OAPs 100 calls in campaign to help wife

PENSIONER Charles Dewen is a passionate fighter - battling with the authorities every day to try to find a place in a care home for his desperately ill wife.

PENSIONER Charles Dewen is a passionate fighter - battling with the authorities every day to try to find a place in a care home for his desperately ill wife.

But it was only when his phone bill arrived that he could see how tough his campaign has been.

For since his wife Eve was admitted to Felixstowe's Bartlet Hospital, he has made a staggering 105 phone calls to social services.

In addition, Mr Dewen, 68, of Kingsfleet Road, Felixstowe, has made 100 calls to the Bartlet to speak to staff and check on his wife's medical care.

“At this rate, Eve will be the last person in the Bartlet,” said a frustrated Mr Dewen.

“I was absolutely staggered when I saw my phone bill. I could not believe I had made 105 calls to social services - that is phenomenal.

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“I think it shows how hard I am fighting for my wife to be found a place in a nursing home, and just how much I care about her that I am ringing every day.

“But it also shows how hard it is to get a place in a home. There are just not the places available.

“The Primary Care Trust is planning to close the Bartlet and says everyone can be sent home to be cared for by carers.

“My Eve can no longer be cared for at home by myself or carers - she needs to be in a home. If she was not in the Bartlet, she would be stuck in Ipswich Hospital, waiting for a place and blocking a bed which would be needed by someone else.”

Mrs Dewen, 75, suffers from a variety of ailments, including severe arthritis, emphysema and bronchiectasis. She also has dreadful breathing problems and needs constant care to ensure she has the correct medication.

In early summer, her condition deteriorated and she was admitted to Ipswich Hospital. On June 2 she was sent to the Bartlet to convalesce, but it soon became clear she could not return home.

Mr Dewen said social services staff - particularly Lisa Hill, who is working with him daily - had been extremely supportive.

“They have been excellent. It's not their fault because there are no free places in the homes and we just have to wait, but I want the very best for my wife.”

He had no argument over the cost of the bill for June to August at £195.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said . . .

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Ip4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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