A DEVOTED mother who cares for her disabled child has told of the misery caused by the removal of a stairlift which allowed her son to use the bathroom and have his own bedroom.

Marilyn Barker, 64, of Billingham, Teesside, is now in a legal battle with the NHS to try and have the stairlift reinstalled.

Mrs Barker is forced to take her son, Phillip, 35, who is incontinent, one-and-a-half miles away to Billingham Forum leisure centre each night so he can be cleaned.

The stairlift was removed on December 17 after NHS occupational health medics said it could be dangerous for Phillip, who is also severely autistic and has physical disabilities.

At the time Phillip's foot was badly bruised after he banged it on a dressing table on holiday in Spain and he couldn't bear any weight, making hard for him to transfer to the stairlift.

Mrs Barker, who lives with her son on Troon Close, said the issue caused by Phillip's bruised foot was only temporary.

Solicitors have informed the NHS that unless a stairlift is reinstalled by March 21 they intend to seek a judicial review.

The mother said: "For four months I didn't know where to turn. It's been horrendous, we've been going out in the dark and coming back in the dark. I was going to bed crying."

A spokesperson for NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: "We are sorry to hear about the distress being experienced by the family.

"As the organisation responsible for planning and purchasing healthcare services on behalf of the local population, we have received and are currently investigating a complaint from the family.

"Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time. However, we will be working closely with the relevant service providers and the family to reach a safe and sustainable solution as soon as possible."