'They said they have no responsibility' - niece's anger at care company after sheltered housing power loss
PUBLISHED: 13:00 02 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:14 02 March 2018
A woman says her elderly aunt and dozens of other residents were left cold and helpless after a power outage at a sheltered housing complex.
Amid temperatures that barely crept above freezing, heating and electricity was lost at Hildesley Court in Lowestoft on Saturday (February 24) morning.
The 30-flat block is managed by Housing and Care 21, an affordable housing and care provider who equip residents at Hildesley Court - who live independently - with care alarm devices, allowing them to instantly call a helpline if they require assistance.
However, Dr Cindy Peek says the devices are activated through the door access system which was disabled when the electricity was lost, leaving her aunt and other occupants without a source of help and unable to find a phone number to call.
“It was the electricity company who eventually called the ambulance service, and paramedics checked on all the residents,” said Dr Peek. “They stayed in the building overnight in case an emergency developed, which really went above and beyond.
Dr Peek claimed: “At no point did anybody from Housing and Care 21 attempt to get in touch or provide blankets, meals and hot drinks. All the while, vulnerable elderly people were being left at risk of hypothermia.”
She added that all power was lost until 11am on Sunday, February 25, however Housing and Care 21 say heating and some power was restored by 10pm on the Saturday.
A spokesman for the company said: “We are aware of a power outage at Hildesley Court on Saturday. UK Power Networks were informed and worked to ensure power was restored as soon as possible.
“Our residents live independently and there is a court manager on site Monday to Friday to support with day-to-day management.
“In an emergency, our ‘out of hours’ service may call on any essential contractors. Every retirement housing court has a comprehensive business continuity plan, which is invoked if something is affecting the building and it is not safe for residents to stay in their homes.
“The safety and wellbeing of our residents is a priority and we are doing everything we can to ensure our residents are able to stay warm.”