Here’s a flea in your ear

Mr and Mrs West with their two dogs
Mr and Mrs West with their two dogs

A CARDENDEN couple have demanded an apology from Fife Council after carers wrongly accused their home of being infested by fleas.

Sandy and Helen West, of Jamphlars Road, were shocked when a carer who provides vital care for Mrs West came to their house wearing a white protective suit due to the risk of “catching fleas” from their pet dogs.

The local authority has admitted the results of an investigation showed there were no fleas in the property, but the couple out at how they were treated.

Mrs West (61), who has various health problems, was discharged from hospital earlier this month after a three-week stay.

She was released with a care plan in place to regain her confidence and help with everyday tasks. As a result carers come to the house to make sure she is dressing, eating properly and bathing.

Mr West said the help had been “good” until a recent visit when one of the carers was uncertain about the couple’s two dogs.

He was angered when he learned they wrongly accused their pets of having fleas.

He said: “My wife received a phone call saying the carers had reported back to the office that our dogs had fleas.


‘‘They said they saw fleas on our leather sofa, crawling on the wooden floor in the living room and crawling on our kitchen floor and jumping off door handles ... performing fleas!

“We were told they would arrive wearing protective clothing and the afternoon carer did turn up with a white protective suit due to the flea risk!”

He added: “To suggest that fleas were rampant in our home is disgusting.

‘‘I have made it clear these three carers are not welcome in our home, but my wife needs this service as she is not 100 per cent able. We haven’t even had an apology from Fife Council.”

Marion Bell, Fife Council team manager, said the health and well-being of all people in their care has to be a top priority.

She said: “During one visit one of our carers thought she may have seen fleas. Following advice, protective clothing was worn during the next visit.

‘‘While this was done to minimise any risk to staff and other service users, we appreciate it may have appeared excessive and I’d like to apologise if we caused any offence to the couple.

‘‘I’d like to stress there are no fleas in the home and we did not intend to suggest that there was any issue with hygiene.

‘‘Our main concern at the time was our duty of care both to staff and other service users and we thought it best to err on the side of caution.”