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Move plea for man with skin problem

PUBLISHED: 15:51 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 July 2010

FLAT MOVE PLEA: Frederick and his wife Josephine have been battling with the council to be moved to a ground floor flat

FLAT MOVE PLEA: Frederick and his wife Josephine have been battling with the council to be moved to a ground floor flat

Laura Bagshaw

A GREAT Yarmouth man has been trapped in his first floor flat for

more than six months because it is too painful for him to walk down the stairs.

Frederick Sims, 69, has not been able to leave his privately-rented St Nicholas Road home due to a severe skin condition which causes the skin on his hands, legs and feet to split.

TRAPPED IN FLAT: Frederick Sims has been trapped upstairs in his flat for six months because he cannot get down the stairs because of having chronic cellulitis.

A GREAT Yarmouth man has been trapped in his first floor flat for

more than six months because it is too painful for him to walk down the stairs.

Frederick Sims, 69, has not been able to leave his privately-rented St Nicholas Road home due to a severe skin condition which causes the skin on his hands, legs and feet to split.

And for the last four months, Mr Sims and his wife Josephine have been pleading with the borough council to be housed in a ground floor council flat, so Mr Sims could improve his mobility.

On Friday, the couple scored a partial victory with the council agreeing to them applying for a two-bedroom ground floor flat in the top category of its Homeselect housing system.

Although it still could be weeks or even months before the couple find appropriate accommodation, Mrs Sims, 64, said she was pleased with the outcome.

“I think it's brilliant the council will let us apply for a two-bedroom flat. It is just a shame it took so long to get there.”

Mr Sims' condition, chronic cellulitis, means the retired London security worker has to be visited daily by a nurse for his wounds to be dressed. The skin condition is related to Mr Sims' diabetes and he has suffered from it periodically during his life but the condition became progressively worse in September last year.

Mrs Sims said: “Where we live at the moment is lovely, we have no complaints. But there are a lot of stairs in the property and my husband just can't manage them.

“He is basically trapped upstairs which is making him very depressed. I bought him a mobility scooter last year and he's only been able to use it once because he can't get out of the flat.”

“We need two bedrooms. My husband's condition means he has to get up during the night and sit on a chair because he is in pain with his skin.”

Mrs Sims wrote to the borough council about her husband's health problems in October

last year, but the authority insisted the couple could only apply for a one-bedroom flat on bronze level, at the bottom of the ladder for allocation. The couple were put in touch with local Labour councillor Mick Castle who approached the borough council on their behalf and pushed their case.

On Friday, council officers discussed the Sims' case and agreed they could apply for a two-bedroom ground floor council property.

Mr Castle said: “I am delighted the council has responded in this way and I hope it will not be too long before the couple find a new home.

“Mr Sims is effectively is prisoner in his own home and another property will greatly increase their quality of life.”

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