North West Wales

Gwynedd family push for changes in disabled son's care

A family have been told there are no suitable facilities in north Wales to deal with their son's complex psychiatric needs.

Since February Ashwin Ananthraman, 24, who has learning disabilities, has been cared for at a secure facility in Nottingham.

His parents, from Dinas Dinlle, Gwynedd, want him to be closer to home so they can care for him.

But Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board says this is not possible.

Five years ago the Ananthraman family moved from India to the quiet seaside village.

Ram and Sandhya Ananthraman's son Ashwin was 19 at the time.

He has always had autistic traits and was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome.

After being cared for initially at a special unit in Llanfairfechan he was moved to Derby and is currently at a secure unit in Nottingham.

'Traumatic'

Image caption Ram and Sandhya Ananthraman are distressed Ashwin is being treated so far from the family

The gruelling four-hour drive to visit him every week since February is taking its toll on his parents and they wish their son could come closer to home.

"Now it takes all day to get there, we see him for an hour then come back, it's all so traumatic for us and for Aswhin," said Mr Ananthraman.

"We don't understand why he has to be moved further and further away because of these so-called complex needs."

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which is responsible for his care, said in a statement that there were no low secure or medium secure facilities in north Wales able to deal with such complex requirements.

A spokesperson said: "Our aim is to support everyone as close as possible to their homes and families and we are working towards providing services which are better in terms of meeting the needs of patients who have serious and complex needs."

Mental health charities say this kind of situation is not uncommon and there is a lack of beds in low secure units in Wales.

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