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Wheatley Homes fury for Leona

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale
Wheatley Homes fury for Leona
FLAT FURY . . . fiancee Ben Dreighton outside Leona's flat in Annan

A NEWLY-engaged Annan couple are furious at Wheatley Homes and Dumfries Infirmary for what they are calling “inhumane treatment”.

Leona Tremble, 36, was admitted to hospital after an attack of Functional Neurologic Disorder (FND) in late November. This was just days after fiancee Ben Dreighton proposed to her.

Despite paralysis on the left side of her body and now having to use a wheelchair, she was discharged by the hospital on December 18 to go home to her upper floor flat in Latimer Road.

But the couple say it is now inaccessible for her due to several flights of stairs up to her front door and they have accused the housing provider of letting them down and failing to find her suitable, wheelchair friendly accommodation.

As a result of the situation, Leona spent Christmas living in her mother’s caravan in Dumfries, where she has been struggling due to lack of mobility, accessible washing facilities and space.

Frustrated

Her mum Irene is a retired nurse and said: “I was out walking my dogs when I got a call from Ben saying that she was discharged. I was just like ‘What?!’

“Leona doesn’t even have the physical power to go to the toilet, we have to drag her along. It’s no way to live at all, this entire situation is a joke.”

She has also complained to the hospital about Leona’s inpatient treatment, including a lack of physiotherapy. Ben also had to take on some of her personal care himself, despite his own spinal condition.

Meanwhile, Ben is frustrated with the response he says he got from Wheatley Homes.

He said: “Wheatley have said that she discharged herself from the hospital and that her house is suitable to live in. That is blatantly wrong. I have written confirmation from the hospital that she was discharged.

“I drove 250 miles on Christmas Eve to take Leona to a leading neurological centre in Sheffield so she could be seen. Their exact words? ‘My God, why has she been discharged? This is atrocious’.”

He explained that FND stems from a problem with how the brain receives and sends information to the rest of the body. According to NHS Inform, it is “a really variable condition. Some people have quite short-lived symptoms. Others can have them for many years.”

Ben added: “When you get FND, you get it for life. You can recover slightly, but if you relapse it is full paralysis again.”

He also says he has signed several representation mandates to be able to speak to Wheatley on behalf of Leona due to her current short-term memory loss, but it is still not in place.

Under fire

Responding, a Wheatley Homes South spokesperson yesterday said: “We’re very sorry to hear about this case.

“However, we spoke with the tenant before Christmas to confirm she would not qualify for a medical priority move. This is because doctors believe she will make a full recovery and her current home is suitable.

“Despite this, the tenant discharged herself from hospital and moved in with family.

“We are continuing to do everything we can to support our tenant and help in any way we can.”

DGRI are not able to comment on individual cases due to patient confidentiality.

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