A severely disabled woman “will die” if her desperately-needed medication can’t be delivered to her flat, because her estate’s intercom has been broken for five weeks.
Susan Duggan-Chamekh lives on her own in Crane House of the Pelican Estate.
The 52-year-old needs pharmacists to deliver twelve types of daily medication to her flat, which help ease symptoms associated with her spinal arthritis, cancer, and recent brain aneurysm.
She told the News she has called Southwark Council four or five times per week since September 4 to get her intercom system fixed.
“I’m almost housebound,” Susan said. “I have everything delivered to my house. I haven’t been shopping on my own for two years.
“I don’t know what to do anymore, I’m at the end of tether. The one thing I’m not meant to have is stress because of the brain aneurysm I had.
“The final straw was the other day, when Tesco people apparently came to deliver my shopping, but because the intercom system didn’t work, they thought I wasn’t at home. So they said they couldn’t deliver it, and instead gave me a refund.
“If I don’t get my medication sent to me soon, I will die. I have eighteen serious conditions and only six days’ medication left.
“Contractors have come over but they’ll say they haven’t got the right parts to fix it. Plenty of times they have said ‘we’ll fix it tomorrow’ but it’s one false promise after another. And it’s not just affecting me, it’s the whole block.”
Susan said she has been able to manage with food thanks to her nephew delivering her some each week, but she said she was furious that “incompetence” from council contractors left her dependent on other people.
Earlier today, Susan’s estate was visited by contractors who again informed her that repairs would need to be completed on October 10.
Councillor Stephanie Cryan, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Contractors were sent to Crane House to fix a problem with the door answering system on Monday and believed the problem was resolved. It now seems some homes are still having an issue and we have sent contractors back down to the block this afternoon.
“Officers have spoken to Ms Duggan-Chamekh to thank her for raising the issue with us and explain the situation, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Susan was also bewildered by the problems she faced with asking Tesco staff to call her telephone instead of relying on the Crane House intercom.
She said: “You would think that Tesco or other delivery places would be able to ring me, but I was told there are only a couple of phones to share between the Tesco delivery staff.
“Life shouldn’t be like this, I have enough problems. It shouldn’t be this hard to fix a phone security system on a block of flats. I shouldn’t have to rely on other people. I want to be self-sufficient.”
The Peckham woman also said her carer had recently resigned from her job of visiting Susan once per week, whom she paid for out of her £50 Personal Independence Payment benefit. She is now looking for a new part-time carer to visit once per week.