THE son of a North Yorkshire man who had been without TV in his care home for nearly five months after the Bilsdale transmitter went down, has told how his father was left living in “pure silence”.

Derek Fawcett, a resident of Leeming Bar Grange Care Home, in Leeming Bar, was not able to receive TV signal in his room following the mast fire on August 10.

The TV signal was finally returned to his room on December 21, but his son Paul Ellis said it was “disgusting” it had taken so long to fix.

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 he consulted with a local electrician and specialist, he was told it would in fact only cost £200 to fix. Mr Ellis, who lives only 100 yards from the care home, and got signal back to his home when the Arncliffe Wood temporary transmitter was switched on, however, the care home did not. He said that for his father, TV is “all he has got” and is his “only connection to the outside world”.

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Regarding the original repair cost quoted, Mr Ellis said: “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. 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 the home aware that it should only cost £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.

Mr Ellis said: “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.

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