Northampton care home's third week running without working lift 'is just poor', say families

Simon De Senlis Court, in Robert Street, has been without a working lift for three weeks, despite repair work.
Simon De Senlis Court, in Robert Street, has been without a working lift for three weeks, despite repair work.

Family members of elderly residents say they see "no end in sight" to problems at a Northampton care home after a third week running without a working lift.

Pensioners at Simon De Senlis Court, in Robert Street, have had no choice but to take the stairs for three weeks now since the only lift in the building broke down.

Family members say some of their loved ones have been "stuck" upstairs the entire time and have missed hospital appointments as they cannot go outside.

Now, after three weeks without access downstairs, several flats at the sheltered accommodation are also without heating as that has broken down too.

It comes after some residents revealed they went without heating for four months last winter and had to fund their own electric heaters to stay warm.

The daughter of one 84-year-old resident said: "This is just getting silly. They had someone come out to fix the lift and 20 minutes later it was broken again.

"I know a man who had to miss his hospital appointments because he couldn't get downstairs.

"Now my uncle is coming back from hospital to a cold flat. There's no end in sight. I don't know what else to do."

The care home has now announced it will be installing a chairlift and will look to replace the lift.

Benjamin Bello, head of housing for the Hyde Group, which manages Simon De Senlis, said: “We repaired the broken lift on Friday (November 10). We haven’t been made aware of any further breakdowns, so as soon as we received your enquiry we sent an engineer to have another look. We do realise this is unacceptable, and as a longer-term solution we are looking into replacing the lift.

“We have ordered a stair lift, which is being made to measure, and is scheduled to be installed this Friday (November 17).

“The building has underfloor heating which we have tested and it is working properly. However, we have been called out a number of times lately and each time the thermostat was turned down. To help residents to control the heating we have ordered replacement thermostats with digital displays, which will be easier to use.”

The £600-a-month sheltered accommodation is also having its 20th anniversary next week.