Letchworth man found in warden flat died on ‘the wrong day’

Mr Arthur Marment

Mr Arthur Marment - Credit: Archant

The son of an elderly man who died at a warden-controlled flat believes he died on “the wrong day”.

It is believed Arthur Marment died in a flat at Langleigh on Danescroft in Letchworth GC on Friday, September 20, but he was not found until Wednesday, September 25, by his son Paul Marment.

The 94-year-old had lived with his son for the past 24 years and had only moved to the development in June.

Mr Marment, 52, said: “Because I was working for London Underground and on a varied shift pattern, I thought it would be better for him to move there as he would have a level of supervision regarding his daily wellbeing.

“He came to me for lunch on the Friday and then got the bus back to his flat.

“He usually telephones me and asks me if am I alright and I thought it was a bit odd. I thought perhaps it was a problem with the phone, but instinct kicked in so I decided to drive round after work at 10pm on the Wednesday night.”

Mr Marment found his father on the floor of his bedroom. He had suffered heart failure.

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Mr Marment said: “I knew something was wrong immediately as there were no lights on and the television wasn’t on.

“It was mercifully quick for my father.

“Although he had emergency pull cords in his flat, he was not able to get to one.

“I have been informed that North Hertfordshire Homes [which runs the facility] only checks on residents once a week on a Thursday morning, but what if you die on a Friday?”

Mr Marment knew his father had been shopping on the Friday and, with this shopping still in bags, believes he died that day. “It didn’t fit in with their schedule, it was the wrong day,” he said.

“It concerns me that no managers at Langleigh noticed my father’s absence and that this type of residential care no longer has full-time managers on site. I can forgive them not checking over the weekend, but not this amount of time.”

Louisa Sampson, older people’s services manager at North Herfordshire Homes, said: “This is such a sad situation and our thoughts are with Mr Marment’s family.

“Retirement living schemes such as Langleigh in Letchworth provide self-contained flats with access to communal facilities. Residents are contacted weekly by their community support worker who provides help with correspondence, booking appointments, paying bills and so on.

“For this type of support, weekly contact is adequate and emergency response is available through the pull cords situated around the flat. It is very sad that our community support worker had visited a day or so before Mr Marment’s passing. We offer our sympathy to his family at this difficult time.”