Suffolk man left with no bath or shower for eight months

7:30 AM February 21, 2022

A disabled man has been forced to wash in a plastic container for months while waiting for a bathroom refit at his council house. 

Alan Nicholson, 66, has slammed Babergh District Council after he and his wife, 70, were left without proper washing facilities for about eight months at their home in Stanstead, near Sudbury.

He said the bath was removed in early July last year and was due to be replaced with a shower as part of adaptation works to meet his needs.

Monday, February 21, marks 236 days since they have been without proper washing facilities, Mr Nicholson believes. 

Alan Nicholson said he has been treated “appallingly”

– Credit: Charlotte Bond

Mr Nicholson, a former butcher, claims he repeatedly contacted the local authority to finish the bathroom, but after fruitless efforts he decided to go to the press.

A spokesperson for Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils said they have contacted Mr Nicholson to apologise for what seems to be a “miscommunication” between different teams.

They added they are arranging for a bathroom specialist to visit his home as soon as possible.

Mr Nicholson, who has lived at the property for 22 years, said he had been treated “appallingly” and he “just cannot believe” what has happened.

“I have got a plastic container,” he said. “The wife or carer fills it and I go in the kitchen and have to have a wash like that. It’s not hygienic, really. It’s not right. 

“They took the bath out and said they were going to come back. This was last July.”

Alan Nicholson's unfinished bathroom. The bath was removed in July last year, but has not yet been replaced with a shower

Alan Nicholson’s unfinished bathroom. The bath was removed in July last year, but has not yet been replaced with a shower. He has been using a plastic storage container to wash

– Credit: Charlotte Bond

Even before the bath was removed, he had been washing using the plastic container for months.

He added: “Something has got to be done. We just cannot keep going on like this. They say they are going to come out and do it, but when?”

Mr Nicholson claims during a fall at his home in September, 2020, he injured both his legs and his right arm, and he said since then he has been unable to get in the bath and had to resort to using the container.

The Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council spokesperson said: “We have investigated the situation and we are currently arranging for a bathroom specialist to attend the property to design and install a disabled bathroom as soon as possible.

“We have recently contacted the Nicholson family to apologise for what seems to have been a miscommunication between our repairs and the occupational therapist team, in regards the priority level assigned to the adaption works.”