A 37-year-old disabled man has blasted Fife Council’s ‘inhumane’ home care system for leaving him to rot in his own home.
Steven Christie, from Kirkcaldy, has gone without a shower for a whole month because he cannot bear to let a succession of strangers wash him.
In just two weeks, he has been tended to by 28 different carers from various agencies.
He said: “I phoned the Council to complain and was told ‘sorry, it’s the same for everyone’.
“I find this distressing – but how bad would it be for someone who cannot speak?”
Mr Christie, who lives alone in Templehall, became paralysed from the chest down after suffering complications from a spinal operation four years ago.
He relies on visits from home carers four times a day and, until last year, received consistently good care from a small team of familiar carers.
He reports his care has recently been provided by “different carers every day at different times”.
“I can’t leave the house because it’s impossible to make plans,” he explained.
“It’s like I’ve been left to rot.”
“I’m given a lunch at 12.45 p.m. then expected to eat a dinner at 3.30 p.m. and that’s it until the next day.
“And I can’t go in the shower because that takes a lot of trust. My old carers knew how to shower me.”
Mr Christie said it was time-consuming to have to explain his care needs to so many people and he was weary.
He was keen to stress, however, he had no complaint with the carers themselves.
“I feel sorry for the carers because a lot of people will be taking it out on them, but it’s not their fault,” he said.
“The carers aren’t happy because they are getting moved here, there and everywhere.”
He concluded: “As far as Fife Council goes, as long as I’m crossed off a list, that’s fine.
“It drives you crazy.
“This isn’t even care, this is like neglect.”
Cindy Graham, service manager, said Fife’s Home Care service was clearly focused on the importance of continuity of care.
“We are working vigorously to deliver personalised care in line with best practice standards,” she said.
“Due to a higher than normal turnover of staff, we have had to rely more on agency staff, but this is currently being addressed.
“I would stress all Council and agency staff are properly trained and Mr Christie has a comprehensive care plan within his home to assist in the delivery of his care.
She concluded: “We always take concerns like these very seriously, and try to respond positively to find the best possible outcomes for our service users.”