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Woman left isolated for 9 months after lift breaks

Photo: BPM

A disabled woman was unable to leave her flat in Moseley for nine months unaided, after a lift broke.

Former hospital worker Gill Butts, 59, suffers with multiple sclerosis and uses a walker and a wheelchair but was unable to leave her high-rise flat in Bowen Court in Yardley Wood Road unaided since June 2016 after her lift broke.

Gill lives on the fourth floor of the 12 storey building, which has two lifts - one for even-numbered floors and one for odd.

Gill lives on the fourth floor of the 12 storey building. Credit: BPM.

Since her lift broke last summer Gill had to get the other lift to the third floor, and then climb two flights of stairs.

As she can only do this with assistance from a friend, she was left housebound for most of the time.

“It’s been ridiculous, It has been going on since June I’ve been isolated and at times I couldn’t get out, I don’t think the management understand how awful it has been for us. It has been very stressful, which is not good for my MS, someone from Otis saw my video and got in touch and said it would be fixed on Friday, which was a relief.”

– Gill Butts.
After entering the building in a wheelchair, she was forced to climb the stairs. Credit: BPM.

Gill contacted property managers Metro PM on several occasions which in turn needed to get lift company Otis to carry out the repairs.

Out of frustration, she filmed herself and a friend last Monday struggling to get up to her own flat. After entering the building in a wheelchair, she was forced to climb the stairs. The footage was posted on social media on Monday - when lift company Otis contacted her to say an engineer was being sent on March 3, It has now been fixed.

But in the meantime, Gill has taken early retirement from her job - and says the lift situation was a ‘contributing factor.’

Gill lives on the fourth floor of the 12 storey building. Credit: BPM.

Management company Metro PM said Otis had offered its ‘sincere apologies in the delay’ in fixing the lift. Matthew Arnold, Managing Director at Metro PM, added:

“I shared Gill’s frustrations in getting the lift fixed - it has been a nightmare.It has been a real cause for concern that vulnerable people in Bowen Court have been left without a working lift. I have had a letter from their regional services manager offering his sincere apologies for the delay. It is something that we have taken to the board at Otis, and it’s been heartbreaking from our point of view. I can confirm that the lift was fixed on Friday, and I hope that things will improve from now on."

– Matthew Arnold, Managing Director at Metro PM.