Eastbourne parents and MP fight cuts to disabled children’s incontinence pads

Stephen Lloyd with Leanna Forse, her son Billy, Stephen Spence and Jackie Hoadley
Stephen Lloyd with Leanna Forse, her son Billy, Stephen Spence and Jackie Hoadley

Eastbourne’s MP has brought three parents to Parliament over cuts to incontinence pads for their disabled children.

Concerns were raised after it was announced East Sussex Hospital NHS Trust (ESHT) is cutting the number of pads it will be providing to just three a day.

Read more: Cuts to sanitary services for disabled young people ‘inhuman’, says Eastbourne mum

Stephen Lloyd went with Leanna Forse, her son Billy, Stephen Spence and Jackie Hoadley to meet Health Secretary Caroline Dinneage MP to discuss the issue.

He said, “This is such an important issue, it really is. It’s about the basic dignity of personal cleanliness.

“So, when my constituents brought it to my attention months ago, I immediately rowed in on their behalf.

“The meeting with the Minister was, I thought, very productive. She understood how ridiculously random it was – one family in one part of the country getting five incontinence pads a day, another perhaps only two. And all at the whim of the local CCG and hospital.”

The meeting was secured after Mr Lloyd questioned Secretary of State Matt Hancock on the issue in the House of Commons.

He said the health secretary agreed to revisit the guidelines Health Authorities use on this matter, and to ensure they better reflect the reality of what people actually need.

Mr Lloyd said, “I was also able to report to the meeting our own CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) had confirmed to me personally they would be returning pad allocations to what they’d been before the cut.”

Leanna Forse said, “With services being cut to the bone, many parents and carers to people with disabilities are unable to work full time if at all - and are unable to afford the ongoing cost of incontinence pads and nappies.

“Reducing the quota to three per day impacts severely on the quality of life for these children and adults. A reduction like this can cause illness and finding an extra £180 a month is stressful and creates further financial difficulties.

“Policies and guidelines need to be looked at and changes must be made to ensure assessments are fit for purpose and based on individual needs.”

She said, “We had a good meeting with the minister, and I believe she took on board what we were saying. We all hope she now delivers on her commitment.”