OAPs in Hemel sheltered accommodation: Broken lift ‘is killing us’

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Pensioners living in sheltered accommodation may face three months of living without a lift, despite the scorching summer heat.

Residents of Phyllis Courtnage House in Highfield, Hemel Hempstead, had the lift taken out of commission on May 8 after it suffered repeated breakdowns.

Phyllis Courtnage House broken lift 1

Phyllis Courtnage House broken lift 1

But despite assurances that it would be repaired swiftly, residents say they have little to no communication, and were only told on Monday that it was expected to be fixed in another three weeks.

Fay Head, 76, who has lived in Phyllis Courtnage for 12 years, told the Gazette: “We were told this would be completed by June 19.

“We were also promised that if we needed help there would always be someone to help us take our shopping or washing up and down the stairs.

“There is a stairlift but if you need a walker to get around then that’s no good unless you’re prepared to drag it as you’re taken up or down.”

83-year-old Brenda Field agreed, saying the ordeal of 
using the stairs was “killing her”.

Brenda, who suffers from conditions affecting her lungs and spine, and is partially sighted, said: “The other day I went up one part of the stairs with the stairlift with my shopping but the other part wasn’t working.

“By the time I got to my front door I had almost passed out and needed three puffs on my inhaler.”

Fiona Williamson, group manager for property and place at Dacorum Borough Council, said: “We apologise for the delay.

“The contractor has assured us the new lift will be installed and up and running in three weeks. We updated tenants yesterday and will continue to support our tenants while this work takes place.”

If you have been affected by this issue, write to our letters page – see page 18.