Call to maintain warden scheme

Lincolnshire County Council
Lincolnshire County Council
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Sheltered housing residents are concerned council changes to care contracts could mean the loss of their valued wardens.

Lincolnshire County Council will change its supported living contract in April next year, moving from several providers to just one.

As a result South Kesteven District Council, which supplies services including sheltered housing wardens on behalf of the county council, will no longer be involved.

Many residents fear the wardens currently provided by the district council will not be replaced.

John Butcher lives in the sheltered housing complex in Edmonds Close, Stamford, and represents many fellow residents.

He said: “People are genuinely concerned that the stuff being put out about the wellbeing service is going to result in the loss of the wardens, which many elderly people rely on to a considerable extent.

“The wardens are relied upon very much by residents but it looks as if they are being thrown to the wolves. The wardens are very much on tenterhooks.

“Their purpose is not only medical but also to keep people very much on the straight and narrow and dealing with things.

“Bearing in mind the important role of the mobile wardens in visiting these sheltered housing complexes it is very important that something substantial based on the warden principle is put in place before they sail ahead.”

Mary Patrick lives in the sheltered housing complex in Essex Road.

She echoed Mr Butcher’s concerns, adding: “The wardens are our first line of defence. They are wonderful.

“It’s especially hard on people with dementia. The council is not looking after the elderly, sick and disabled. They are just looking after their own pockets.

“Wardens help with small emergencies. You press the red button and a warden is there in 10 minutes. If they weren’t there, where would we be?”

A total of 1,132 residents receive support in South Kesteven. About 660 live in Grantham and the surrounding villages, 280 in Stamford, 125 in Bourne and the rest in Market Deeping, Deeping St James and Thurlby.

Director for public health at the county council Dr Tony Hill said: “It will be a decision for each housing provider if they want to continue with a warden service when they no longer carry out other home support services that were funded by the county council.”