Log In

Reset Password

MP and senator shelve political differences to help troubled care home

First Prev 1 2 3 Next Last
Summerhaven (File photograph)

A government MP and an opposition senator have joined forces to offer support to the troubled residential care home Summerhaven.

Anthony Richardson, Progressive Labour Party MP for Hamilton South, and Robin Tucker, the One Bermuda Alliance candidate for the constituency, said it was important to “transcend politics” on the matter that has affected disabled residents at the privately run facility.

Problems at the Summerhaven were revealed by The Royal Gazette this month and included a broken telephone and alarm system, small meal sizes, an infestation of cockroaches and the diminished financial independence of some residents.

Anthony Richardson, the Progressive Labour Party MP (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Mr Richardson said: “After reading the original article in The Royal Gazette, we independently contacted Colette Simmons, executive director of Summerhaven.

“Wishing to take a collaborative approach, I contacted senator Tucker and we agreed to work together as we believe Summerhaven’s operations and the interests of the residents should transcend politics.

“Ms Simmons then arranged for us to visit Summerhaven on Saturday, August 13. It is our intention to meet jointly with all stakeholders in an effort to provide support to the board, administrators and residents where practical.”

Ms Simmons said this week that improving conditions at Summerhaven was a “work in progress”.

She said: “We are getting quotes for the telephone and alarm system and we had a company come down to assess what can be done about the cockroaches.

“We are working on the issues. It is a matter of being patient — we are working on everything. They [Mr Richardson and Ms Tucker] are very supportive at all times.”

When the story broke about Summerhaven, Ricky Brathwaite, chief executive officer of the Bermuda Health Council, extended an invitation for members of the public to contact the council with any concerns.

Robin Tucker, a One Bermuda Alliance senator (File photograph)

He said he had received one call since the article appeared but did not reveal the nature of the call.

Physically disabled residents said the broken telephone and alarm system left them unable to call for help.

Sources voiced concern over residents being left unattended in the event of an accident, as well as other problems at the facility cofounded 40 years ago by disability rights campaigner Margaret Carter.

The sources, who asked to remain anonymous, said that rooms were infested with cockroaches and meals were inadequate, leaving residents hungry.

They also highlighted how some years ago there had been a change in the way some residents received financial aid, with their $4,000-a-month fees for rent and food being paid directly by the Government to the Summerhaven Trust.

The change happened when the former independent living centre was reclassified as a residential care home in 2016. The same year, the Government took over Summerhaven temporarily because of mismanagement.

Ms Simmons confirmed previously that the phone and alarm system needed replacing and agreed that the changed financial arrangements for some residents was “an absolute loss of independence”.

She said that the facility — which gets $600,000 a year from the public purse — was under-resourced.

However, she said that good-quality care was “absolutely” provided to the 19 residents by hard-working staff and that she was committed to tackling any issues head on.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published August 29, 2022 at 7:45 am (Updated August 29, 2022 at 7:45 am)

MP and senator shelve political differences to help troubled care home

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon