Monday, 1 March 2010

Cometh The Man

A few weeks ago we were assessed by a surveyor who came and told we have a condensation problem in out flat. We were aware of this because we had spotted the patch of black mold growing in the corner of our bedroom and behind various wardrobes. The surveyor, a nice woman, surveyed the BiPap, the electric bed, the air-mattress, the hoist, the wheelchair, the battery charger, the cough-assist machine and nebuliser, and explained that we have too much equipment in too small a space. The air, she said, could not circulate and we need more space. We are not, she said, adequately housed. Contact your MP (Member of Parliament), she advised. And, having exhausted other avenues and being very suggestible, that is exactly what we did.

To that end, last week, we were visited by Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Carshalton and Wallington at home. He came and drank a cup of tea, declined a plate of biscuits, discussed the forthcoming general election and listened attentively while we explained the situation. We showed him a folder full of letters from medical type people saying we need more space. We presented to him two growing children. We told him of some the problems we face on a day-to-day basis. We explained how the cramped conditions made it difficult for carers to work safely and how they had to squeeze past the end of the bed to perform their duties. Tom nodded in all the right places and said that although he could make no promises he would see what he could do.

A few days later Tom sent us a letter summarizing our meeting. He asked us to grant authorisation to someone on the council to access our files and in addition to following up on our request for rehousing and, in the short term, a suitable hoist. made this rather surreal recommendation -

“allocation of carers who are small enough to squeeze into the currently very confined space.”

This is a splendid example of parliamentary lateral thinking. We don't really need larger accommodation we just need smaller people. Brilliant. It seems an odd thing to focus on but that's probably why I've never sought public office, I just don't have that capacity for problem solving.

Obviously I will keep you informed of any progress. I'll also let you know if I see any signs of carer shrinkage.

Until next time.