A MAN suffering from chronic arthritis has been unable to wash in his own home for months.
David Manclark, 55, has been forced to rely on goodnatured friends to let him use their showers as he is in too much pain to get into the small bath in his Canvey home.
Mr Manclark, who has lived at Kings Park since November 2011, was given the go-ahead by his GP to apply for a disabled facilities grant to pay for a shower in September last year.
His landlord agreed and Mr Manclark began the process of applying to Castle Point Council and Essex County Council for the grant. He has yet to hear when his shower will be fitted.
An occupational therapist from Essex County Council visited Mr Manclark’s home in September and carried out an inspection to approve the grant application.
He was told to wait for council funding to be announced in April this year.
However, Mr Manclark said: “Essex County Council and Castle Point Council have failed in their duty to me. They have not provided me with the shower that has been approved within the timescale they promised – by April of this year.”
Mr Manclark, who was diagnosed with arthritis and spondylitis in 1993, added: “I have very painful chronic arthritis mainly in my lower back, legs and hands. I can’t get into my bath. It’s so tiny.
“I have to go to Leigh to use my friend’s shower and other times I have to wash at the sink.
“I want to know when my shower is going to be fitted.
All I want is an over-the-bath shower.”
A Castle Point Council spokesman said: “The council has already committed all this year’s budget for disabled grant facilities.
Unfortunately, Mr Manclark’s application was assessed and is currently fifth on our waiting list.
“While the council can give no absolute guarantee at this stage, it is likely, based on previous experience, some applications will not be progressed and additional funding will become available, which will enable this recommendation from the occupational therapist to be processed in this financial year.
“This will be subject to the number of ‘critical’ cases received in the meantime, which in accordance with our policy would take priority.”
An Essex County Council spokesman added: “The council will assess and make necessary any appropriate recommendation to meet the identified needs, which fulfil the eligibility criteria.”