Home for vulnerable people in Southend ordered to improve

A home for vulnerable people with mental health problems in Southend has been ordered to improve following a catalogue of complaints, including a flooded room and no heating.

Hope Lodge, in Sutton Road, Southend, is paid by Southend Council to provide supported accommodation for people with mental health issues.

It is run by Richmond Fellowship charity, but the home is said to have had little heating for years and residents’ welfare is not adequately monitored.

Southend City Council has confirmed it has contacted the home to order immediate improvements.

Resident Connor Diack is one of those who have made complaints about the home, and claims he helped rescue an elderly woman when her room was flooded.

Mr Diack said: “The council has served a default notice because they have not been given the care they should have.

“There was an 80-year-old lady laying in her bed and her room was flooded.”

Mr Diack’s partner, Helen Scarborough, said: “The residents are not getting the support they should be.

“This is supposed to be a place the council uses as transitional housing. They are there for a couple of years and in that time they are supposed to provide you with support every month.”

Ms Scarborough added: “Connor has had no heating ever since he’s been here, three years. The flat he’s in now, the heating still doesn’t work. The bathroom is the only under floor heating that works.

“There are residents on the third floor who have been there four years and they’ve never had heating. We had nine months where there was no hot water for Connor. There’s supposed to be a lift for the elderly people here but that didn’t work for a year.”

Daniel Nelson, Conservative cabinet member for public health and adult social care, said: “Southend Council commissions Richmond Fellowship to provide a transitional supported housing scheme for people with mental health concerns.

“A default notice has been issued to advise Richmond Fellowship that their current provision needs to be improved. Southend Council works with all providers to ensure that the highest possible quality of support is provided within the services it commissions and is committed to supporting Richmond Fellowship to address concerns that have been raised.”

The Richmond Fellowship was contacted for comment.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter