A VULNERABLE Greenock woman has been holed up in a hotel for more than three MONTHS awaiting repairs on a broken toilet in her home.

Helen McGoldrick, 56, who is registered blind, partially deaf and has severe stomach problems, had a new bathroom installed at her house in Prospecthill Street in 2013 and has had issues with the toilet in her home since the installation.

Matters problem reached crisis point in October when it became completely blocked and unusable.

Helen says she paid £500 in cash for the installation and has no way of tracing the person who carried out the work.

She can't claim for the repairs through her insurance company, Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) Group, as the issue has been put down to bad workmanship.

Since the toilet became unusable in October, RSA has funded Helen's stay at the Premier Inn in James Watt Way and say they will continue to help.

But Helen is still worried that she will have to go back to a house without a working toilet.

Helen said: "It's an absolute disgrace.

"The bathroom was installed by someone recommended to me by a company in Greenock and I have no way of getting in touch with the person.

"They said it was a blocked pipe, but that wouldn't be the case if they had done their job right at the very start.

"The repair would be too expensive for me to pay for myself.

"And why should I have to pay for it when it's down to bad workmanship?

"That's not fair.

"I don't know how they can sleep at night."

Helen spent Christmas Day in the hotel.

She has been back and forward to her house in Prospecthill Street to check on the toilet.

She told the Tele that the situation has had a detrimental impact on her health, suffering fainting episodes brought on by stress.

Helen added that having to deal without a working toilet in her own home severely affected her mental health.

Helen added: "Before I was in the hotel, when I needed the toilet in the house I had to do it outside on newspaper like a dog.

"It made me feel suicidal.

"I have stomach problems and need to get to a toilet quickly.

"You can smell the toilet as soon as you walk in the door and it's all black inside the bowl.

"It's been very difficult for me.

"The staff in the hotel have been fantastic.

"I've been coping well and have just been trying to stay calm but sometimes I just fall apart in my room and break my heart over it."

Helen has been working with Inverclyde Council's social work department and RSA to try to get the toilet fixed.

RSA contractors say the cause of the blockage is a badly installed pipe which has been 'connected with tape'.

They're now working with Helen to get the toilet fixed free of charge.

A spokesperson for RSA admitted that mistakes had been made in the handling of Helen's claim.

They added: "We are aware that the handling of Ms McGoldrick’s claim was below the standards we expect of ourselves and we would like to apologise again for the upset this has caused her.

"We’ve now spoken to Ms McGoldrick to inform her that alternative accommodation will be extended as long as necessary.

"We will keep in constant contact with her to ensure the works are completed and she can return to her property."