Disabled man stranded for 10 hours after repair delay

A disabled man was left bedridden after waiting hours for broken mobility equipment to be repaired.

Wednesday, 17th August 2016, 9:30 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:55 pm
Simon Perkins, 21, with his mother Amanda. Pictured above Simon is the hoist which broke on Tuesday, August 9

Simon Perkins, 21, from Hildon Park, West Durrington, suffers from muscular dystrophy. He has a hoist, provided by NRS Healthcare on behalf of the county council, which carries him from his shower room to his bed.

On Tuesday, August 9, at just after 7am, the hoist broke while he was sat on his shower chair.

His carers couldn’t fully dress him without the use of the hoist, so he was stuck in the chair until 10am when his sister Emily and brother-in-law Robert Kinnear came over. They helped his mother Amanda Perkins and his father finish dressing him and carried him to his bed.

Mr Perkins said: “It was very uncomfortable. It isn’t good for my body to be sat in that chair for so long.”

The family called the emergency repair number, but the repairman worked from 12.30pm to 7.30pm so they had to wait. Mr Perkins was sat in bed until 5.25pm when the repairman arrived.

He couldn’t use the toilet or eat properly during this time.

He said: “I can get bed sores so it was a bit painful where I was sat in bed for so long. I got a bit numb.”

According to Mr Kinnear, the repairman said he would have come sooner, but the list of jobs he had didn’t indicate the urgency of this case.

Mrs Perkins hopes that NRS Healthcare will prioritise the most urgent repairs in future: “For something like this they should come straight out. I hope and pray that they do something. We couldn’t do anything; I was a bit fed up and cheesed off.”

The family were satisfied with the quality of the repair.

A spokesperson for West Sussex County Council said: “There are currently more than 100,000 people in West Sussex who rely on community equipment – a service provided by NRS Healthcare on behalf of the county council.

“We take the safety of all of these people extremely seriously which is why we have a 24/7 arrangement for repairing and replacing failed equipment.

“We are currently in discussions with NRS Healthcare to understand the detail of this particular case and whether anything could have been done differently.

“Safety is a priority in these situations and we have been assured that Mr Perkins was in a safe condition when the hoist was repaired.”

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