Pensioner's anger after warden withdrawn

ELDERLY people at a sheltered homes complex today voiced fears that they could be in danger after their night warden was withdrawn.The residents of Yetton Ward House in Felixstowe say they are very worried what will happen if one of them has a fall and cannot sound the alarm.

ELDERLY people at a sheltered homes complex today voiced fears that they could be in danger after their night warden was withdrawn.

The residents of Yetton Ward House in Felixstowe say they are very worried what will happen if one of them has a fall and cannot sound the alarm.

Already one resident who fell was not found for 12 hours and other residents had to rally to the aid of a man who collapsed and hit his head.

They have accused Flagship Housing of gradually eroding the warden service over the past 15 years and now running a system where one warden looks after several homes, many miles apart.

Flagship is current running a pilot scheme where a night warden is no longer based at the home in Cricket Hill Road but is on call, available from a call centre, if people pull an emergency cord.

In addition, the 31 flats receive a day-time visit from a warden on her round of several other homes.

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Tom Gallear , 65, said: “Many of the people who live here are not and are quite frail and elderly.

“I think it is very dangerous for them. They could have a fall or collapse and no-one would know.

“People feel very vulnerable at night - they are scared. One fire door has been out of order for seven weeks and youngsters have found their way into the building, drinking and smoking, because another door has not been fixed properly.”

Resident John Rudd, 79, collapsed and hit his head. His sister Doris Perkins, 87, who also lives in the complex, was unable to lift him and another resident Mima McKenna, 62, had to help and summon an ambulance to take him to hospital.

Mrs McKenna said: “We have been in touch with our councillors and MP John Gummer because when this complex was opened it was given permission as warden-controlled housing - and we want to know whether the latest changes still meet that requirement.

“At one time there was a warden here 24 hours a day - now we get one brief visit a day and we are told there is someone on call from 10pm to 8am for emergencies.

“That is not good enough. We have people suffering from dementia and those who are frail. One lady fell and was not found for 12 hours. We think there should be a warden here at night.”

A spokeswoman for Flagship said: “This is a pilot system and nothing is set in stone, but we believe the trial is more beneficial to residents than the previous system.”

A housing advisor would call every day and 24-hour mobile support was now available - including for the first time weekend cover.

An officer from Flagship would visit the complex to talk to residents.

Should sheltered homes have a resident warden? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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