Angry residents urge health centre to fix missing step

Dorset Echo: DAMAGE: Juliet Isbell and Allison Carter showing the loose slabs on the steps DAMAGE: Juliet Isbell and Allison Carter showing the loose slabs on the steps

RESIDENTS who put a foot wrong could end up with more than just a visit to the doctors’ surgery, it is claimed.

Residents using steps near the entrance of Littlemoor Health Centre in Weymouth have had to dodge a missing step outside the building for some time, relying on several other ones that are also loose, according to resident Allison Carter.

She has made numerous calls to find out who is responsible for fixing the damage and complained to the health centre, fearing that someone could have a nasty accident on the steps.

She said: “After the step came off the first time someone placed it back on, but of course this made it worse because people didn’t know it was totally loose as they came down the steps.

“I’m quite worried because it’s in the middle of a steep set of steps and if you are partially sighted or not aware of which step to avoid walking on, you could have quite a nasty fall.”

Associate Director of Estates at Dorset HealthCare Ian Tait said work was underway to repair the loose flagstones on the steps.

He said: “We were first notified of the problem in April and I’d like to apologise for the delay in work starting and any inconvenience caused to patients as a result of this.

“This was because we first had to establish legal ownership of the steps before any repairs could be made.”

Mr Tait added: “We have since reviewed this process and have now adapted our working practices so that we can carry out repairs more speedily. The Health Centre is situated on the edge of a large car park so flat and easily accessible alternate routes are available to pedestrians until the work is completed.”

But Allison is not convinced this will prevent future problems being dealt with in the same way.

She said: “If it wasn’t for the fact that I got in touch with the Echo it wouldn’t have been fixed and could have been left even longer.

“It says a lot about their attitude to patients. If it’s the health authority’s responsibility, they should be aware of the health and safety risk because someone could injure themselves there.”

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