An immigrant who went on hunger strike after being evicted from the hospital bed he’d stayed in for two years has ended his protest after more than three weeks.
Portugese-born Adriano Guedes, 64, was admitted to James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk, after having a stroke in 2014.
He was finally evicted after the hospital obtained a court order, saying he had occupied the bed “unnecessarily” and was fit and well to leave.
But disagreeing with the decision, the quadroplegic started a hunger strike to protest against his treatment in the health and care system.
He said he had 2,000 different carers since his stroke in 2008.
On January 10, Adriano was removed from hospital in a wheelchair following a court order and placed temporarily in an unfurnished council flat in Suffolk.
For 24 days he refused to eat, surviving on fruit juice but carers, provided by social services, still visit him four times a day.
Adriano, who came to the UK from Portugal to work 15 years ago, said: “I am sick of having the authorities deciding where I should live, when I should eat, how much I eat.”
He previously claimed: “At the beginning I even had (to go on) hunger strike because I decided with no help at all I decided to stop my life.
“I’m just waiting for a way out. Either things work out or I pass away.
“(It’s) nothing personal, I don’t want to be isolated. I need to have carers changing me three or four times a day.
“It is not a life. I need to have my family and friends around to be your eyes, to be your ears (and) to be your legs.”
Adriano decided to give up the hunger strike after being put in touch with patients’ rights campaigner Patrick Thompson.
Mr Thompson, who served on health boards for 40 years, said the case highlighted the need for better integration between health and social care services.
He said: “If I hadn’t persuaded him to come off the hunger strike, we would have ended up with an inquest and then fingers would have been pointed.”
A spokesman for Suffolk Social Services said: “We explored all options available, but they were declined by him.”
James Paget Hospital University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it had acted “compassionately”.
Waveney Council, which is responsible for housing, said the current flat was only meant to be temporary and adaptations were not possible until Mr Guedes co-operated with a wheelchair assessment.
The Department for Health says the average daily cost of a hospital bed is about £400, meaning the man’s stay at James Paget would have cost about £340,000 for the two years.