SHAMEFUL; Exclusive Alex endures 66-mile school run but council boss too busy to care.Byline: By Chris Musson
PARALYSED Alex McGregor endured a marathon school run yesterday - as a social work chief refused to discuss his plight.
Alex, 13, attends a school just five minutes from his family home in Ayrshire.
But because a red tape fiasco has left him stranded in hospital for a year, he has to be taken on a 66-mile trip to the school every day.
The Record revealed Alex's plight yesterday.
But North Ayrshire North Ayrshire (Sìorrachd Inbhir Air a Tuath in Gaelic) is one of 32 unitary council areas in Scotland. The mainland portion of it lies in the traditional county of Ayrshire, and borders onto the areas of Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Ayrshire, and South Ayrshire. Council social work director Bernadette Docherty refused to be interviewed to explain the shambles.
A spokeswoman said she was not available all day, despite being in the office.
She also refused to comment on how and when the situation would be resolved.
Alex has been left in hospital because the council and NHS NHS
National Health Service
NHS (in Britain) National Health Service chiefs in Ayrshire cannot agree on funding full-time carers - despite his home being equipped last year with pounds 50,000 worth of medical equipment.
Alex's mum Joanne, 37, fears her son, who breathes using a ventilator ventilator /ven·ti·la·tor/ (ven´ti-la-tor)
1. an apparatus for qualifying the air breathed through it.
2. a device for giving artificial respiration or aiding in pulmonary ventilation. , could die before he is allowed home.
Health bosses in Glasgow, who are providing specialist care for Alex at Yorkhill Hospital, confirmed funding problems between the Ayrshire authorities were to blame.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran NHS Ayrshire and Arran is one of the fourteen Scottish regions of the National Health Service. It was formed on April 1, 2004. Hospitals
"Recruitment to the posts is under way to allow us to deliver this care pathway."
Meanwhile, Alex did his daily trip of 66 miles by taxi between Stanecastle Special School in his home town of Irvine and Yorkhill.
Widowed mum-of-five Joanne, who was able to see her son at the school's coffee morning for parents yesterday, said she was also struggling with the two-hour bus trip to Yorkhill each day.
She said: "Thursdays are great because I get to see Alex at the school coffee morning.
"But the rest of the week it's difficult. Alex is very vulnerable and it's a lot of disruption for him having to do this every day in a taxi."
Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson, (b. 3 November 1956, Kilmarnock) is the Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, former Minister for Justice in the Scottish Executive, and Member of the Scottish Parliament for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley. said: "This is a young child's life. Everybody involved needs to treat it as an absolute priority."
9AM FRAGILE: Alex is helped out of the taxi as he arrives at school yesterday; 4PM END OF A LONG DAY: Alex arrives back at Yorkhill hospital after attending school PHIL DYE; NO COMMENT: Social work chief Bernadette Docherty, left, and, right, yesterday's Daily Record