A very cold Christmas


Residents of a care home have been left without a proper working heating system since Christmas Day.

Central Bedfordshire Council, which runs Abbotsbury care home, has had to draft in portable heaters after the central heating at the Biggleswade home stopped working.

The heating works over two sites and staff at one site have had to improvise to ensure the safety of the residents.

One person connected to the home, who did not wish to be named, said: “I think it’s disgusting it has been going on for so long. The staff are all walking round in coats and the residents have all got coats and jumpers on.

“At that age they are vulnerable, it has been very cold.”

The home, on Meads End, caters for older people, many in their 80s and 90s who can stay long term, or for short-term or respite care. It can have up to 32 residents at any one time.

It received a ‘good’ report in its 2017 inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which said people were kept safe from avoidable harm and staff understood the process to follow to safeguard people if they needed to report any concerns.Councillor Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Social Care and Housing, said: “The welfare of our elderly residents and staff at our care homes are of the utmost importance.

“After reports of heating issues at Abbotsbury Home on Christmas Day, staff provided and installed temporary heaters immediately on the day.

“External contractors were called to investigate and discovered a broken pump which has affected parts of the home.

“A temporary fix has been made to the pump while we wait for a new permanent pump to be delivered and will be installed immediately when it arrives.

“Residents and staff members are being monitored regularly to ensure they are being kept warm and safe while we continue working hard to resolve the issue.”