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A retired nurse has hit out at the NHS after struggling to get care support for her ‘frail’ 90-year-old mum. Cath Howliston says she has had to fork out £26 a month on adult nappies and £24 a month on bed pads, in the middle of the cost of living crisis, after being seemingly ignored by GPs, district nurses, and the council.

It comes as the 66-year-old has been the sole carer for mum Jill Coates, ever since the death of her husband John in March. Jill, from Trentham, has arthritis and back pain, has been bed-bound for three years, and has never really recovered from the death of her own husband in 2018.

But Cath – who worked as a Royal Stoke nurse and midwife – has struggled to get support from the NHS and the council who had kept passing the buck. Now StokeonTrentLive has intervened in Jill’s case.

Cath has now received three visits from a district nurse and Stoke-on-Trent City Council has carried out an assessment. However, Jill is still waiting for a continence nurse and Cath has been warned that care agencies are under-staffed. Cath said: “I’ve got a lady who is frail and bed-bound that I was getting no help with. I was horrified, where was I supposed to go? It annoys me and I’m thinking what are these people doing now? Nobody seems to care anymore.

“Nursing has changed so much and not for the better. I speak to so many people now that haven’t got a good word for the NHS and it makes me very sad. I went into nursing because I wanted to care and now they have made it to degree levels. It seems to have changed all that.

“I know people are putting complaints in about GPs and the NHS. Things have just broken down and this isn’t the NHS that I used to work for.

“It’s disgusting and they have completely and utterly let her down. This lady has been through a war, she’s fostered children and been a Marie Curie auxiliary nurse. She always used to care for everybody else and would run around after other people even in her 70s.”

Councillor Ally Simcock, the council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health care, said: “We have received a referral for Mrs Coates and her case has been escalated as high priority. We have completed an assessment and have spoken to the daughter who was very happy with her support and the help she has been provided.”

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust says it cannot comment on Jill’s case. A trust spokesman added: said: “Our patient advice and liaison service (PALS) listens to concerns or complaints and works to resolve any issues, alongside offering advice and support.”

To contact PALS call 0800 7832865.

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