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WARDENS ESSENTIAL SAY OAPS

PUBLISHED: 15:31 09 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:55 21 July 2010

FEARS are mounting for the safety of vulnerable people if the council presses on with plans to replace sheltered housing live-in wardens with floating staff...

FEARS are mounting for the safety of vulnerable people if the council presses on with plans to replace sheltered housing live-in wardens with floating staff.

Hackney Council will decide at the end of the month whether to introduce floating support workers, who would only be on site for a fraction of the time of current wardens, who work from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday.

Janice Wynter, Age Concern Hackney's advice and information manager, added: "Without the personal touch of being there on a daily basis they might miss people. There could be some real health risks if the support fails."

Wardens fulfil a vital role as they are able to tell if a resident's health is gradually deteriorating, if something untoward has happened or if something is unsafe.

"Basically, we are not in favour of the proposal because it takes away the personal touch of someone knowing each individual," said Ms Wynter.

While no incidents have been reported so far, Ms Wynter says it could be a matter of time as vulnerable people could be left unchecked for up to 24 hours if the floating support system breaks down

A council spokesman said: "The council does not share this extraordinary opinion. The floating support proposals offer 24-hour, seven-days-a-week cover and can also include Telecare, a system able to react immediately to emergency situations and alert staff.

"These proposals ensure an equality of access to and choice of services for all residents, living in or out of sheltered accommodation."

Seven live-in wardens will lose their jobs and wardens at 42 other sheltered housing schemes will be affected should the proposals go ahead.

FOR THE FULL STORY SEE THIS WEEKS GAZETTE AVAILABLE NOW.

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