in the back
A case of Barking madness
Social care, Issue 1474
Laki Kaur, made homeless while in hospital, is fighting to preserve her ‘independence and dignity
WHILE young, vivacious and disabled Laki Kaur lay critically ill in an east London hospital, she was scandalously evicted from her specialist housing – shortly after she had made a complaint of abuse against a care worker.

Now recovered from the septicaemia that had seen her rushed into intensive care, she remains stuck in King George hospital – a reluctant “bed-blocker” thanks to the government’s failure to invest in social care and suitable accommodation.

Laki, 28, has severe spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative condition affecting the nervous system, which means she needs help with most everyday tasks, including washing, toileting, turning in bed, and hoisting into her adapted wheelchair. “I am fiercely mentally independent, but my body doesn’t want to work with me,” she says. Until a previous hospital admission a year ago she was, with support, working as a hotel receptionist.

Notice to leave
Although it was far from ideal, Laki had been living with her three cats (now being looked after by a friend) in shared flats in Barking provided by Sahara Parkside, which was providing round-the-clock care. (Sahara Parkside is now in special measures after Care Quality Commission inspectors rated it “inadequate” in February.) The accommodation was a long way short of the two-bed flat she requires for herself and a personal assistant to allow her to live privately, with dignity and independently – as she maintains is her right under article 19 of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In April she was served with a notice to leave – shortly after she complained about one care worker, who she says was physically and verbally abusive towards her and another resident. No steps were taken to enforce the notice until 28 May, when Laki was told she could not return to the flat when she had recovered – rendering her homeless. Sahara Parkside refused to discuss the eviction or Laki’s allegations of abuse with the Eye.

Institutional living
Meanwhile, Laki was pronounced well enough to leave hospital a month ago; but Newham borough council has yet to find suitable wheelchair-accessible accommodation. The council told the Eye it has a chronic shortage of accessible housing and a long waiting list. The council said it was working with the hospital and Laki’s health providers and social workers to try to find suitable temporary accommodation before securing a permanent home for her. However, Laki has turned down its first offer of a care home place, telling the Eye: “I do not want any more institutional living. I want my independence and dignity.”

As the Eye went to press, Newham’s latest offer was a room at Archway Premier Inn. The council said Laki could take her own bed and the hotel was happy for carers to visit – and if necessary stay the night. Unfortunately, the council will only fund 12 hours of care a day, with no meals or laundry service. As Laki says: “Who will support me when I am alone?” So while health and social care providers haggle over the minimum care funding they can get away with, the hospital picks up the bill for providing the care and support Laki needs.

More top stories in the latest issue:

The oligarchs who paid for the glitzy stadiums at World Cup 2018 and bought chum Vladimir Putin his big propaganda coup.

Surrey Police faces heavy criticism for its complete failure to investigate the death of army recruit Sean Benton at Deepcut barracks in 1995.

Though 100 new multi-academy trusts have been created in the last school year, many have fallen apart financially or been dismantled over poor governance.

The UK military personnel who will be on escort duty when the world’s arms-hungry autocracies come a-shopping at Farnborough International Airshow.

With a tight defence budget to fight over, arms firms and others have been busy wining and dining top Ministry of Defence officials.

After surviving a no-confidence motion, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ chief executive and new president still feel obliged to step down.

Why the construction industry must have been delighted when, after the Grenfell fire, senior civil servant Brian Martin was promoted to head technical policy at the housing department.

Why the cuts-hit University of Bolton’s fat-cat vice-chancellor George Holmes has been to Prague to dish out degrees and an honorary doctorate.

Three men who served two years in jail awaiting trial for the axe murder of Daniel Morgan were framed and maliciously prosecuted by a corrupt detective, three appeal court judges rule.

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Next issue on sale: 21st August 2018
Private Eye Issue 1474

ONLY £2.00

21st August 2018
In This Issue
    Football Fans ‘Proud to Be Hooligans Again’… Heatwave ‘Linked to Rare Weather Phenomenon Known as Summer’… People Who Never Had to do National Service Call for Return of National Service… Brexit Will Bring Huge Boost to Britain’s Candle Industry – Daily Express Exclusive… Vote Leave Disputes Electoral Commission Ruling and Calls for Re-run… Germaine Greer’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown
And also...
Exaro lives again
Website’s dodgy archive of batty claims arises like Lazarus
Shorting story
BlackRock bets against the Mail empire (and, er, one G. Osborne)
World Cup fever
Putin’s chums fund Russia’s great propaganda coup
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Private Eye Issue 1473