A frail pensioner has condemned a staff sickness crisis which left supported housing tenants without on-site cover at their Carnoustie complex.
James Fee said the situation — described as an “exceptional sickness absence issue” by council care chiefs — could have ended in tragedy at Carnoustie’s Kinloch Court.
The facility normally has round-the-clock concierge cover but on Tuesday 73-year-old James Fee was shocked to discover there was no on-site staff cover.
Community alarm staff were called to the complex three times during the shift to respond to calls from tenants.
An Angus Health and Social Care spokesperson said no adverse issues arose for tenants but the incident comes after major concerns were expressed about a shake-up of services for the elderly and vulnerable across the district, including changes to community alarm staffing arrangements.
Mr Fee, who has limited mobility as a result of a stroke, said: “I’ve been here just over a year and have had no complaints but there should have been emergency provision that they could put in place.
“Something could have gone very badly wrong if there was a fire or something happened in one of the flats,” said Mr Fee.
“I wasn’t so worried for myself but there are quite a few vulnerable residents here, people with dementia who could have gone out and got lost, and it’s not on that there was no-one here.”
An Angus Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “A Social Care Officer provides an on-site concierge service at Kinloch Court supported housing within a shift pattern that covers 24-hours each day.
“On-site concierge staff respond to calls for assistance from tenants, with the community alarm facility providing additional support as required.
“Due to an exceptional sickness absence issue that arose at short notice on Tuesday April 18, the shift could not be covered by the regular staff group.
“Contingencies were put in place to ensure that any calls from tenants were responded to.
“As part of this, an on-duty senior member of staff at the Kinloch care centre campus maintained contact with community alarm staff and attended at Kinloch Court on several occasions.
“Community alarm staff attended to three calls during the period.
“Established staff cover arrangements resumed at the end of this shift and no tenants were adversely affected.”