Aberdeen boy, 11, forced to live in hospital after mix-up over alterations at home

Michelle Clark and her son Cory.

A disabled boy has been forced to live in hospital because the council cannot adjust his home – and he could be stuck there for weeks.

Cerebral palsy sufferer Cory Young, 11, does not require any treatment, but is having to live at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary alongside poorly patients due to a mix-up over work to adjust his home.

In January, Aberdeen City Council arranged with Cory’s mother Michelle for a hoist to be installed at the family’s home in Byron Court so he can get between bed, chairs and a shower.

Work was scheduled to start on October 30.

Michelle Clark, 35, said she has managed to get by with mobile hoists up until now, but a fixed hoist is now necessary as Cory gets heavier with age.

Cory, who is in primary seven at Orchard Brae Primary School, moved into Rachel House children’s hospice on October 30 when work began, but they only had space for him for a week.

The alterations were supposed to be finished on Friday – but things started to go wrong the day before.

The council called Michelle to say the ceiling of her home would not be strong enough to support the hoist and so they could not fit them and that it could be November 13 before the work is finished.

While the workers were content with Cory moving back in during the work, Michelle felt it was unsuitable and social workers agreed on Friday after carrying out a risk assessment.

In the meantime, efforts were made to find a suitable place for Cory to stay over the weekend – and the only place council chiefs could come up with was ARI.

Now, Michelle has been told the structural complications mean it could be weeks before the hoists can be fitted – and Cory will have to stay at the hospital until then.

Michelle, who is a full-time carer, said: “It’s been an exhausting few days.

“I just feel like they have left us in limbo.

“This work has been organised since January. They have had almost 11 months to put the plans in place and yet they have got it wrong when it mattered. They knew the measurements of my house, they know Cory’s weight and yet they only encountered a problem on Thursday. It’s not good enough.”

After meeting council bosses, Michelle added: “They have apologised, which I appreciate, but their communication is poor.

“I wanted a fixed date from the council about when the work will be complete and when we can move in.

“They have told me that they will need to get hold of a structural engineer and then go from there, but there is no guarantee of when that will be and that is the frustrating thing.

“It could be weeks before they have sorted this out.”

Michelle is having to divide her time between looking after her other children – Daniel, 15, and Kaitlyn, 17 – at home and travelling to hospital to look after Cory.

“It’s tiring for me but it’s also not fair on Cory, who is having to live in a hospital even though he doesn’t need treatment,” said Michelle.

She added: “I feel sorry for Cory as he doesn’t know what is happening. It is really upsetting as he needs all the support he can get and that is not coming from the council.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “We are aware of this distressing situation and are liaising closely with the family as we seek a resolution at the earliest opportunity.

“Our contractor visited the site to fit the hoist last week but unfortunately it was discovered during the process that the structure of the ceiling was not suitable to take the loads required.

“After further assessment it became clear that full structural drawings are required to provide a solution and we are awaiting those plans from a specialist. We are aware of the urgency and clearly treating the completion of the work as a priority.

“We apologise for the distress caused by this unexpected delay.”