Ilford actress’ broken back agony: EastEnders’ Aunt Sal left to sleep on sofa
PUBLISHED: 13:00 28 January 2016 | UPDATED: 15:39 28 January 2016
An injured soap star has been sofa-bound for more than eight weeks – claiming social services’ failure to provide rehabilitation equipment has stalled her recovery.
EastEnders actress Anna Duggan, 79, better known by her stage name Anna Karen and on-screen character Aunt Sal, said she had been waiting for a specialised bed for weeks after she slipped, fell and broke her back at her home in Windsor Road, Ilford.
Anna, who has been a recurring character on the BBC show for 20 years, said she became confined to her sofa after she repeatedly fell out of her bed after her slip.
“I could’ve killed myself,” said the fans’ favourite.
“I have been waiting for a specialised bed and I’m having to sleep on the sofa. I’ve fallen out of bed seven times.”
The former On The Buses star, who returned to our screens in November as part of the Mitchell clan, told the Recorder doctors initially gave her six to eight weeks to recover, but she is still unable to work.
“I won’t be fully recovered until I have got a proper bed,” she said.
“I can’t walk at the moment, I can’t do anything and I think the way I’ve been treated is really dreadful.
“I have even lost money because of it.”
The actress, who was married to fellow actor Terry Duggan until he died in 2008, has appeared on-and-off in the soap since 1996 as Peggy Mitchell’s sister.
Anna is hoping to rejoin the Eastender’s cast in March, in time for the much publicised Mitchell family reunion featuring Dame Barbara Windsor, who plays Peggy, and Ross Kemp, who plays Grant.
The actress said she felt her treatment had been “appalling”.
“[Social services] have got an excuse all the time,” she said.
“I think people in Redbridge should know what’s going on.
“I will be contacting as many old age pensioners as I can, because I’m determined to get to the bottom of this.”
A Redbridge Council spokeswoman said: “We cannot comment on individual specific cases.
“However we can confirm people’s needs are always assessed by an occupational therapist and equipment is provided to initially meet those needs at the specific time, but certain needs do change as time goes on and require regular review.”