This week 30 years ago: Mentally and physically disabled Hackney Council hostel resident found wandering streets alone

The Gazette 30 years ago

The Gazette 30 years ago - Credit: Archant

Concerns were raised that staff shortages at a hostel run by Hackney Council were risking the lives of the mentally and physically disabled people who lived there.

The claim came after one resident was found wandering the streets alone three times.

The 21 permanent residents at the Lauriston Road hostel near Victoria Park needed 24-hour round-the-clock care. But staff shortages meant the hostel was seriously understaffed, with 14 vacant posts, some of which had been vacant for over a year. Pensioner Pat Falconer, whose 23-year-old daughter Karen was found wandering in Victoria Park, said: "I think the residents are at serious risk through lack of supervision, and I'd like to take Karen away from there but I just couldn't cope."

A spokesperson from the mental health watchdog Hackney Action on Learning Difficulties, said: "If this were a privately run home it would have been closed by now. There is an increased fire risk from residents smoking without supervision."

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