Concerns as 'vulnerable Sheffield pensioners left with no home care visits over Christmas'

She is 88, suffers from dementia, and usually gets four carer visits a day.

Friday, 24th December 2021, 12:00 pm

But Sheffield pensioner Mary Slinn’s family was today waiting to find out if she could have a space in a respite home, after being told she would receive no visits over Christmas.

Her family believes she is one of many in the city receiving no care visits over the festive weekend.

Read More

Read More
Sheffield seeing an ‘unprecedented demand’ for social care services

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Picture shows Mary Slinn with her youngest great grandson, several years ago. Mary's family say they are unhappy after they were told three days before Christmas that Mary, who usually receives four carer visits a day, will receive no care over Christmas. Submitted picture

Former buffer girl Mary, from Stannington, has received care since March and suffers from two types of dementia.

She was previously in the Northern General Hospital. Doctors said she needed the visits when she left hospital.

Her daughter, Carol Burns, who visits her every day, says she was told by Sheffield Council at 11.30am on Wednesday that there would be no visits from carers from the middle of Christmas Eve until Monday, because of the number of staff off due to sickness or holidays.

She said she had been told they were working their way through a spreadsheet, informing families of the problem.

Carol, from Hillsborough, said she had been told by the council that they had only been informed by Choices Home Care two hours earlier.

Carol said: “I am not happy that it was left until three days before Christmas to tell us that there would be no cover for her from Christmas Eve lunchtime until Monday.

"Social services have hopefully managed to get her into a respite home, pending a Covid test beforehand, as long as we get the results in time. It has been a terrible strain and I’m at my wits’ end.”

The family was still waiting for the test result this morning, and they have a contingency plan of Carol and her daughter providing two visits each.

She said the council social services department had been very helpful over trying to deal with the problem, but was unhappy over the short notice.

She feels the care company should have seen the problem coming when planning its rota for coverage over the Christmas period.

"I feel it’s a safeguarding issue,” she said. “I don’t think they are providing the care they should be.”

“I don't know how many people are affected. How could this happen?”

The Star has contacted both Sheffield Council and Choices Home Care for comment.