Dalkeith cerebral palsy woman’s shock at care package cut

Susan Mccosh, who is having her care package cut.
Susan Mccosh, who is having her care package cut.

A woman with cerebral palsy has been left shocked and ill after her care package was suddenly cut from 157.5 hours to 63 hours a week.

The cuts to the care package of Susan Mccosh (48) from Dalkeith, are due to start next Monday, after 20 years at the same level. Her previous package included seven overnight stays from a care staff member, which will be removed next week.

Midlothian Council admitted “difficult decisions have to be made” to “run a sustainable service”.

Susan said: “Social work carry out reviews every five years. In my case a social worker I don’t know and had never met was assigned my case. He met me for a total of two hours. From that he determined what I needed.

“Social work appear only to be interested in any details which can help them achieve the savings they have to make.

“They are not interested in how you feel, how you will cope or if you will cope.

“Social work was started, I thought, to help people in various circumstances and safe guard their safety and human rights.

“Where is my help? And obviously my human rights don’t matter to them. But I need my benefits to have a life.”

The shock of losing so much of her long-held care package has left Susan unable to eat or sleep.

She said: “This situation and the fear of not having the care I need, and having my 20 year care package taken from me, is making me ill.

“I’m unable to eat. The stress is making nausea worse, I can’t sleep and I’m run down. I’m having trouble sleeping. I’ve been to the doctors. I was prescribed a small amount of sleeping pills, antibiotics and anti-sickness medication.”

The Chief Officer of Midlothian Integrated Joint Board, Allister Short said: “It is normal practice to review care packages to ensure they are appropriate to the needs of the individual, recognising that needs can change over time.

“Decisions to change the amount of support someone receives are only taken after their care needs and eligibility for social care are assessed.

“Our eligibility criteria ensures we provide support equitably and that our limited budget is targeted at those who are most in need.

“As the fastest growing local authority in Scotland it is vital we run a sustainable service for the benefit of all the residents who rely on us now, as well as those who may rely on us in the future. To do that difficult decisions have to be made.”