Cuts to sanitary services for disabled young people ‘inhuman’ says Eastbourne mum

Nina Potter (22) with her mum and dad Linda and Shaun (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190107-135128008
Nina Potter (22) with her mum and dad Linda and Shaun (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190107-135128008

An Eastbourne mother has described fresh cuts to incontinence pads for disabled young people as ‘inhuman’.

Children and young people will now only be provided with three pads a day by the local NHS – but parents say the bare minimum needed is around five.

Nina Potter (22) with her mum and dad Linda and Shaun (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190107-134911008

Nina Potter (22) with her mum and dad Linda and Shaun (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190107-134911008

Linda Potter, of Shinewater, says her 23-year-old daughter Nina, who is paraplegic and has cerebral palsy, is being put at risk by these new restrictions.

She said, “If she was a newborn baby and I said I’m only going to change her three times a day I’d have to account for that to social services.

“She has to be hoisted onto a bed to be changed. It’s not something anybody would do for fun. It’s a necessity.

“It’s putting her at risk of a hospital admission and serious infection. It’s not just her who’s been affected. It’s going to cost some people thousands.

“It’s not acceptable, they are picking on vulnerable people who haven’t got the capacity. It’s inhuman. You wouldn’t leave an animal in their own mess.”

Mrs Potter said, “You have fight after fight when you have a disabled child. If we don’t fight for it my daughter’s not in a position where she could fight for herself.”

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said a number of parents had contacted him over the issue and last week he raised it in Parliament. He said, “This decision has knocked them sideways.

“And as many are on benefits – it’s a pretty full time job looking after a very disabled child or adult – the additional cost that’s suddenly landed at their feet will be around £85 extra per month.

“This is a simply dreadful decision by our local Clinical Comissioning Group (CCG) so I challenged the Secretary of State in Parliament over it. This sort of callous decision is affecting real people – and it needs addressing fast.”

Mr Lloyd is arranging a meeting with Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

A spokesperson for ESHT and East Sussex CCGs said the decision was made following a review last year.

They said, “We know these products are important to families but these changes will mean we can continue to provide a service that is both high quality and cost effective.

“The changes are being monitored and we continue to engage with families affected, so we provide the best possible care.”