A DISABLED war veteran has slammed SEQOL for withdrawing essential support to care for his wife after an assessment earlier this month.

Last Wednesday 54-year-old Eddie Hawkins and wife Kerry, who has suffered with chronic back syndrome since 2001, were told they would no longer receive the support from a carer for a few hours every day.

Since August last year services provider Abicare have visited their Penhill home to help 44-year-old Kerry wash and dress and other tasks.

During that time Kerry found it difficult to fit into a routine with the carers to suit her lifestyle, which includes caring for her daughter Sammy. She also claimed carers would turn up at times other than agreed, and sometimes she did not want the care since she was too unwell to receive it.

"One of the reasons that they gave was to stop the care was because my wife doesn't always need it if she is feeling ok," said Eddie.

"She now blames herself because if the carer is late - and they have been late quite a few times - she sometimes gets herself up.

"The carer is supposed to come in at about, say, 8.45am to help her wash and give her a bed bath and things, but sometimes they haven't arrived until 10.30am, 1.30pm, and Kerry wants to get on, so when she can she has got up.

"My wife wants to be able to get up and spend time with me and our daughter, not wait for a carer if she feels up to it on her own."

Eddie, who retired as a lance corporal after 17 years in the Royal Artillery, gave up work in 2005 in order to care for his wife.

But after complications with his knees which lead to hospitalisation, and suffering with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and civilian stress disorder (CSD), Eddie needed regular carers to help look after his wife.

"I don't know what we are going to do," said Eddie.

"I was in hospital for the whole of the first part of 2014, so I wasn't able to look after Kerry.

"I don't know what will happen if that happens again.

"It's been very upsetting."

SEQOL have decided to withdraw the care because it has been declined when carers arrived to provide it.

A spokesman said: "We have worked hard with Mrs Hawkins to provide the personal care requested, and the care agency has been very flexible and tried altering visiting times of the carers to fit in with Mrs Hawkins’ wishes. However, whatever time was pre-agreed with Mrs Hawkins, when the carers then visited at that time, over a period of many months the offer of personal care was declined.

“We understand that some people can feel uncomfortable with a personal care package, but it would be irresponsible to other service-users who need personal care to continue a care programme that isn’t being used, so we have suggested some alternative ways of supporting Mrs Hawkins, which we understand she is considering. We are also going to suggest that an occupational therapist look at the home situation again, and have urged Mrs Hawkins to get in touch with us again if the situation changes.

“We never withdraw care lightly but if the care being offered is not being used we believe it is only fair to reallocate it to someone who will benefit from it, and instead look for a more suitable solution for that service-user.”