‘Powerless, helpless, despondent’

Ailsa Bratton. (DER0214PG117)
Ailsa Bratton. (DER0214PG117)

A woman forced to sleep in her wheelchair since before Christmas has said the ordeal over her care has left her “desperately despondent.”

Ailsa Bratton, who is recovering from an operation, claimed last week that she has been unable to carry out the most basic functions such as washing, cooking and getting into bed after care packages were withdrawn, reducing the number of care visits from four a day to just one.

Ms Bratton, who lives in Creggan, said she is still in the same position and has lost faith in the care system.

“I am now extremely and desperately despondent at the complete lack of response or action from any of the departments or persons involved with my situation and fear that, ultimately the complete lack of any response, let alone movement goes to further illustrate just how powerless and helpless, anyone in my position as a patient or client, feels,” she claimed.

“The only thing we, as a group of vulnerable persons can take from this is that we do not count in society and do not really have any rights or voice in relation to our care or, more to the point, lack of it. We appear to have no redress or ability to gain any meaningful response, never mind dialogue with the persons who ultimately hold all the power,” she said.

Ms Bratton said she believes other people may be in a similar position. “It really is a very sad reflection on the true state of affairs that, in this society people in my position are just too scared to complain let alone ask any questions or indeed stand up for their own rights.

“We are so vulnerable and scared of the consequences that we just put up and shut up. I am living proof that the system is broken.”