Stroke sufferer’s Council plea

Isobel Davidson (57) Pic: George McLuskie
Isobel Davidson (57) Pic: George McLuskie

A woman has appealed to Fife Council to move her from a scatter flat in Buckhaven which she claims is infested with bugs, and is making her health problems worse.

Isobel Davidson (57) from Methil, was placed in the flat in Den Walk in September. She moved there from a homeless hostel after finding herself homeless over the summer.

She suffers from severe health issues because of a brain stem stroke 10 years ago, which has left her with permenant nerve damage.

She is currently on 29 tablets a day because she also suffers from blackouts which she said have been getting worse recently because of stress.

“I lie awake in bed at night worrying, I feel like I’m going mad. I have actually felt suicidal because of it all,” she said.

“I’ve had to move my bed into the livingroom because of the slaters and bugs all over the flat, and all of my clothes are in bags. I’m constantly putting down insectacide, which my doctor says isn’t good for my health either.”

Ms Davidson said she has been offered another scatter flat, but is reluctanct to go because she believes it might be in a worse condition than where she is right now.

She said she is often stuck in the house for days through ill health, unable to buy food or top up her electricity because she can’t walk to the Post Office, and her family no longer live close-by.

Ms Davidson now claims the situation has been made worse because Fife Council has sent her a bill for nearly £400 for keeping her belongings in storage, and for a community alarm.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m going to have to cut off my phone, which is my only life line to my family, because I can’t afford the bill.”

Ms Davidson said she was told an Occupational Therapist would visit her to assess her needs, something she claims has not happened in over twelve months.

She said both her doctor and family members have sent letters of support explaining her needs to Fife Council, but has been told they do not affect her assessment.

Responding, Peter Nicol, lead officer at Fife Council, said: ”We are sorry to hear of Ms Davidson’s concerns as we are working very closely with her to make sure that her needs are being met fully.

“Our assessment process does take full account of someone’s medical circumstances. However, we are at a stage where Ms Davidson disagrees with the assessment completed by the Occupational Therapist and so we are seeking an independent view.

“To help alleviate her anxieties we have offered alternative temporary accommodation however she has refused this.

“The home was deep cleaned prior to her occupancy following extensive work. Officers visit weekly and have been unable to witness insect activity but we will continue to monitor this.”

Mr Nicol also noted that it was difficult to put a timeline on the length of time Ms Davidson would be in the scatter flat due to the availability of suitable council properties.