Welwyn Garden City pensioners trapped by broken lift

PUBLISHED: 16:00 29 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:13 08 October 2018

Ann Bailey, 82, has been virtually trapped inside her flat on the top floor after the lifts in Hanover House were broken. Picture: DANNY LOO

Ann Bailey, 82, has been virtually trapped inside her flat on the top floor after the lifts in Hanover House were broken. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Welwyn Garden City pensioners have spent a week unable to leave their flats due to a broken lift.

Ann Bailey, 82, has been virtually trapped inside her flat on the top floor after the lifts in Hanover House were broken. Picture: DANNY LOOAnn Bailey, 82, has been virtually trapped inside her flat on the top floor after the lifts in Hanover House were broken. Picture: DANNY LOO

While the lift was broken, elderly residents of the three-storey sheltered accommodation at Hanover House only had access to a staircase.

One resident, who preferred to remain anonymous, said he had seen his neighbour take over half an hour to get back to his third-floor flat.

Another gentleman had to haul his shopping up in a basket dangling from the balcony to avoid taking it up the stairs.

The lift went out of order last Thursday.

Ann Bailey, 82, has been virtually trapped inside her flat on the top floor after the lifts in Hanover House were broken. Picture: DANNY LOOAnn Bailey, 82, has been virtually trapped inside her flat on the top floor after the lifts in Hanover House were broken. Picture: DANNY LOO

“There’s people upstairs on the third floor who’ve not been out since then,” said the resident the following Thursday.

He estimated that many of the residents in the 33 flats were in their 80s or older.

Another resident’s family member contacted the Welwyn Hatfield Times about her 84-year-old father, who was finding it hard to get to the second floor.

“He’s got a heart condition and he’s very unsteady on his feet,” she said. “He can’t walk without a frame.”

Ann Bailey, 82, has been virtually trapped inside her flat on the top floor after the lifts in Hanover House were broken. Picture: DANNY LOOAnn Bailey, 82, has been virtually trapped inside her flat on the top floor after the lifts in Hanover House were broken. Picture: DANNY LOO

Some residents had the help of cleaners or family to lend a hand with shopping or support, but others, said one resident, had not even had a knock on the door from Hanover House staff.

Eighty-two-year-old Ann Bailey was lucky to be getting a visit from her daughter Elaine Carter, who lives in Plymouth, and was able to help her with her day-to-day movements.

Elaine had to put a chair on each landing to make sure her mother can rest on the way up the stairs.

“She’s not happy, it’s not good for her,” said Elaine.

The lift was repaired yesterday (Friday, September 28) after the Welwyn Hatfield Times contacted Hanover Housing Association.

A spokesperson apologised and said: “We apologise for any trouble caused while the lift was out of action.

“After developing a fault it became necessary for our contractor to take the lift out of service.

“This was done to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents at the estate.

“Lift engineers have subsequently replaced the necessary parts and have managed to resolve the issue, so the lift is operating as normal once again.”

“We realise that some residents rely on the convenience of the lift for day-to-day errands, which is why Hanover’s estate manager was available to assist with requests for help such as shopping, making sure residents could get to medical appointments and taking out their rubbish.”

“Those living at the estate also have the reassurance of our around-the-clock emergency response service to help support residents in their home and which is tailored to meet their needs.”

However, Ann says that nobody came to see if she was ok during the time the lift was out of order.

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