OLD people living in supported housing say they will no longer feel secure if Wiltshire Council’s plan to cut 24-hour on-site carers is approved.

Residents of Meadow Court in Aston Close in Pewsey received letters telling them that from October, round-the-clock support could be replaced by emergency cords connected to a call centre in Kent.

They say the will be left feeling isolated because there will be no more social activities once their care coordinator is axed.

Gwen Chrisp has been living at the complex for several years.

She said: “24/7 support brings security. If we are on the floor how are we going to get to ring anybody? We aren’t going to be able to press a buzzer. How long will a call centre take? At least our carers put a pillow under our head and sit with us.”

Family members raised concerns after hearing about the proposals that could be implemented in October.

A six-week consultation is currently taking place by Wiltshire Council at the assisted-living complex managed by housing association Aster. All residents are over 55 and have a disability. The homes are a mixture of affordable rent, leasehold flats and shared ownership.

A letter sent to residents in July by the council said: “We are proposing to withdraw the onsite 24/7 staff presence. Instead, emergency alarm calls will go through to Aster’s care centre.

"The council is also proposing that it no longer funds a care worker to arrange activities. Aster may be able to give advice to the residents group on arranging activities themselves.

“Although the number of people with eligible social needs is increasing, the amount of money the government gives the council is decreasing.”

The letter goes on the state that because most Meadow Court residents are not eligible for specific care packages, it is not a ‘fair use’ of money to offer the 24/7 support.

Rachel Jenkinson’s mum Doreen Bishop lives at Meadow Court.

She said: “These residents do not feel confident without a carer there. If there is a fire they won’t all necessarily be able to get out of bed without help.”

Brian and Cecelia Thomas moved from a seventh-floor flat in Trowbridge to Meadow Court in April.

Mrs Thomas said: “With Brian’s dementia we wanted to move here before we needed the care but knowing it would be there when we do need it. People might now have to move away from the home which will cost more in the long run.”

Following concerns raised by residents at Crammer Court in Devizes who received the same letter, Laura Mayes, cabinet member for adult care said: “We want to ensure that the services we provide to these schemes are consistent across the county.

"This is a consultation and no decisions have been made. As well as holding a face-to-face meeting we will be speaking individually to those who are particularly vulnerable. If any changes are made, people will be given sufficient notice and our focus will be to ensure a smooth transition and to help the residents feel comfortable with the new arrangements.”