Pensioners in Brent being let down by services


Delroy - Credit: Archant

Forced to sit in a broken chair no-one will repair, while his reduced care leaves him without food for hours on end, the treatment of Delory Boyd shows the gaping divides in Brent’s care of the elderly.

Mr Boyd, 72, from Chatsworth Road, Kilburn, is partially blind, has stomach ulcers, prostate cancer and was in a coma for 14 days after suffering a stroke in February. He now wears a pacemaker.

In recent weeks his care has been reduced from three visits a day to two. He claims his carers will not cook for him any more and that the half hour they give him is not long enough to assist him with his basic needs.

He said: “Everything is falling apart. My chair is broken and they told me I’m not qualified for another. I have blackouts regularly. I could die any time.

“I have problems every day with carers, every day with the system. The care plan they have in Brent has to be the worst: it’s for animals, not for old people.”

War veteran Harold Thomson, who fought in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, is allowed to remain at his nursing home, Birchwood Grange, for just one more week while a care package is arranged for him to return to his home in The Avenue, Brondesbury Park.

The 95-year-old had a cataract operation on his eye, wears a hearing aid, and has fallen several times.

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In September he sustained six broken ribs and dehydration after falling on the floor of his unadapted flat and was only found the following morning when a district nurse called to administer eye drops.

He said: “I’m here but I can’t pull any strings. I do feel rotten as I’ve always been able to look after myself but now have to rely on other people to do it for me.”

His neice, Jacqui Read, who lives in Norfolk, has appealed to Brent Social Services for her uncle to be placed in a residential home as she believes he can no longer cope living on his own, despite his desire to retain his independence.

Cllr Carol Shaw, conservative member for Brondesbury Park, alerted the social services to the plight of the two men. She said: “I am furious. I’d rather the money was spent on the pensioners and not on the new £98million Civic Centre which we didn’t need but is inaccessible for residents. I don’t think anybody cares in Brent. Once you’re an old age pensioner no-ones cares. It’s disgusting and disgraceful.”

Phil Porter, head of adult social care, admitted there had been problems with communication but said: “We try our best with the resources we have. Brent Council has a comprehensive range of services to support older people and other vulnerable adults. We work closely with families and neighbours to help people to live independently.

“If anyone in Brent is worried that a neighbour or family member is unable to cope, they should contact Brent Council (0208 937 4300/ and we will respond.”

“In some cases we will provide information and advice about accessing support, in others we will be able to fund support directly.”

+Anyone with a serious concern about the welfare of a vulnerable adult should contact the Brent Safeguarding Adults team immediately (0208 937 4300 /