for help.
“I practically had to beg them to come,” she said.
When she complained to CarePlus Ltd, Mrs Henderson said the firm counter-claimed she cancelled care for the weekend.
However, Mrs Henderson said she had telephone records that proved no such call was made.
“Why would I possibly cancel vital care that I depend on?” she said. “It’s a nonsense.”
Three weeks after the incident Mrs Henderson was rushed to Victorial Hospital, Kirkcaldy, suffering from sepsis, which she says doctors told her was a direct result of the weekend ordeal.
A spokesman for the Care Inspectorate said: “Some concerns have been raised with us about this service, and we are considering the information given to us carefully,”
Responding to the allegations made against the care company, Laura Rearie, managing director said: “CarePlus (Scotland) Ltd is aware of a complaint from a previous service user which has been raised with the Care Inspectorate.
“CarePlus is co-operating fully in this process and as such is unable to make any comment.
“CarePlus will, where required, implement any recommendations as advised by the Care Inspectorate subject to the conclusion of the investigation.”