A frustrated granddad left stranded in an Inverness hospital for six months – despite being fit to leave – has finally been offered a suitable home.
James Noble, from Inverness, suffered a brain haemorrhage late last year, which left him partially paralysed.
Despite being given the all-clear to be discharged in the spring, council and health chiefs were unable to find him anywhere suitable.
Now, days after his plight was highlighted, the 57-year-old has been told suitable accommodation is available.
The dad of two said: “I am absolutely delighted. After months of languishing in hospital, basically being held captive and having no life, I can now get back to living in the community.
“I can’t thank the Press and Journal enough for highlighting a ridiculous situation where I was bed-blocking a vital resource for someone else who actually needs proper hospital care.”
Mr Noble has been offered a bungalow in a central part of Inverness, and accepted it yesterday, with the hope of moving in next week.
The keen karate enthusiast and weightlifter currently needs a motorised wheelchair to get around.
He collapsed on December 15 last year at his home, which is not suitable for him to return to as all the living accommodation is upstairs.
Mr Noble was placed in the high dependency unit at Raigmore Hospital and was in and out of consciousness for two weeks before being placed on a ward.
He has lost the use of about an inch-in-diameter part of his brain and is partially paralysed down his left side.
Mr Noble has been through intensive physiotherapy and, while he has limited walking, relies heavily on his motorised wheelchair.
As a result of being in hospital care he has not received certain benefits, worth around £100 a week, as they only apply once he is living in the community.
He said: “I am just happy that the situation has been resolved. I had felt trapped since the spring.”
His daughter Charlotte added: “This is great news. It has been a long time coming. This will make a real difference to his long- term recovery.”
A Highland Council spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that Mr Noble is in possession of an offer of a council property suitable for his needs in Inverness.”
A spokesman for NHS Highland said they were delighted he had now been found suitable accommodation, adding: “We’re pleased the situation is resolving.
“We are working closely with colleagues in the council in relation to accessible housing.
“It is in no one’s interest to be stuck in a hospital when they don’t need to be there.”