DCSIMG

BT leave care home without a phone line for two weeks

NADV 1402213AM1 Heath Lodge no phone. Heath Lodge resident Stella Harland (89) who is unable to use the phone as the landline is not working seen here with Robert Murphy (manager) and Linda Oglivie ( senior care). Picture : Adrian Murray.  (1402213AM1)

NADV 1402213AM1 Heath Lodge no phone. Heath Lodge resident Stella Harland (89) who is unable to use the phone as the landline is not working seen here with Robert Murphy (manager) and Linda Oglivie ( senior care). Picture : Adrian Murray. (1402213AM1)

A Harrogate care home has been left without a phone line for more than two weeks after a tree pulled down aerial cables.

The 28 residents of Heath Lodge Care Home on Pannal Ash Road have been left without the ability to call their friends and family since the storm on February 12.

Sue Cathraw, chief executive of Harrogate Neighbours which runs the care home said BT had been ‘useless’ over the situation. “It has been extremely difficult. BT are just useless. We have had three visits but they haven’t fixed the problem.”

Ms Cathraw has been forced to buy mobile phones for staff at the home to use.

“I bought two pay-as-you-go mobiles so the staff can speak to doctors and in case of emergency.

“I am having to make sure they are both topped up and the staff are making sure that one line is always free in case of emergencies, they need to have at least some connection.

“It is all the little things that are now much more difficult, silly things like doing a food order is taking longer and I can’t call to check how things are going from other homes.”

Ms Cathraw said she felt sorry for the vulnerable residents at the care home.

She said: “For residents it’s ridiculous that we can’t get it fixed so they can make phone calls on their own time rather than having to wait and fit in with when the mobile is free.

“People who have family outside of Harrogate aren’t getting to speak to people.”

The phone line went down when winds of up to 65 miles per hour battered the district and trees were brought down around Harrogate. The tree in the grounds of the care home pulled down the aerial wires and damaged the telegraph pole, which BT said has lead to delays in restoring service.

A spokesman for BT said: “We are very for the loss of service caused by bad weather which brought a tree down onto our aerial cables. Unfortunately this damaged the telegraph pole making it unsafe for engineers to climb and reattach new cables. Pole engineers will make the pole safe on Friday (February 28) and we hope to restore service the same day.”

 

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