Fault leaves Helston care home without central heating for five days over Christmas

Elderly residents of a Helston care home were left without central heating for five days over Christmas.

The heating equipment at Trengrouse House packed up on Boxing Day, after a seal on the boiler bump broke.

The problem was exacerbated when the home was “let down” by a courier service, which failed to deliver the necessary part when planned, leaving the 36 pensioners a further weekend without central heating.

Douglas Webb, chief executive of Cornwall Care, said: “Our immediate response was to put in six oil fired radiators in to the home on Boxing Day and called out contractors the day after. We needed new seals – we ordered these seals.”

The parts were to arrive by 3pm last Saturday, but the courier company did not make the delivery, blaming the weather as an issue.

Mr Web said his company had even been prepared to drive to the depot and pick up the parts from the courier service, but could not make contact.

The seals eventually arrived on Monday and an engineer was on site fitting them when the Packet called.

Mr Webb said a further nine portable radiators had been brought in last Friday, adding: “We have done everything we absolutely could. We were badly let down by the courier.”

He said staff made sure the most vulnerable residents had radiators in their rooms and parts of the home were closed off in order to make the remaining areas as warm as possible.

“Everybody is fine,” said Mr Webb, describing the residents as “very tough and hardy. I think the people that struggle most with these kind of thing is relatives.

“They want us to look after their relative and that’s what we always endeavour to do. Sometimes circumstances conspire against us,” he added.

Just two days earlier Helston’s mayor and mayoress, Jonathan and Wendy Radford-Gaby, had spoken with residents at the home during the annual Christmas Eve visits.

They took with them sweets and chocolates for the residents to share, also visiting Penhellis House and Godolphin House the same day, and Helston Community Hospital on Christmas Day.

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