Ex-soldier 'prisoner in Padiham home' after amputation

Ernie Moore
Image caption Former soldier Ernie Moore said he has "totally given up"

An ex-soldier who had his leg amputated seven months ago claims delays installing a lift have left him "a prisoner in his own home".

Ernie Moore, 80, was told his house would be modified within weeks of him returning from hospital in October.

But he said Lancashire County Council failed to provide a step lift at his door and he is "still a prisoner" in his Padiham home.

The council has apologised for its "part in the delay".

It said problems were due to communication failures between the authority, Burnley Borough Council and the occupational therapy team.

'Death trap'

Mr Moore, a former instructor with the Loyal Regiment at Fulwood Barracks in Preston, said he had always been active before having his leg amputated due to an infection.

The great-grandfather was in Royal Blackburn Hospital for three months and had reservations about returning to his bungalow, which he described as a "death trap" in the event of a fire.

But he said an occupational therapist told him a ramp would be installed if he was ready to leave.

"I'm still waiting," he said. "We're not a young couple, my wife is 76 - we wouldn't be able to get out if there was a gas leak or fire.

Image caption Mr Moore said he has "just totally given up"

"I've been depressed, I've been fed up, I've had arguments. Maybe a couple of weeks it might start or maybe a couple of years - I don't know.

"I've just totally given up."

Lancashire Council said it received the referral on 24 January and was working with the occupational therapy team and district council to resolve the matter as soon as possible.

Head of social care Catherine Whalley said: "We recognise this process has not been as smooth as it should have been... We understand how important it is for people to return home and live as normal a life as they can after being in hospital."

A Burnley Council spokesman said social services handed them the case on 6 March.

"A contractor has been subsequently appointed and work can go ahead," he added.

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