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

PUBLISHED: 09:39 06 June 2019

The Gazette 30 years ago

The Gazette 30 years ago

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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.

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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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