Elderly disabled residents trapped on second floor after lift is out of order for 11 days

Howard Brook House in Ribbleton, Preston.
Howard Brook House in Ribbleton, Preston.
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Elderly residents were left stranded on the second floor of their sheltered home for 11 days after a faulty lift wasn’t fixed.

Six flat owners, who were unable to use the stairs, had to rely on family and friends to bring food and do their washing as they were left without a way to get to the ground floor.

John Finch, 67, from Howard Brook House, Ribbleton, Preston

John Finch, 67, from Howard Brook House, Ribbleton, Preston

Wheelchair-bound Georgina Jacques (inset) has lived in Howard Brook House, in Fishwick, Preston, for 12 years and says she has suffered panic attacks because of worry.

“I just feel like we’ve been forgotten about,” the 62-year-old said. “I have to be on a respirator 13 hours a day and I’ve had to cancel medical appointments because I have no way of getting downstairs.

“If it wasn’t for my brother bringing me food I don’t know what I’d have done. I just feel so helpless and isolated.”

Georgina is just one of six residents who had no way of getting down the stairs including a man who is blind, a man with two false legs and a woman who uses a walking frame.

Georgina Jacques, 62, from Howard Brook House, Ribbleton, Preston.

Georgina Jacques, 62, from Howard Brook House, Ribbleton, Preston.

The only lift at the 36-flat house, with 18 flats on the second floor, has been out of action since Friday, March 3 with washing facilities on the ground floor.

The lift was finally fixed yesterday by Your Housing Group which owns the building.

But John Finch, former head of the residents’ committee before it disbanded, said more should have been done to help.

“I’ve been here for 12 years and I’ve never known anything like it,” the 67-year-old said. “We feel like they’ve stopped taking care of us recently and it’s not good enough.”

A statement from Howard Brook House said: “Contractors were onsite yesterday (Monday, March 13) working to get the lift at Howard Brook House back in use. A specialist part will arrive today (Tuesday, March 14), and the lift is expected to be up and running by this afternoon. Whilst the lift has been out of order additional care packages have been offered to residents, these packs consist of items such as food and blankets. All tenants have been updated and kept informed throughout the process.”