A GRANDMOTHER from Tetbury with multiple sclerosis claims she was told she could use a catheter to cut down on the cost of her care, despite not needing one.

Amanda Carrol, 60, was diagnosed with MS at 32 years old and is now in a wheelchair as a result of her condition.

She explained: “Two years ago my husband was doing everything for me, absolutely everything, and he became quite ill as a result.”

Mrs Carrol’s two children realised the trouble that she was in and insisted that the retired couple stopped trying to cope on their own and asked for care for her in her home.

Since then, two carers have been visiting her four times a day to get her in and out of bed and assist with day to day activities.

Mrs Carrol said that several weeks ago she had an assessment of her care needs at home and was subsequently told she would not need to pay towards the cost.

However, Gloucestershire County Council then conducted a different assessment, and  Mrs Carrol claims the assessor suggested she would need to work out a way to reduce the cost of her care.

Options suggested to Mrs Carrol included having fewer visits, being visited by one carer rather than two, or by paying half the cost of her care by herself.

But she feels none of these are workable.

She added: “Then she said ‘you could be catheterised or have incontinence pads’. And that’s where it started to get offensive.”

As well as the fact that Mrs Carrol is not incontinent, she pointed out that the guidance for wearing pads meant that they would need to be changed every three hours, meaning her hours of care would need to be the same or increased.

She added that catheters can also become infected and that any sores or infections would then have to be treated by nurses, costing more time and money than her previous care arrangement.

“I just find it extremely offensive.” she said

“They’re trying to get it done for as little as possible.

“I don’t know if it’s the government or the council but I think they’ll just try to pare it down ever more.”

Operations lead for adult social care at Gloucestershire County Council, Tina Reid, responded to Mrs Carrol's claims.

She said: “Whilst it wouldn’t be appropriate to talk in detail about individual cases, we are not aware of Mrs Carrol being asked to contribute towards her care and we will continue to work with her to find the best solution for her care needs."

She added: “Whenever possible we want to help people live more independent lives – focusing on supporting people to stay in their own homes.

“In some cases this might mean changing the way we deliver care packages, but this would only be where it’s appropriate and after the options had been fully explored with the individual.”