By Bill Heaney
Jackie Baillie MSP has spoken of her increased frustration that constituents are being denied adaptations while others face lengthy waits for care packages as social care bosses sit on more than £6 million in reserves.
The huge reserves held by West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, which is merged with West Dunbartonshire Council, were revealed last week as instances emerged of people having day care hours slashed and waiting for months for aids.
Dr Jim Elder-Woodward was told he wouldn’t be able to have a bathroom fixed in the downstairs of his property and the HSCP confirmed that to him in writing this week.
This week, Dumbarton constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has been in contact with a constituent who has had materials piled up in her home for eight months while she awaits adaptations to her son’s bedroom to be completed.
Jackie Baillie said: “It is unacceptable that we are now hearing of more people who have been impacted by this however, sadly, I am not surprised.
“People are struggling to cope while West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Partnership continue to hold these huge reserves.
“Families who are already struggling are being made to fight for adaptations to their homes. It is outrageous.
“The hard-working social care staff are doing the best they can but they are not being supported by the Health & Social Care Partnership and this is having a huge impact on people in need.”
Caitlyn McLaughlin, whose son Barry is five, has autism, a speech delay diagnosis and global development delay, contacted Ms Baillie’s office to say she is angry that money is sitting idle while she awaits work on her son’s room.
She has told how a roll of lino has been lying in her hall since last summer with walls still bare and electrics yet to be completed.
Her son also has a rare disorder Pica which causes him to eat things like wall coverings and requires materials which he cannot try and eat or rip up.
Caitlyn, from Bonhill, said: “It has been a long road. When I heard about the money in the reserves it made me really angry. Barry’s safety is at risk while he is in his bedroom. You still want it to be a wee boys’ room but it isn’t like a child’s room. There’s no dignity in it just now.
“We got the lino in summer last year and it’s still rolled up in my hall. I am not asking for a handout. I just want his room to be safe and if I could afford it myself, I absolutely would pay for it. It’s just not feasible. That’s what these departments are there for, to help families. For some reason, we have to fight tooth and nail.”
Special children with autism are being let down because necessary work in not being done.