A MAN from Basingstoke has been left unable to have a bath for a year following a poor installation by Hampshire Adult Services.

Paul Bolton, of Kempshott Lane, lives with disabilities and uses a wheelchair. He is also non-verbal, living in a shared house with a care provider aiding him in his day-to-day life.

In February 2023, Paul's support worker contacted Hampshire County Council regarding a specialist bath in the house needing replacements due to technical faults, with an occupational therapist visiting the property a number of days later and identifying a like for like replacement was necessary.

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A specialist bath company was contracted to replace the bath but a joint visit to the property between the bath provider and the occupational therapist was not completed.

As a result, the bath installed was not the same product as previously in place and was not suitable for Paul's needs. There were significant delays in the installation of the bath, resulting in issues which are still persisting regarding hot water supply and the boiler in the house.

In August 2023, Paul's carer contacted Hampshire County Council advising the bath was not fit for purpose, but it was not until October that an advanced practitioner visited the property, realising the bath was inappropriate for Paul.

Basingstoke Gazette: Paul Bolton Paul Bolton (Image: Debbie Long)

During the visit, it was identified that the bath was not suitable for Paul's needs, for reasons such as the armrest positioning being too high, no curved support, inappropriate seating positioning and inappropriate plug placement for carer use. The bath was also not compatible with the hot water tank provided.

Subsequently in November 2023, an advanced practitioner and a new bath provider visited the property to assess for a different bath to be installed, with a new quote received which was escalated to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's housing standards team and senior management.

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Despite the update in November, it has been more than a year since the issue was first logged,  and Paul is still without proper washing facilities, with the shower at his home also broken, and the bath still not fit for purpose.

Authorisation for a new bath has been approved by Hampshire County Council, but no update has since been provided to Debbie Long, who is Paul's sister.

Debbie said: "I think it's shameful to allow a situation to persist like this, a situation which has denied Paul a basic human right of being able to clean and feel comfortable.

"If it wasn't for me pushing this issue for Paul, I have no idea how long it would take for him to have a bath.

"Also, I expect there are plenty of other people up and down the country who for whatever reason cannot stand up for themselves, and they have no one fighting their corner for them and preventing wrongdoing like this happening.

"I think its absolutely shocking."

Hampshire County Council was contacted for comment but it did not respond.