Stuck in hospital without a home, boy who cannot see, walk or talk

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A severely disabled boy who cannot see, sit up, walk or talk has spent a month “trapped” in hospital after a council failed to adapt his family home for his special needs.

Adam Payne, 11, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, has been unable to return home after spinal surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He is “living” at Whittington hospital, in Archway, despite being fit to be discharged.

He was taken there on July 18 by his mother Koli Begum in desperation after the failure to resolve an eight-year battle to have their Tottenham home, which belongs to Sanctuary housing association, modified by Haringey council to suit Adam’s needs.

Ms Begum and husband Liam Payne say they and Adam are caught in a “living nightmare”. They say the council’s offers of placements for Adam included a unit in Croydon used to house violent children, and residential homes in Surrey and Skegness, Lincolnshire.

The couple say Adam, who requires 24-hour supervision, has gone four weeks without a shower or bath because the Whittington lacks facilities for children with complex needs. 

Ms Begum has been living with Adam in his room at the hospital. She said: “We literally had nowhere to go. I went to the Whittington because that was where Adam was born. It seems Great Britain has run out of temporary accommodation or accommodation that can be adapted.”

The Official Solicitor is acting for Adam and a legal application is due to be made today requiring the council to fund a place for him at Portland, Britain’s largest private children’s hospital, in Marylebone.

Haringey said it had appointed an independent surveyor to assess the cost and feasibility of adapting the couple’s home, and alternative properties suggested by Sanctuary.

It said: “We have found a nearby residential setting for Adam, where he will be able to stay from early September while we find the best long-term solution. 

“In the interim, Adam is staying at hospital overnight and can access nearby day respite facilities. We are continuing to try to find alternative accommodation before September, but the very complex nature of the child’s needs makes this challenging.” 

Sanctuary said: “We have been working closely with Haringey council and Adam’s family to see how their home could be adapted to meet Adam’s needs.”


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