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Elderly man ‘lay dead in flat for two weeks’ until neighbours ‘alerted by smell’

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A man reportedly lay dead for two weeks at a sheltered housing flat two weeks before his body was found.

An anonymous source claimed that the resident, known as Mike, suffered a heart attack, but no-one noticed for two weeks.

She claimed neighbours were alerted by a smell, which prompted housing provider Brunelcare to check the flat in Bishopston, Bristol.

The man’s body was discovered on October 1 at the complex for over-60s, Bristol Live reports.

The source said: “He’d been dead for two weeks and no-one noticed, despite there being a daytime manager for the Brunelcare home.

“Although Mike may not have asked for regular checks or support from the warden, I cannot believe that he lay dead for two weeks.

“The smell is what alerted neighbours. It is a horrible and upsetting thought. Everyone living there is quite shocked.”

Brunelcare says it is unable to confirm the tenant’s full name, age or date of death for confidentiality and data protection reasons.

The provider added the resident had felt he did not require support from Brunelcare.

It says it discovered his body during a “routine”  health  and safety check.

The source close to the housing scheme said: “Brunelcare might say it can’t force daily calls or chats if the residents don’t want that, but it’s a moot point.

“People are living there because they’re vulnerable. This doesn’t suggest a standard of care I would feel comfortable with.

“Mike came across as a really nice, polite, charming man. He was a very cultured, dignified British gentleman, quite an educated guy.

“I would have thought he was in his 70s. I got the impression he was quite private and kept himself to himself, but he was often seen around the place.”

Brunelcare’s website says tenants of the Bishopston complex “live independently with support from our property maintenance and housing teams”.

A spokeswoman for the provider confirmed a tenant was found dead of natural causes on October 1.

She said: “He lived independently, in his own flat, and was not in receipt of any support from Brunelcare at the time.

“At the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, all tenants were contacted by telephone to discuss their individual needs. This gentleman felt he did not require any additional support.

“Our schemes do not have a permanent staff presence, but all tenants have access to an emergency call system 24 hours a day.

“We do carry out routine checks on the health and safety of all of our tenants. It was during one of these checks that his death was discovered.”

Asked if Brunelcare will change practices or check on residents more often, the spokeswoman replied: “As is the case when anyone dies who lives with us, we will review our response to determine what, if any, lessons can be learned.

“Brunelcare takes the welfare of all of its tenants extremely seriously and we extend our deepest condolences to this gentleman’s family.”

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