NOT HAPPY: Bill and Julia moved to the area thinking they would be catered for.
NOT HAPPY: Bill and Julia moved to the area thinking they would be catered for. Katherine Morris

No adequate respite services in South Burnett

WHEN Bill Cockrell and wife Julia moved to Kingaroy in November last year, he said they were promised extensive access to local respite services.

Prior to moving, Mr Cockrell said he asked Blue Care whether Julia, a stroke survivor with vascular dementia, could go into respite care in town.

Mr Cockrell claims Blue Care said it could offer more than three days a week of respite care for Julia at Kingaroy, but it was a different story when they arrived.

"The person who took my phone call told me that Kingaroy offered this service too, this was what I was expecting due to both locations being Blue Care facilities,” he said.

"I approached the local Blue Care to start the ball rolling, at this point I was told that they did not understand what I was expecting and the best they could offer was three hours per week at the centre.”

Because of lack of services in the South Burnett and Mr Cockrell not being able to cope with looking after Julia by himself at home, she is in full-time care.

"My wife's condition has deteriorated significantly, since entering into residential care,” he said.

South Burnett Regional councillor Danita Potter, who holds the community and health services portfolio, said Kingaroy had a lot of respite services but many of them were full.

"The problem is, that things changed around the same time Bill came to Kingaroy, from what I understand before you could use that program and that program, now the government has changed the rules and you can't,” she said.

SBcare CEO Cheryl Dalton said SBcare has services fives days a week between its day respite facilities and in home and community access respite services.

She said the community access and in-home respite programs were closed because they were full at the moment.

"SBcare in is continuously looking to improve and build on existing services but also recognise that our services may not meet all of our community's needs," she said.

"Funding constraints and program guidelines dictate what we can provide and how we provide it.”

Blue Care Kingaroy has been contacted but did not respond in time for print.