Disabled Littlehampton woman waits almost two years for ramps and wetroom – but home won’t be ready for Christmas

Babs Huggins, 71, at her home in White Horses Way, Littlehampton
Babs Huggins, 71, at her home in White Horses Way, Littlehampton

A disabled woman who has waited almost two years for ramps and a wetroom in her home said delays are making her health deteriorate.

Babs Huggins, 71, said she has been waiting since January last year to have her bathroom adapted into a wet room and to get disability ramps at the front and rear of her house in White Horses Way, Littlehampton.

In July, Arun District Council told the Gazette that a grant for the adaptations was approved in June and ‘a start date is due soon’.

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But Babs said work did not begin on her bathroom until October and has still not been completed to her standards almost eight weeks later, and that builders would not start on the ramps until 12 days before Christmas Day.

She said the whole process was affecting her already poor health. She said: “I’m the one suffering here; I have blisters all over my body because I can’t take the stress.

“I’ve given up. I’m so ill and depressed.”

A breast cancer survivor, the retired interior designer and wedding dressmaker had a double mastectomy and four years ago underwent a breast reconstruction.

One of her breasts began to reject the implant, meaning the skin would not heal.

As a result, Babs had carers which visit every day to help stave off infection while she waited for another operation.

The asthma sufferer said her heart stopped more than 20 times a night, and had to be on a ventilator while sleeping.

She recently went back into hospital for a further operation, during which time she said builders could have started on the works.

She said she paid cleaners £190 to tidy up after the builders, and resorted to having wipe washes because the shower was like a building site and she could not fit into her en-suite shower.

She complained that the pipes fitted in the bathroom also posed a safety hazard as they could burn her if she grazed them.

An Arun spokesman said: “Arun District Council is able confirm that the bathroom adaptations required to this property have been completed satisfactorily which will enable Mrs Huggins to bathe independently.

“Contractors are very busy at this time of year and were unable to co-ordinate the ramp installation with the bathroom adaptations which we understand is not ideal, but unfortunately beyond our control.

“However, at Mrs Huggins request the ramp works have been postponed until after Christmas, and all involved with this case are doing everything possible to ensure that the works are completed for the benefit of Mrs Huggins.”