Disabled Sussex woman 'unsafe' after care funding cuts

Pam Bartlett
Image caption Mrs Bartlett's three carers continued visiting her without charge after her own funds ran out

A disabled Sussex woman whose care funding was withdrawn has said she is now "an accident waiting to happen".

For nine years, Pam Bartlett, 82, had 24 hours of paid care a week. Since her needs were downgraded to "moderate", she no longer qualifies for support.

Mrs Bartlett used her own funds to continue paying £240 a week for care for two months but has run out of cash.

East Sussex County Council said help was given to people with critical or substantial needs.

Mrs Bartlett, from Wivelsfield Green, was left disabled after a car accident and is losing her eyesight.

'No family'

She said she needed help with food preparation, cleaning, shopping, and putting the rubbish out.

She added: "Without any care, my life is going to be very shortened. I am an accident waiting to happen."

Mrs Bartlett's three carers have continued visiting her without charge. One of them, Lorne Thomas, said she continued visiting because Mrs Bartlett was almost housebound and had no family.

She said: "I can't go to bed at night knowing that she could have had an accident, she might not have had anything to eat all day, [and] she might not have had anything to drink."

Jim Baker, from Age UK, said: "People are being reassessed steadily across the country.

"What we know is that about two million older people need care.

"Age UK calculate that by 2012, one million won't be getting the care they need."

He added: "I'm not going to have a go at councils because we know the budget coming at them isn't too good.

"But the reality is reassessment tends not to increase the amount of support anyone gets."

In a statement, East Sussex County Council said: "To ensure that everyone is treated fairly an assessment is made of an individual's needs and of their financial situation.

"Support is provided to people with critical or substantial needs and financial support if they are eligible.

"This ensures that resources are used effectively and as many people are helped as possible who have the most needs."

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