A man is outraged after his elderly mother was forced to undergo a "degrading" test to see whether she was incontinent enough to continue to receive free pads on the NHS. Blind Edith Braddow, 77, had been receiving the sanitary pads free of charge but new rules mean health staff are having to assess whether people still need them. She was asked to take three soiled pads to her doctors to be weighed, to see if she was losing enough urine.
Ivan Braddow said he and his mother had to stand and watch as they were weighed during an incontinence test at an Ashfield Health Village, in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. Mr Braddow said his mother was told she was not incontinent enough and that, due to public sector cuts, she could no longer be supplied with new ones. After contacting Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero following the test on January 13 this year, Mr Braddow's mother was asked to return to the clinic last Thursday.
She was given more pads and told to undergo a further incontinence test at the same clinic on April 7. Mr Braddow, 52, who lives with his mother in Kirkby-in-Ashfield and is her full-time carer, said: "The new assessment is so degrading. It's attacking the elderly. Mum is not only disgusted she also feels really down. Without the use of these pads, she feels she dare not go anywhere. Until last Thursday, she had not been out of the house since the appointment in January. She's virtually housebound."
Before January this year, Mrs Braddow had been given two packets of 28 incontinence pads a month by staff at Ashfield Health Village after being referred there by her GP. He says he was told prior to the January appointment that the assessment for NHS prescribed incontinence pads had now changed, and three soiled pads were required to undergo tests at each appointment. A packet of eight women's incontinence pads costs £2.35 in Boots – around 29p each. On that basis, Mrs Braddow's prescription is worth just over £16 a month.