Disabled woman is ‘trapped’ in top-floor flat in Portsmouth after illness

Cheeryble House in Buckland Picture: Google Street View
Cheeryble House in Buckland Picture: Google Street View

A DISABLED woman who has been 'trapped' in her top-storey home for three months is pleading for help.

Teresa Mitchell of Cheeryble House in Buckland has not left her bedroom since a failed back operation in April that led to an infection, except for emergency hospital appointments. As the block does not have a lift, crews of four ambulance staff have had to carry her to the ground floor.

But the 44-year-old claims attempts to ask for a new home from Portsmouth City Council have fallen on deaf ears. She said: 'Really I need to be on a ground floor but I have told the council I will go higher up if it has a lift and it speeds up the process. I also said I'd be willing to go to areas that I really don't want to go to, anything to get out of this situation.

'I can't get in the bath at the moment. It's so awful for my family seeing me like this. It's been an absolute nightmare.

'I fell over last week. I haven't been downstairs for three months, I've been stuck in my bedroom. It's really depressing. My doctor came out last Friday and said she would write a letter to the council to explain how urgent my situation is.

'Not only am I at risk of more injuries but I am not getting any exercise so I'm not going to get any better.'

Her daughter-in-law Hayley, 28, believed the re-housing of Horatia House and Leamington House residents have had an impact on the situation. She added: 'I have called the council again and again. They said “don't forget we are evacuating those big tower blocks”.

'It's got the the point where she's living in her bedroom. She's so depressed, she hasn't got a life. I don't think it's right, especially when she can't even bath.

'What if an ambulance crew needs to get to her? They have to carry her all the way down the stairs. She can't be left on her own as she keeps falling over.'

The council's director of housing, James Hill, said: 'We only have a limited number of properties in the city that are on the ground floor or accessed by a lift, and these are allocated according to priority. This regrettably will mean that we have a waiting list and waiting times will vary.

'Waiting times are impacted for example by the number of people with a similar priority already registered, the type of property needed, and the location choices. Our housing options team will try and provide a realistic assessment of waiting times as well as general housing advice on other options available. Moving people out of Horatia House and Leamington House has some impact on people waiting for housing and there may be a delay in meeting specific housing requirements.'