Family relieved as court blocks care home move

A Borders family have told of their relief after a bid to move a brain damaged father of two into a Midlothian care home was blocked by a legal ruling.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 3:29 pm
Jai Sharkey and his brother Jay in Galashiels.
Jai Sharkey and his brother Jay in Galashiels.

An interim decision by the Court of Session in Edinburgh has ruled against any relocation of Jai Sharkey to a care facility for now.

It’s far from the end of his family’s ongoing legal battle to move Jai into his own home in Hawick, with support from carers.

They say that at the age of just 41 he’s just too young to face the prospect of spending the rest of his life in care.

His family also have concerns over the risk of Jai contracting Covid-19 if moved from his elder brother Jay’s home at Primrose Bank in Galashiels, where he has lived since being transferred from Hawick Community Hospital when the country went into lockdown in March, by care bosses at Scottish Borders Council.

Jay, 45, said: “It was presented at the Court of Session last week and it was agreed that the council could not move Jai into a care home.

“When we got that decision, it was a massive weight off our shoulders because they were trying to move him into Drummond Grange at Lasswade and we’re totally relieved that the decision went our way.

“The house in Hawick is there waiting for him to move in. He’s paying a £100 a week rent. I have received a letter from the council to say that he will have to start paying council tax from the end of October, so that’s another £98 a month.

“All his disability money is going towards a house he is not able to live in.

“The main issue now is keeping him safe and keeping him away from Covid as much as possible and getting him the care he needs until it goes to the Court of Session again for a ruling on whether he can move into the house in Hawick.

“My brother doesn’t need to live in a care home. He’s too young to live in a care home.

“He deserves the right to be where he wants to live. Unfortunately, he cannot express that because of his condition, but we have guardianship and an interim order from the court stating that we can sign a lease for my brother.”

Jai was left with severe hypoxia brain injury and spasticity following a failed suicide attempt in November 2014.

The family’s solicitor, Keith Murray, of Andrew Haddon and Crowe in Hawick, said: “The council originally agreed to Jai having his own tenancy and then changed their mind at the last minute.

“We have repeatedly asked the council to clarify what care provisions are going to be put in place in the short term and haven’t had an answer to that.”

A spokesperson for the council said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases for reasons of confidentiality.”