Daily Archives: February 22, 2010

Letter to the Echo

Loss of Warden Leads to Uncertainty at Nicholson House

The support system for residents at South Essex Homes run Nicholson House is to take a blow as one of its long serving wardens is to be taken away. The sheltered accommodation on Southchurch Road has 96 flats occupied by elderly residents who require the security of having a warden in the building; in addition to an emergency alarm system should they need urgent help. This decision to remove a key member of staff will mean that only one warden remains to support all the residents. 

The Kursaal Ward’s Conservative candidate for the upcoming Council elections, Louise Burdett, has heard from residents who are concerned with the changes. “I have been speaking with residents at Nicholson House and it is clear that many of them feel disappointed and scared about this change” she said. “The warden has been there for a number of years and has earned the trust of the people living there who feel they have a valuable advocate in her.  Yes, the property is still serviced by a warden but with only one staff member in such a large building, they will not possibly be able to provide the same support that has been enjoyed previously.”

Since being selected as a candidate for Kursaal Ward, Louise has been connecting with the issues that really affect local people and care and support for the elderly is something she feels strongly about. “It is absurd that while the Government argues about how to shoulder the huge cost of social care, older people who choose to live independently for as long as possible are having this basic support taken from them. Warden controlled accommodation empowers people to live on their own whilst having the security of a friendly and familiar face if they need any help, and is not nearly as costly to the public purse as other care options.”

The move seems at odds with South Essex Homes recent performance ratings – it has recently gained a ‘good’ two star classification from the Audit Commission. “Overall, the organisation is obviously performing well”, Louise says “but the problem is, they are neglecting the personal needs of these residents to have support which makes them feel secure in their own homes.”

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