Video: Axe in Doncaster wardens has ‘lives at risk’

Residents at a Doncaster sheltered housing site where a man lay dead for days say axing wardens has put lives at risk.

Robert Nesbitt, aged 73, was found dead in his flat at Silver Jubilee Court in Wheatley Hills on November 10.

James Brooks, of Jubilee Court, Wheatley Hills. Picture: Andrew Roe

James Brooks, of Jubilee Court, Wheatley Hills. Picture: Andrew Roe

People who live there say they are concerned that vulnerable and elderly people were being left for days without seeing anyone after Doncaster Council ended their warden service two years ago.

James Brooks lives below the flat where Mr Nesbitt, a 73-year-old widower, better known as Bert, died.

Mr Brooks, aged 64 said: “Bert kept himself to himself. He was pretty deaf and he stayed up late at night and I would hear him moving about.

“I knew Bert was still alive on the Sunday and then things fell silent from Tuesday onwards. Our cleaner went upstairs on the following Sunday at 11.15am and found him in the kitchen.

“She was very upset. Perhaps things could have been different if he had daily visits from a warden.

“Some of the older ones here are nearly 90 years old and nobody comes to check on them. ”

The warden service was axed in April 2011, saving the authority around £1.5 million a year.

Doncaster Council’s assistant director of adult social care, Pat Higgs, said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Nesbitt’s family at this sad time. Ensuring the health, well-being and safety of vulnerable adults in Doncaster is a top priority for the council.

“Over 6,000 people in Doncaster benefit from having a pendant alarm and the support this brings to keeping them safe, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition, the council also offers residents a wide variety of tailored telecare solutions designed to support them to maintain their wellbeing and independence.”

Doncaster Coroner Nicola Mundy ordered an investigation into Mr Nesbitt’s death on Wednesday, pending tests to determine if an inquest is needed.