Elderly left without hot water

Pam Wilson of Portland Mews retirement complex
Pam Wilson of Portland Mews retirement complex

Older people had to clean themselves with ‘wet wipes’ because their supported living complex was without hot water for over a week.

Elderly residents at Portland Mews were also told to share just one temporary electric shower between them and make use of hand washing stations.

Portland Mews NBFP PA1540-20

Portland Mews NBFP PA1540-20

Resident Pam Wilson, 61, said she was furious after the water stopped flowing on September 25, due to a faulty boiler and was not switched on again until Monday (October 5).

“I walked into the room where the mobility scooters are kept and it was pouring with water - all down through the lights and down the wall.”

“I pay £950 per month and expect a certain standard - they gave us wet wipes to clean ourselves with and offered to take residents to other sites in Bridlington to get washed.”

Pam said her friend contacted Hanover Housing Association to report the leak and lack of hot water. The firm is a national provider of housing and services for people in later life. But she claimed Hanover only began to step up their game after journalists visited Portland Mews.

Deputy mayor of Bridlington, Councillor Liam Dealtry, said he was disgusted with how long residents had to wait for their hot water to return.

“I can’t believe it could happen in this day and age - I’m absolutely mortified,” he said.

“All the residents were up in arms about it all, but there was nothing they could do.”

Jean Wormwell, chair of the Pensioners Action Group East Riding, said the housing association could have done more to resolve the issue sooner.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said, “elderly people are ending up with no dignity. The amount of money these places are getting is unbelievable - I will be bringing this up at the next meeting of Bridlington Health Forum.”

In a statement, Hanover Housing Association apologised to residents at Portland Mews and claimed they did everything they could to bring back the hot water as quickly as possible.

A spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise to the residents of Portland Mews.

“As soon as we found out the hot water temperature was reduced we urgently introduced a number of other washing provisions which included, installing an electric shower in the guest room, installing mobile hand washing units in the communal kitchen and bathroom and also specialist clinical anti bacterial wipes were made available. Some residents with specific care needs were transported to a local care home to use washing facilities.

“We are continuing to have regular discussions with our residents updating them on the repairs and we have offered residents temporary accommodation in other Hanover estates, care homes and hotels.”

But for Pam the apology has come “too little, too late.”

“It’s bad enough for me having to boil six kettles in the morning - I use a walker,” she added. “But there are one or two residents here in their 90s, how could they carry kettles to the bath?

Pam insisted the problem was at Hanover’s head office and praised Portland Mew’s staff as well as its newly appointed manager.