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New stairlift brings relief after battle with council

17th October 2013

A couple from Jaywick, Essex, are celebrating after an outdoor stairlift was finally installed at their home following an 18-month wait for the council to act. We reported here in August that Debra Foster and her partner Tony Smeeton were frustrated about the council's delay, and it now appears that their situation has at last been resolved.

The battle with Tendring Council saw Debra become housebound for 18 months following her return from hospital. She received a life-saving kidney and pancreas transplant in 2011 but could no longer walk, resulting in her being unable to use the stairs that led up to the front door of her home. Because of this she was unable to leave the home without a stairlift, so Debra applied for funding from her local council to have the essential stairlift installed, with the help of her partner Tony.

The couple may have been forced to wait for over 18 months to see the work carried out on their property, but they are now both incredibly pleased with the result. Tony told the Clacton Gazette that "It has taken too long, but it is better late than never." Although Tony needs to be on hand to carry Debra's wheelchair up and down the stairs, Debra can use the outdoor stairlift by herself, providing her with a safe and secure way of using the stairs in all kinds of weather conditions.

Now that the stairlift has been installed, Debra is no longer housebound and has regained the independence to leave her house whenever she wants. On top of the stairlift, the bathroom has also been converted into a walk in shower and bath solution, and the doorways have been widened thanks to more funding from Tendring Council. All of these additions have made the home environment more comfortable and manageable for Debra, both inside and out.


Image Credit: Diana Parkhouse (

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.