Family feels “absolutely failed”

Gina Selby Stocker and her 10 year old daughter Leonara - the family claims to have been failed by local health services as well as Special Educational Needs team
Gina Selby Stocker and her 10 year old daughter Leonara - the family claims to have been failed by local health services as well as Special Educational Needs team

The mother of a 10 year old disabled girl claims to have been “absolutely failed” by local services.

Gina Selby-Stocker, of Wineham Way, says she has had to buy incontinence pads because daughter Leonara has not been supplied with any.

Her daughter is also having to use a wheelchair that is sizes too small because appeals for a new wheelchair have gone unanswered.

Gina says they endured “three months of hell” when they were left “hanging with no support.”

Gina, who moved to Bexhill with her daughter in July last year, said: “I am a single mum of a disabled child and I was not recognised as a disabled family for three months. I called the disabled children’s team regularly from August 1 2014 with no luck. The team did not visit me until October, and I made a fuss about their lack of contact. They refused to accept any evidence and paperwork I had to prove my daughter was special needs. I started my transition in January from the Royal Borough of Kingston and I did all the ground work to ensure a smooth transition.

“The Special Educational Needs team in Lewes failed me by not applying on time for a school for my daughter in Bexhill, and Leonara was not accepted into a school until December 1.”

In October she was offered sessions of several hours a few times a week with play care workers who supported them while they waited for decisions about schooling and Gina described this as “isolating and limited” for her child.

She said: “The physical and mental stress caused by this was immense on Leonara and myself. Since making countless referrals for nappy services and wheel chair services I am still waiting for an appointment to see someone. I am using nappies which are too small and scrounging pads off an elderly gentleman next door to me who is selling them at £3 a pack to help me out financially. Other than that I am purchasing ladies Tena pull-ups from Boots at £8 a pack. I am on full income support and cannot work full time due to my daughter’s needs. I am not an isolated case regarding nappy services.”

Since contacting the Observer on Monday Gina has heard from the wheelchair service and help is on the way.

An East Sussex Healthcare NHS trust spokesman said: “When Leonara was referred to the wheelchair service her referral was not marked as urgent. Unfortunately there is a waiting list for wheelchairs however, Leonara will be meeting the wheelchair service on February 10 to assess her requirements. It is highly likely she will get a temporary wheelchair while her longer term needs are assessed. To date we have not received any health referral for continence products. Should we receive such a referral Leonara will be assessed and her health needs met.”

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council said: “In every case where a family in need of support moves to East Sussex, we carry out an assessment to ensure the services we offer suit their needs. Despite a delay in vital information being sent by the resident’s previous local authority, we acted swiftly to carry out a family assessment and put in place a range of appropriate support and services for the family.

“Where a school place is needed and the preferred school is oversubscribed, we endeavour to find a suitable alternative place as quickly as possible.”