Pensioners at Northampton care home have been without heating for four months

Marianne with her two-bar heater, which was all she had to heat her flat all winter.
Marianne with her two-bar heater, which was all she had to heat her flat all winter.
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Pensioners living in a Northampton care home have been without heating for four months.

A failure in the sheltered accommodation's under-floor heating has meant they've had to keep warm using electric heaters with their own money all winter.

Simon De Senlis Court Care Home, owned by the Hyde Group.

Simon De Senlis Court Care Home, owned by the Hyde Group.

Some have had to wear coats indoors and some have been woken up in the night by the cold.

Marianne Sharp, 88, a resident at Simon De Senlis Court Care Home, in Robert Street, off Bailiff Street, has had to keep warm with only a two-bar electric fire since November 2016.

She said: "I have to walk around indoors with a winter coat and a thick scarf on.

"When you go to take a shower using the wetrooms here but it's so cold when it gets frosty out that you don't want to take your clothes off.

"I'm still paying for my heating and it's a service I'm not getting. But my electric bills for these heaters is going to be through the roof.

"I've had no sign they'll be paying compensation. They haven't spoken to me at all, in fact.

"I was very ill in November and December with a chest infection and I have arthritis in my spine. The cold has affected them both. But there are people here in worse health than me who I feel sorry for.

"Some places get heat and other places like mine do not. The lady next door has no heating either."

Property developer The Hyde Group own and operate Simon De Senlis Care Home.

Engineers are yet to find the fault with the underfloor heating, which first failed in the flats in November.

Alan Myers, 81, has also had no heating for months.

He said: "No one tells me anything. They come and do some sort of work but I don't know what they do.

"I've had to get by with an electric fire and a fan heater. But it's been very bad for my breathing as the electric fire takes all the moisture away.

"When I was younger, if I was working and I didn't do the job then I didn't have a job anymore."

Heating has been restored to some communal areas of the home in recent weeks, but some flats are still without central heating.

Alan West, 67, said: "Last weekend it was off both days. Then at 3am today it woke me up as it was so cold.

"It's not the engineer's fault. They're still waiting on authorisation from The Hyde Group to get the job done, which means hearing from London first.

"I pay £55 a month towards the upkeep of the building and as far as I can see it's gone nowhere.

"I'm one of the youngsters here. but there are people who are 80 or 90-years old who I feel so sorry for.

"Someone needs a kick up the backside to get this sorted.

"There's a pamphlet in the foyer called 'coping with the cold.' What a joke."

Ben Bello, Head of Housing said: “We are aware that the underfloor heating system is not working effectively in some flats at Simon de Senlis. We have had specialist engineers out to investigate, understand why this is, and to do what is needed to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

"Temporary heaters have been provided and we are speaking to residents about covering any increased electricity costs from using this heating. The officer at Simon de Senlis remains in touch with residents to keep them updated on progress and we would urge anyone with concerns to speak to us.

"We apologise to the residents affected for the distress caused and would like to reassure them that we’re doing everything we can to restore their heating, as a matter of urgency."