Ripon man left alone in bed for 12 hours a night due to care staff crisis
Last updated Sep 10, 2021
Daniel Abel
Daniel Abel

Acute staff shortages in the care sector are forcing a disabled Ripon man to miss meals and stay in bed for up to 12 hours a day.

Daniel Abel, 37, has cerebral palsy and requires full-time care to live independently.

Mr Abel was discharged by a private sector care provider recently due to staff shortages, which brought him under the care of North Yorkshire County Council‘s emergency reablement service.

Mr Abel said the county council told him he would be under its care for up to three weeks but almost four weeks have passed and there is still no sign of being moved to a new provider.

Under his current care plan, he has a carer for one hour in the morning, 45 minutes at lunch time and another hour at bed time. By contrast, he received four hours of care in the morning and four hours at night with his previous provider.

Because Mr Abel no longer receives care at teatime he goes without an evening meal because he is too scared he may hurt himself.

Can’t eat, drink or go to toilet

His final carer arrives at 8pm to put him to bed, where he remains for almost 12 hours unable to eat, drink or go to the toilet.

He said being in bed for this much time also contributed to skin problems. Mr Abel added:

“I am someone who wishes I didn’t need care but unfortunately I do. I feel like with my current care I can’t have a life.

“The bigger care crisis is not my problem. I have to rely on my dad, who is 60-odd, to come and change the bed at night. When I’m having to get friends and dad to come over to me it’s uncomfortable for them and for me.

“I just want care to get me up, washed and dressed and then left to get on with my life.”

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He said he has spoken with another Harrogate care provider, which said it can offer him care but it may take three more weeks because of recruitment problems.

1,000 job vacancies

Richard Webb, corporate director for health and adult services at North Yorkshire County Council, said:

“Adult social care is vitally important and we are pulling out all the stops to support the sector in every way possible during current challenges.

“On any given day across the county there are at least 1,000 jobs available. Never has the need for people to work in care been so great yet we are receiving 70% less applications for care jobs now then we were only a few months ago.

“These acute staffing shortages mean providers are handing back packages of care to us and our staff are going above and beyond to meet people’s needs.

“Reablement is a service we provide which is free of charge at the point of need and can last for up to six weeks and is aimed at supporting people to maximise their independence.

“In some circumstances our reablement service can continue to provide care at home until a new provider can be found and new care arrangements are put in place – where this happens, it becomes a charged-for service.”