A STEVENSTON amputee says he feels ‘trapped’ in his own flat after being housebound for almost 16 months due to not being able to go up or down his flat’s stairs.

Duncan Braun Smith, 62, lives in a first floor property on Caledonian Road with his wife Carol and says he has been on the housing list for two years but has been told by the council “there are people worse off than you” as he seeks a ground floor home.

Mr Smith had to have his left leg amputated after he contracted Sepsis in August 2019 and suffers from other health issues.

He told the Herald: “I was in a dark place when I had my leg amputated.

“It was like a shot in the head, losing your leg and trying to come to terms with it. I still have bad thoughts.”

The 62-year-old says that his current housing situation is adding to the pressure,

“I have not been out in almost 16 months. I look at the stairs and it is 20 steps both up and down and when they came for physiotherapy, two of them walked with me so I would not fall but my wife cannot do that.

“They have given me a wheelchair that is as big as a chieftain tank. We cannot get it downstairs.

“The stairs are like a nemesis. They are very slippery and I have fallen down them.

“I feel trapped and like a prisoner in my own home.

“North Ayrshire are the hardest to deal with.

“When I have got through to housing on many occasions I have been told there are people worse off than me. How worse can you get?

“Every time I go to another person there is no empathy and you feel you are running against a wall.

“I have filled out five housing forms to move to a ground level flat but have heard nothing.

“It is putting stress on m y wife.

“The physiotherapist came out to assess me and give us points and when I had my leg amputated the points just stayed the same.

“The process is so slow. You want to see some progress but they are just dragging their feet.

When contacted for comment a North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “Mr and Mrs Smith are currently Cunninghame Housing Association tenants.

“Their Accessible Housing Application was assessed in December 2020 and the couple have been recommended for two-bedroom wheelchair accessible housing with some additional specifications tailored to their needs.

“The timescale for receiving an offer of housing is difficult to determine and is dependent on the availability of suitable properties which meet the specific needs of the individual/s as well as the demand from applicants with similar housing needs.”