A DISABLED woman who says she became a prisoner in her own home after being left without care for two weeks is involved in a new row over the support she is receiving.
Jacqueline Shepard, of Eskdale Drive, Jarrow, suffers from a muscle-wasting disease and needs help to carry out daily tasks.
But the 55-year-old says she went two weeks without a visit from a carer, despite repeated calls to her social worker, a South Tyneside Council employee.
The visits stopped after Mrs Shepard told her carers to stop coming, claiming she was unhappy with the standard of hygiene and it was making her ill.
Mrs Shepard, who can only walk very short distances with support, said: “I complained about it, but then five weeks went by and I was still ill, so I told them to stop coming.
“Then I was left on my own for two weeks.”
She added: “I used to have 25 hours a week of care and someone would come four times a day, but I didn’t see anyone for two whole weeks.”
Mrs Shepard has now been issued new carers by South Tyneside Council, but is unhappy that they visit twice a day for an hour each time instead of the four half-hourly visits she is used to.
She said: “It worked a lot better when they came for 30 minutes four times a day.
“Now they come in a morning and it only takes them 10 minutes to make my breakfast and they sit around doing nothing for the other 50 minutes.
“I’ve rang the company but they’ve said they work in hourly visits and can’t change it and that the carers can get on with other things while I’m having my breakfast, but they don’t.
“I’m not going to complain any more, though, because every time I do that I end up without any care at all.”
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said that it would be innapropriate to comment in detail on individual cases, but added: “The safety and wellbeing of our vulnerable adults is of paramount importance and every effort is made to ensure that the level and quality of care they receive is continued.
“We will continue to work with her, both in the interim and the long term, to resolve her issues.”