A TROWBRIDGE mother-of three has appealed to her local MP to help regain a respite care package for her 28-year-old son Benjamin.

Amanda Powell, 55, says the care package was axed by Wiltshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group back in March when Covid-19 pandemic restrictions were announced and respite car homes were forced to lockdown.

Since then, the Studley Green mum has fought tooth and nail to get the package reinstated so that Benjamin can have a break away from home.

Mrs Powell, of Glebe Road, said: “I have lost all my faith in them. I feel totally let down. I am disgusted by their actions.”

Ms Powell’s son, Benjamin, is disabled and lives with her and his younger sister in a four-bedroomed home which has been specially adapted for his needs.

Benjamin has severe learning difficulties and needs constant 24/7 care, 365 days a year, which means Amanda rarely gets a break unless he or she goes away as part of the respite care package.

Ms Powell said: “He doesn’t speak, he has to have all his personal care done for him as well as be fed and he’s doubly incontinent and can be quite challenging at times.”

She has written to South West Wiltshire MP Dr Andrew Murrison asking for his help in her fight against Wiltshire CCG, which changed its name to Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group following a merger earlier this year.

She told the MP: “Benjamin would usually attend a respite place in Devizes called Bradbury Manor for six nights per month.

“But, as you probably know, all respite places are currently closed due to Covid and apparently it won’t be open until next year now.

“So I haven’t had a very much-needed break for seven months now, which will be nearly a year by the time it opens.

“I want to know where all the thousands of pounds have gone, that I have saved them with Benjamin not going to respite.

“I am really hoping you might be able to help me with this issue. All I want is a few hundred pounds from all the thousands I’ve saved them, to be able to have a bit of a break away. Please can you help me. I’m getting desperate now.”

Ms Powell says Benjamin does have carers but it’s nowhere near the same as him going away to respite for the six nights.

She added: “I had a visit from two people from Wiltshire CCG offering several solutions to this; the first one being they would pay his carers 24/7 to take Benjamin away for a week so that both him and myself have a break.

“The second option was they would pay his carers the same 24/7 to stay at my home for the week, and they would pay for my accommodation for a week away.”

Ms Powell says she would like to go to Weymouth for a short break, but says that although Wiltshire CCG initially said she could go she has since been told they are now unable to sanction the trip for lack of funds.

She said: “They have now recently told me they can’t get the funding for either mine or Benjamin’s time away.

“I am absolutely gutted, disappointed and so angry but more so feeling extremely low and get upset over everything.

“I don’t know what reasons they have given, they haven’t said. All they said is can I go to the doctor.

“Well I don’t need anti-depressants, I need a little break.”

A spokesman for Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “At this unprecedented time in which the coronavirus pandemic remains present, many of the local facilities we look to for the highly specialist respite care needed by those most vulnerable in our community have unfortunately had no option but to close their doors.

“We fully acknowledge that many families’ normal routines have been disrupted because of this, and that this may be causing stress and worry for all involved.

“Meeting the individual needs of our patients is always our priority and we are constantly looking for alternative arrangements to be able to do this, and this includes offering one-to-one care that can be provided in the safety of patients’ own homes.”