Husband angry at wife’s poor care following stroke

Michael and Hazel Axworthy
Michael and Hazel Axworthy

THE husband of an elderly woman who has been bed-ridden almost a year after suffering a stroke claims they have been made to feel ‘like criminals’ by social services.

Michael Axworthy, 75, of Edinburgh Road, St Leonards, is adamant that his wife Hazel, 74, who was left paralysed down one side following the stroke in August last year, could be on her feet by now if she had received appropriate care since leaving hospital 10 months ago.

He said that she had received no physiotherapy since, despite requesting it, and had only regained some mobility thanks to the exercises that he has devised for her.

Mr Axworthy, an army veteran, who is his wife’s main carer, said they both feel abandoned by Adult Social Care and are looking for answers.

He said: “Social services are meant to be helping people, but they make you feel like you are criminals and have done something wrong. I am the only one who’s keeping her going.

“Around £40,000 has been spent on Hazel’s care so far, whereas if she had been given physiotherapy she could have been up by now.”

He is also unhappy that their options in terms of choosing carers were not explained to them when Mrs Axworthy was discharged from hospital, nor was Mr Axworthy offered a Carers’ Assessment.

He added: “I have really got so stressed out over it all, you have to laugh or you would cry. It’s been so diabolical.”

Mrs Axworthy said that the way they had been treated was shocking.

She said: “I just want to get outside and see my flowers and hear the birds sing.”

She has her heart set on being out of bed by their wedding anniversary on August 23.

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council said: “We have been in lengthy correspondence with Mr and Mrs Axworthy about all of the issues they raised and provided explanations and an apology where appropriate.

“The concerns they raised in respect of therapy, direct payments and safeguarding have been reviewed and we are satisfied that the relevant policies and procedures have been fairly and appropriately applied.

“We do, however, fully accept that we should have offered Mr Axworthy a Carers’ Assessment at the time his wife was discharged from hospital, but this has now been rectified and we apologised to him and his wife, in writing, in early June. We invited them to contact us if they were not happy with any of our responses and would again urge them to do so if they feel that there are unresolved issues.”