24-hour power cut at home

Mahogany Care Home
Mahogany Care Home

VULNERABLE residents were left without electricity for more than 24 hours after a major power cut at a Wigan nursing home.

Residents at Mahogany Care Home in Newtown, some of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia, had to rely on generators to keep vital appliances running for more than a day after the lights went out.

Staff at the Marsden Street home said they were forced to wash pots in cold water and described chaotic scenes of helping confused and distressed residents along darkened corridors, with some elderly people unable to receive their full treatment package.

However, senior bosses from Aston Brook, which runs Mahogany Care Home, strongly denied claims managers had not done enough to sort out the situation and instead blasted electricity provider Dual Energy, saying they would be complaining to the regulator about the switch-off.

The power initially went off on Monday morning and did not come back on until lunchtime on Tuesday.

One member of staff, who asked not to be named, said: “It was terrible. We were given torches but the corridors were quite dark and residents were confused. It was just total chaos with staff trying to find out what to do.

“Some of our patients who are nursed in bed had to be taken down to the lounge because we only had a limited supply of gas and oxygen for their beds.

“We’ve got people who have a pureed diet and we couldn’t do that for them. Even the pots were being washed in cold water.

“Every time we rang through to head office or tried to contact a manager we were just told it would be coming back on in an hour or two.”

However, managers at provider Aston Brook which runs Mahogany Care Home refuted claims there were disordered scenes at the home and defended the company’s response, laying any blame firmly at the door of the energy company.

Aston Brook director Richard Hoggart said: “The electricity company decided the meter was faulty and disconnected it on Monday.

“We got the power reconnected but it was probably about 24 hours in the end. We are bitterly disappointed with Dual Energy and we are going to be following a complaint through with Ofgem. They should not have left our vulnerable residents without power.

“The manager who was off came in and we got a manager from another home and an area manager as well as our estates manager trying to source generators.

“A lot of people were working until midnight trying to find a fix to the problem.”

Wigan Council said it was also aware of the situation at Mahogany Care Home.

Sharon Barber, assistant director for adult support and safeguarding, said: “We were informed by the provider of this nursing home that the electricity went off on Monday morning.

“They called out the electricity company straight away, who attended in the afternoon but were unable to get the power up and running. All measures were taken by the provider to ensure the residents were safe, including battery-powered lighting, extra staff were brought in to look after residents and the estates manager stayed at the home overnight.

“Cooking equipment at the home is powered by gas, so hot food and drinks were still available. The energy company returned yesterday at 12.45pm and fixed the problem.”

Dual Energy was approached for comment but had not replied as we went to press.