RSLs: litigation threat over wardens (UK)

[Email sent to SHUK members, unedited]

ChairMan SHUK | Tue, 27 Jan 2009 17:49 GMT

We are in touch with the Baroness over this and I suspect that the 68 people in the survey will shortly increase to hundreds, who do not want to lose their Wardens. Even so the Report cost Help the Aged many thousands of Pounds to produce . We note that the Government have carried out no such review or impact assessemt when they transferred Sheltered Housing to the orbit of Supporting People. Worse still they seem about to consult everybody ‘except the residents’ . I am afraid that the Local Government Association or umbrella organisations do not speak for us, they speak for themselves. Residents speak for residents. And, no we do not want another advice centre. We have Age Concern, Help the Aged, Citizens Advice Bureau and many others, we are awash with advice centres. What we require is that a resident in Sheltered Housing is legally protected, which they are not. I am afraid the Baronesse’s department are not protecting the elderly in Sheltered Housing as she alleges. They are being ridden rough shod over, democracy has been thrown out of the window as they rip the heart out of Sheltered Housing and remove its Wardens, the residents have no say. Instead, where the landlords bother at all, they are offered consultation. Consultation does not protect the resident because the landlord is not bound by its outcome. Mostly it has been decided before they even meet the residents. Many landlords have failed to consult at all and the DCLG absolutely contrary to their mandatory obligations and from the DCLG, or the Old Housing Corporation (perhaps a little early for the TSA) they do nothing to enforce it !

The answer they will tell you is that they are spreading care further into the community to enable people to live in their own homes and the gullible believe them. Poppycock the year on year budgets for Supporting People are cut, it is not an extension of welfare but a window dressed ‘cut’ for which the residents of Sheltered Housing are expected to bear the brunt of .

You can forget the 68 she speaks of. SHUK is in touch with thousands of residents and not one has agreed with the curtailment of Wardens. Furthermore, not immediately discovered deaths in Sheltered Housing are occurring and some people have died because there was no Warden to check on them. The lastest death in Ipswich the person had been dead for ‘five’ weeks before somebody thought they ought to check on him !. There have been other cases such as nine weeks, a man collapsed on his floor for 4 days and found by his relatives. Floating Support knocked on his door and because he didn’t answer it they went away ! In another case a man not seen since Thursday caused resident alarm, he was found dead on the following Tuesday. Another collapsed in her kitchen and died on Sunday and was not discovered until Monday evening. You cannot rely on electronic means such as pull cords and amulets , If a person collapses they cannot operate them !

Many people sold up or moved from good homes to move into Sheltered Housing, they did so because it had the facility of a Warden service . They have been disgarded by the State their human rights and contract rights forgotten because they are old ?

Fortunately a solicitor with guts and determination has emerged on the scene and at least 15 Sheltered schemes are in the initial stages of a Judicial Review. What an indictment for a Government to be taken to court for reducing care of its elderly in Sheltered Housing……..Not exactly a vote catcher is it ?

The Sheltered Housing UK Association

1 thought on “RSLs: litigation threat over wardens (UK)

  1. It was only a matter of time! Here’s one solution ..

    It’s a fact that many warden schemes are facing financial pressure and are looking at ways of reducing costs.

    There is a way to do this whilst continuing to protect tenant safety and it’s called Safety Confirmation. Safety Confirmation is a powerful and efficient extension to “reassurance calls” – it confirms that tenants are okay each day and effortlessly allows the TENANT TO CHOOSE the exact amount of reassurance contact they would like to receive. In many cases you can confirm the safety of thousands of tenants every single day without requiring any more staff or resource. You can also encourage those with pendant alarms to put them on! Every few weeks there seems to be another case of someone passing away and going undiscovered. Organisations can mitigate against these tragic circumstances by offering safety confirmation as a benefit to all their tenants.

    If you take this issue seriously please take a look at This is exactly the kind of problem it was developed to address and many people have realised that it’s only a matter of time before these issues start to become higher profile and litigious.

    James Batchelor

    PS. Safety confirmation is also available to the clients of SeniorLink Eldercare who are an excellent nationwide telecare / monitoring organisation. If you are an RSL customer of SeniorLink Eldercare and are concerned about these issues give them a call.

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