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SALFORD POLIO SUFFERER WAS TRAPPED UPSTAIRS FOR THREE MONTHS AS HOUSING ASSOCIATION WONíT FIT LIFT
 

Star date: 23rd November 2017  

DISABLED SALIX HOMES TENANT TOLD TO FIND NEW PROPERTY

Salix Homes tenant, Thomas West, has a worsening polio condition that meant the stairlift at his house in Weaste needed alterations but then kept breaking down, leaving him trapped upstairs for three months at one point.

Thomas has been advised by Salford Council that he needs a vertical lift fitted but Salix Homes state it is against their policy and have asked him to consider moving to 'more suitable accommodation'... "I don't want to move" he says, suspecting financial concerns are being put before his needs.

Full details here...


"Unfortunately it is against Salix policy to fit a through floor lift and that should you wish to consider moving to a more suitable accommodation..."


Thomas West is perplexed because, during the time of the vote to transfer Salford Council housing to Salix Homes, he saw all the glossy leaflets stating that, if the housing association was successful, there would be proper investment in homes Ė just not his home it seems...

Thomas, who lives in Weaste, has had polio since being three months old, and now has post-polio syndrome, which accelerates the aging process. To compound matters, he had a fall, broke his 'good' left leg and has been in a wheelchair ever since.

"Post-polio syndrome makes you weak in your muscles and joints, and I was finding it difficult getting out of bed, getting off the toilet and out of my stairlift" he recalls "After an assessment, I got a raised bed and toilet and the stairlift was replaced...but it was an inch lower than the one they took out so I couldn't get out of it."

Eventually, the problem was solved, except that it was always breaking down and parts for the stairlift were obsolete, so engineers were patching it together however they could. They told Thomas to press a re-set button at the back of his seat if it broke down again...

"On each journey I had to do that but, with me being in a wheelchair and using a zimmer, I couldn't do it; so I was trapped upstairs for three months" he recalls.

As all this was going on, Salford City Council's Community Occupational Therapy Services recommended an alternative solution Ė a vertical through lift, which would go from downstairs to upstairs and vice versa.

Indeed a letter from Salix to Thomas, seen by the Salford Star, makes reference to the Council report that, should a stairlift not work, "a through floor lift or moving to ground floor accommodation would be the only suitable option..."

The letter then adds "unfortunately it is against Salix policy to fit a through floor lift and that should you wish to consider moving to a more suitable accommodation we would strenuously help and support in assisting you through this process."

While Salix has a policy of not fitting through floor lifts, back in the days before ALMOs and private housing associations, Salford Council certainly used to fit them. Manchester City Council confirmed this afternoon that they still do fit the lifts, on an individual case-by-case basis.

As far as costs go, the amount spent by Salix on the stairlift and various replacements and engineer call-outs would probably roughly amount to the same as fitting a vertical lift.

Thomas believes that the Salix policy is more about the reduction in value of the house as a consequence of fitting a lift. Yet, with Salix and the Council receiving rent for thirty years, the house has already been paid for many times over.

In the event, Salix cocked up the existing stairlift using parts from another one, and while it is working for time being, Thomas says he's lost faith and rarely uses it, preferring to stay upstairs. He fears that if it breaks down again he will be forced to move elsewhere.

"I had Salix telling me that I need to look for other properties to move into, and it's really scaring me" he says "I'm 68 years old next year, I've lived here for thirty years and don't want to move. I'm happy with my neighbours and happy where I live in Weaste.

"I've spent a lot of money on the house and the garden" he adds "All this just brings me to tears. I've even seen a doctor about it who offered anti-depressants but I don't want that, I just want to stay here."


The Salford Star asked Salix Homes...

Why is it Salix policy not to fit through floor lifts when, apparently, Manchester housing companies don't have a problem with this?
When the tenant was stuck upstairs for three months why wasn't this considered as an option?
Can you assure him that he will be able to remain in his property where he has lived for over thirty years?

Salix Homes responded: "We have been working with Mr West and other agencies since the issue was brought to our attention to identify a solution that meets Mr West's requirements. We will continue to work with Mr West to provide assistance."

Bob wrote
at 08:07:10 on 27 November 2017
Further to the oracle, it is also a matter of legal right as well as ethics.Are Salix to stupid to get the modifications for nothing. They are always saying what experts they are. Does this not tell people, that if you can ,you should buy your council house? That way ,when you are ill, it is you that can ask for ,and get what you need in the way of modifications for free. Also, when you kick the bucket, someone in your family will get that house.They can then live there. when will the people around here learn that all organisations like Salix ,City west and all the rest of them only exist for the benefit of the fat cats at the top.They do not exist to help local people.They will not find homes for your kids when they grow up.its time for the people of Salford to wake up.

Stage a sit in wrote
at 08:04:02 on 27 November 2017
Why doesn't Mr West go to the offices on Eccles New Road and stage a protest. Lie down and refuse to move until your demands are met. A customer did this about 10 years ago and got exactly what he wanted.

The Oracle wrote
at 14:09:04 on 26 November 2017
@Glandford Spong I love people like you who are full of their own self worth. I believe you do not understand the concept of being disabled. You could still own your own house, but if you suddenly became terminally ill or severely disabled you could still get adaptions fitted in your private property for nothing. Obviously in your case, you're all mouth and no brains. This man is ill. He has paid his rent for the last 30 years which probably means that sufficient rent has been paid to pay for his rented property in full. Do you not think that this disabled man has earned the right to have disability adaptions fitted in his home? What should have happened is the following. An OT Assessment Officer comes out to your home to access your needs. The OT Assessment Officer then makes out a report, to which you are given a copy. Then a Social Worker undertakes a Care Assessment to see if some of your disabled needs can be supported by other Care Services instead of fitting disabled adaptions to your home. If those disabled services cannot support your disabled requirements then Salix Homes must fit the disability adaptions you need, regardless of price. Let's be honest, after 30 years of rent, this man has earned the right to have his property suitably adapted to meet his needs. It's not a matter of scrounging, it's a matter of ethics.

Glanford Spong wrote
at 11:27:42 on 25 November 2017
WOW, why did I bother working and saving to buy my own house, keeping up with the mortgage without housing benefit handouts from the tax payer and having to pay any repair bills and maintenance costs. Should I become disabled like this unfortunate man no-one would fund a lift for me, I would have to move to a more suitable property despite living in my house for 30 years and my neighbours being good friends.

Michael James Felse wrote
at 14:12:08 on 24 November 2017
When I see all the gold, gems and original art owned by Salford Council then reading the problems forced on local people it to me looks a crime. A Labour Council sat on treasure while people are suffering daily. Sell them to our University museum to put money into good use like investing in that lift. I trust our Salford elected Councillors will look at their treasure trove today and think out of their warm, luxurious, comfortable box.

Bob wrote
at 07:29:47 on 24 November 2017
What used to be the case was this. If special work needed to be done, to enable a disabled person to live in ,or continue to live a property, no matter who owned that property,someone used to come round from a special section at the council to see what needed to be done. These people were I think usually physios or occupational therapists. They deceided what was what and estimates were given to the council. If these were approved, and in most cases they were as these people new how much things like stair lifts ect cost, then the work was carried out and the council billed. The council paid, and then claimed back the full cost, probably plus a bit more for the work of the ot's etc, from the goverment. Far as I know, this is still the case. People like Salix who have their own workers, can actually make money out of this, they can charge the council for the work their wonderful tradesmen do at extortionate rates, and the council people probably would not question them. Must be the wicked tories, gotta be aint it.. So its either the Tory government who has stopped the cash, or Salix being awkward shit bags.Just thought perhaps Salix could use a bit of the £1.3 million they got for the homeless

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