West Midlands: Disabled man discusses fight for his care
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A disabled man, who has no use of his arms and legs, has shared his relief after scoring a victory against his local council.
The council reportedly threatened to cut his care, leaving him scared of the prospect of living alone. Mitchell Salter has always received around-the-clock help from live-in carers as an adult, as he needs support with basic tasks.
Speaking to BirminghamLive, he shared he was stunned to learn his local council intended to cut his care to just six hours a day from next month. The threat left the 32-year-old worried about how he would manage when alone and if he would be safe at night, particularly as he has no family living nearby who can help.
He was recently contacted by social services, who told him the changes would come in from December following a review of his circumstances, leaving him furious. But Wolverhampton City Council has now backed down after Mr Salter contacted Birmingham Live to speak out.
He was born with arthrogryposis, which means he has no use of his arms and legs and is wheelchair-bound. It also means he struggles to carry out most daily tasks.
Mr Salter insisted the local authority tried to take away his rights to around-the-clock care. He said he was “relieved” the council had changed its mind but angry about the stress he had been put through, which had made him “want to shed tears”.
“It would have meant no one staying with me overnight,” he explained. “I can’t use my hands at all. If I have an accident it would mean I would struggle a lot more than anyone else. This is my right.
“If anything happens or someone breaks in I would be on my own. I also need someone to help me outside because I can’t go out on my own.
“They do all my cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing. I have never lived on my own. It would create anxiety, fear, stress, and depression, if I am left by myself, especially at night.
“If someone breaks in, I wouldn’t handle it. They offered equipment, such as telecare and door technology, but if I am injured or sick, I will not be able to access the technology properly due to my lack of mobility.”
Mr Salter was so angry he had threatened legal action, before the council backed down. He added: “I’m relieved. It was a happy day.
“But I’m still hacked off with how they behaved.”
The authority gave no explanation for the U-turn, only issuing a statement saying: “The council can confirm that Mr Salter’s care package won’t be reduced.
“We will continue to work closely with Mr Salter to support his independence and ensure his long-term social care requirements are met.”
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