THE dad of a North Yorkshire man had been without TV in a care home for nearly five months since the Bilsdale Transmitter went down resulting in him living in “pure silence.”

Derek Fawcett is a resident of Leeming Bar Grange Care Home, in Leeming Bar North Yorkshire and had been without TV in his room since the Bilsdale mast went down on August 10.

Mr Fawcett’s son Paul Ellis has described how “it wasn’t right” that he had been left without TV for nearly five months.

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The TV signal has been since returned to his room as of December 21, however, Mr Ellis said it was “disgusting” it had taken so long to fix.

Unfortunately Mr Fawcett is too unwell to access the common room of the care home, which did have signal, and had instead been sitting in “pure silence” ever since the signal was lost.

After complaining to the care home multiple times, Mr Ellis said he was told it would cost the establishment £15,000 to repair the issue.

However, after consulting with a local electrician and specialised, he was told it would in fact only cost £200 maximum.

Mr Ellis lives only 100 yards from the care home, and reportedly had signal back to his home when the Arncliffe Wood temporary transmitter was switched on, however, the care home did not.

TV is important to Mr Fawcett, according to Paul, and it is “all he has got” and his “only connection to the outside world.”

He said: “For my dad, TV is all he has got and he does enjoy TV and it sort of keeps him stimulated.

“Anyway, I questioned it, I said to them ‘why has my dad not got TV when everybody else has it?’

“They said they didn’t have reception to the home and I just thought it was a bit odd, but anyway I let it go for a bit.

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“But then I kept questioning it and then I got the excuse it was going to cost £15,000 to get it restored and they need authority from Barchester to go ahead with it.

“I just thought that it wasn’t right, my Dad was basically sat in a room in a chair all day, because he can’t get out of the chair, with nothing, no TV, no radio, no nothing.

After speaking to the electrician and specialist, Mr Ellis said he made them aware that it should only cost the home £200 to fix the issue.

The care home then reportedly contacted the electrician to fix the problem, but due to a Covid case in the home, this was delayed.

After he told the care home he was taking the issue to the press, he said they reportedly “jumped on it”

Mr Ellis said: “Anyway, I got an email on December 21 saying the TVs were back on, I just think it’s a bit disgusting.

“It had been nearly five months since they’ve had signal, he’s had no TV in his room from that time.”

A spokesperson for Barchester Healthcare said: “Due to a fire destroying a TV mast and affecting a large part of North Yorkshire, a number of individuals and businesses faced disruption with their TV signal.

“While the issue was being resolved, residents at Leeming Bar Grange care home were able to watch DVDs in their rooms and the TV in communal areas through an internet connection.

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“The home worked closely with Bilsdale Mast Restoration Team to rectify the problem and the TV signal has now been restored for all residents.”


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