‘Don’t take away my boy’s loving carers’

John Devlin and son Daniel
John Devlin and son Daniel

A worried dad says families who depend on carers will suffer after council staff changes were drawn up without consultation.

John Devlin was shocked to learn that his blind and severely autistic son Daniel will lose the two carers he has grown close to over the years.

He fears the 27-year-old, who is also epileptic and has learning difficulties, will be unable to cope with the sudden change to a new keyworker.

Mr Devlin, of Hattonrigg Road, Bellshill, said: “Routine is very important to Daniel. His carers take him out twice a week and he loves them.

“His stepmum, Bronwen, and I are distressed as we believe these changes will be catastrophic.”

Mr Devlin said the family doctor expressed concern at the likely effect on Daniel’s behaviour, saying it would be “more prudent to make changes gradually”.

The family were told the new arrangements would take effect next week, but North Lanarkshire Council said that will not happen after they made known their concerns.

Bobby Miller, head of adult social work services, said: “Our primary concern is Daniel’s health and wellbeing, and we will be continuing dialogue with the family to make the most appropriate arrangements for him.

“No changes will be made to the support workers assisting Daniel as we continue these discussions.

“We have had a number of new staff appointed to locality support vacancies and we are reviewing our current staffing arrangements to ensure the very best support is available for people requiring care.”

Mr Devlin said that assurance was something, but added: “My concern is this is happening not just to us but to people all over the area.

“It’s been done with no regard for those who will be affected.

“How many other vulnerable people are having the rug pulled from under their feet and seeing carers with whom they have built a relationship replaced by strangers?”