Emergency call system cut off for elderly residents

The flats behind Newlands Hall Care Home have had their emergency call system cut off.

The flats behind Newlands Hall Care Home have had their emergency call system cut off.

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Pensioners living in flats linked to a care home are worried for their safety after an emergency call system was cut off.

The properties behind Newlands Hall Care Home, in High Street, Heckmondwike, are privately owned but had the use of a call system connected to the home.

It was paid for as part of a £700-per-year service charge levied on the homeowners.

Resident Barbara Noble said: “If someone falls down I don’t know what they would do –the call system was one of the reasons we bought the flats.

“It’s dangerous because most of the people who live here are in their 80s and 90s. It is asking for trouble if people are depending on it – any one of us could need it.”

According to property website Zoopla the flats were advertised for sale with an “emergency assistance” line to the care home as recently as April last year.

Newlands Hall was previously owned by Tri-Care, a subsidiary of Orchard Care Homes, but has recently changed hands to Silverline Care.

An arrangement was in place so that the private residents could have access to the call system, but this was discontinued when the home changed hands because Silverline only took over the running of the home, not the existing contract between the home and the flats.

A spokeswoman for Tri-Care said: “The owners of the flats have a tenancy agreement with Tri-Care. Tri-Care undertakes typical maintenance tasks on behalf of the flat owners and charges a small management fee.

“When Tri-Care also operated the Newlands care home, there was a staff call connecting the flats to the care home. The care home did not offer medical support but flat owners could use the staff call to ask the care home to contact the emergency services.

“Tri-Care no longer operates the care home, so the staff call has had to be disconnected. We met with the residents of the flats and explained that there are many companies who offer Telecare as an alternative to the staff call. We offered to give the flat owners some Telecare leaflets and left a letter with a contact name and number. We will be holding another meeting with the flat owners and will give them leaflets about Telecare.”

She said that Tri-Care would continue to maintain the grounds and communal areas of the flats. Silverline declined to comment.