‘His health is being affected’ - Vulnerable man may not be able to look after himself if care is taken away

Glenn Sloane at his home in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Glenn Sloane at his home in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

A vulnerable man with complex needs may not be able to look after himself safely if his one-to-one care is taken away again.

Glenn Sloane at his home in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Glenn Sloane at his home in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Glenn Sloane, 35, was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in February with a grossly compacted bowel after he became unable to feed himself or manage his medication.

His condition began deteriorating after one-to-one support was withdrawn by Norfolk County Council in June.

Mr Sloane had previously had eight hours of support a week and a £24,000 a year personal budget. Carers would visit him at a supported living scheme in King's Lynn, where he has lived since 2015, to check he was taking his medication and help with cleaning and cooking.

Mr Sloane also has a keyworker who visits him but their time is split between residents living in all 10 bungalows on the supported housing scheme.

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A medical assessment carried out by the crisis mental health team in September stated there had been 'a direct correlation between the deterioration in Mr Sloane's mental health and the removal of the eight hours supported one-to-one time funded via his social services budget'.

Mr Sloane's mother Carol, 63, who lives in Gaywood, has made an official complaint to the county council.

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She said its decision to withdraw one-to-one care was 'damaging to Glenn's health and wellbeing'.

'Glenn is only able to live independently and safely with his support,' she added. 'His health is being affected without those hours.'

Mr Sloane has now been discharged from hospital. He said: 'Last year, my one-to-one hours were stopped. I do not know why and neither do my support staff.

'I cannot cook a meal on my own safely so I am currently having support from my mother at the start of each week to order Wiltshire Farm Foods that I heat up in the microwave.

'I feel isolated and lonely and I am also now taking anti-depressants.'

Mr Sloane has a learning disability which leaves him unable to concentrate on everyday tasks. Last year he became distracted when cooking a meal and his cooker caught fire. He has also burned himself accidentally after forgetting the appliance was switched on.

Mr Sloane has a bowel condition similar to that suffered by Richard Handley, a 33-year-old from Lowestoft with Down's Syndrome, who died from a bowel impaction at Ipswich Hospital in November 2012.

An inquest heard monitoring to ensure he maintained a healthy diet lapsed. The inquest heard there had been 'missed opportunities'.

Afterwards, his family said his death was wholly preventable.

Mrs Sloane fears her son is unable to remember to take his medicine without the help of carers.

He also suffers from hydrocephalus. A health development officer with the support group Shine (Spina bifida Hydrocephalus Information networking Equality), said in a statement: 'Glenn and those around him are very concerned at the withdrawl of one-to-one support, this having been, to our understanding, a feature of his official care plan. After speaking to a keyworker of Glenn's, it would seem that this was withdrawn without warning and with no contingency plan being put in place. The keyworker indicated that this change did not seem to be documented, as would otherwise be expected.'

Norfolk County Council said: 'While we cannot discuss personal circumstances, we would never change someone's care without explanation. We know that people's needs can change, which is why we will continue to work closely with Glenn and his family to assess his needs for the future, in line with the Care Act. Any assessment will include evidence and information from all of the agencies involved in the person's care. We are always keen to recognise and support the ambitions that people have to achieve the highest level of independence possible. As a council we are investing in services to support this, to meet the wide range of needs of the people of Norfolk.'

Mrs Sloane said she had been told verbally that her son's one-to-one hours were being withdrawn because he was not using them. On Monday, she was told it would be restored for a month pending a further assessment.

In February 2017, a social services assessment said her son required 'daily input to ensure that all aspects of daily living are met'.

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