A WHEELCHAIR-bound pensioner from Cam has lashed out at the managers of his care provider after he was forced into a care home for at least a month due to staff shortages.

Ray Sherman, 70, was one of the many clients looked after by Guinness Care and its subsidiary Independent Home Life Service.

However, as the Gazette reported last week, clients in the Dursley area were left completely uncared for on Friday, September 30, due to “an unexpectedly high level of staff sickness at short notice.”

He was told that the company could no longer offer the “package of care”

he has had: two carers, four times a day.

This left Ray, who often spends up to 20 hours in bed due to his paraplegia, without vital care and he was forced into Henlow Court care home in Dursley.

“The care staff at Guinness are brilliant.

They are very, very good, but the management have left a lot to be desired – to put it nicely,” said Ray, who has now been approved for a motorised wheelchair.

“They have let down more than just me. There are at least a couple dozen more who have been left without care.

“And what is worse is that there has been no discussion between the company and me, which is partly why I’ve been forced into Henlow Court.

“Some other people I know say Guinness has been in touch, so we shall see.

“I don’t require much care, because my wife Julie is capable of lifting me into bed or onto my wheelchair, but I don’t want her to have to be here all the time to do that.

“I only need help getting up and washed in the morning, sometimes help to get in the bath and have a shave.

“I’ve recently been approved for a motorised chair and since then I want to be able to get out more, none of this is helping me at all.

“The staff here are great but I want to be at home, I’m not at the stage where I need to be in a care home and the roads at home are safer for me to go out in my wheelchair.”

Ray’s wife Julie agrees that at age 70, he is not of the age to be in a care home, and feels the mishap has “turned our lives upside down”.

Gloucestershire County Council has been working with Henlow Court in hopes to move Ray back home or to somewhere more appropriate by the end of the month.

A spokeswoman for Independent Home Life Services said: “We pride ourselves on being a good employer and have a dedicated and skilled workforce.

“However, due to an unexpectedly high level of staff sickness at short notice, we alerted the local authority and re-planned our resources.”

The firm has contracts valued at tens of thousands of pounds from GCC to provide care in Stroud district.

GCC cabinet member for adult social care, Cllr Kathy Williams, said: “We’re disappointed that we’ve been let down. However, our staff and partners worked quickly to keep services available.”