Disabled man stuck in care home as work to adapt his house is halted
PUBLISHED: 15:53 02 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:53 02 July 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
A man recovering from a spinal injury is in a care home because stalled adaptations to his house have left him stranded.
Keith Wicks, who in October had an accident that left him in a wheelchair, is desperate to live back at home.
But work to replace his bathroom to make it wheelchair friendly has ground to a halt, leaving his back garden a building site and Mr Wicks, 71, at Two Acres in Taverham.
When he was discharged from hospital in February, Norwich City Council made adjustments to his home in Spynke Road, so that he could access it in his wheelchair.
But within a couple of weeks, a home visit from an occupational therapist found Mr Wicks' bathroom facilities were inadequate for his needs and did not meet building regulations.
In April, work started on replacing the bathroom, but after eight days work stopped, leaving Mr Wicks in care homes, most recently Two Acres, which was rated as inadequate by the Care Quality Commission in November last year.
Mr Wicks said it "broke his heart" to see the state his home had been left in by the unfinished building work and that the delays were "lots of nonsense".
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He said living in Two Acres was affecting his recovery. He said: "I've had not physio for months. I feel as though I'm going backwards, I'm getting more stiffness in my legs, it's not good. The place where I am now is a dementia home so it's not the best place to be.
"It's depressing when you're in a care home...I just want to go back home.
"It just seems so simple to build a new wet room but here I am months later, it's taken about six months. I wish I had stayed in hospital and got proper physio because I was good there. I feel as though I'm going backwards."
A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said Mr Wicks' placement in Two Acres was "temporary" while his housing needs were addressed.
They said: "Following the CQC inspection of Two Acres and following improvements, the council lifted its restriction on the use of this home in May 2019."
A spokesperson for Norwich City Council, which is organising the improvements to Mr Wicks' home, said works had been delayed due to planning permission requirements.