Fight for Coates family in heating row with Bromford
A MEDICAL worker has pleaded with a Cirencester housing association to take action over a situation that is compromising the health of a "vulnerable" baby boy.
Playing with his four older sisters, 15-month-old Archie Kent-Kellett looks healthy and happy.
But the youngster has needed hospital treatment four times because he was born with a hole in his heart, making him prone to respiratory diseases including pneumonia and bronchiolitis.
Mum Amy Kellett says she is desperate that the family's dusty coal heating system is replaced as it aggravates Archie’s condition.
But landlord Bromford Housing has refused because Archie does not receive a disability grant.
In a letter to Bromford dated November 8, a Gloucestershire Care Services worker urged Bromford to fund a more "healthy and appropriate heating system".
"The baby boy aged just one year has an underlying heart defect which leaves him vulnerable to illnesses and he is especially prone to chest infections," she wrote.
"An environment containing coal dust will only compound Archie’s respiratory distress and with the winter months advancing his chest problems are likely to deteriorate."
Following enquiries by the Standard, the family has now been told by Bromford that they need to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant and gain a referral from an occupational therapist before any changes could be made.
A Bromford spokesman said: "We’re very sorry to hear that Archie is having health problems. We are sympathetic to the situation and are doing our best to help."
But a frustrated Amy hit back saying Bromford had recommended approaching other organisations for help in the past but never with success.
"It shouldn’t matter whether he’s disabled," she said. "It could be the difference between him being healthy or not."
Bromford said the family could help themselves if they used coal in the burner, rather than wood - which Amy said was a cheaper alternative.
But she added it was an inefficient system that took half a day to warm the house up and cost around £10 a day to run in winter.
"My kids are going to bed in their dressing gowns and with extra blankets because it’s so cold at night," Amy said. "I just want them to be happy and healthy."
Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has said he would give "every possible assistance" in finding a solution in the row.
He said: "I take up a number of cases with Bromford on behalf of constituents each year, and I find that they are usually responsive and that most cases are amicably resolved."