New NHS ‘step down’ role for the former sheltered block at 133 Langton Way

In the light of the COVID-19 emergency, the Council has changed plans for “Guardians” to occupy the sheltered housing block at 133 Langton Way to pending consideration of its long-term future.

It’s now being readied for use as a “step down” facility to potentially free up hospital beds and permit discharge of patients who are no longer sick but who can’t return home as adaptations or support there may not be ready.  Richard Parkin, Royal Greenwich’s Assistant Director of Housing Services advised us of this on 27th March and following questions from immediate neighbours via Ward Councillors, gave further detail and reassurances.

He does not expect people who have Covid 19 symptoms to be moved in, carers and volunteers would have appropriate PPE, they expect no visitors and “although this is clearly a worrying time for all of us (he) foresees little risk to existing Langton Way residents to this temporary facility being in place”. 

The full text of Richard’s two letters (the latter helpfully forwarded by Ward Councillor Brighty) follow below.

On 27th March 2020, Royal Greenwich’s Assistant Director of Housing wrote:

Dear Langton Way Association

Re 133 Langton Way Sheltered Scheme

Jamie Carswell The Director of Housing and Safer Communities wrote to you some weeks ago advising of the Councils intention to engage the service of Dot Dot Dot Guardians to protect the former sheltered scheme at 133 Langton Way while further consideration was given to its future. 

Given the present situation with Covid 19 it has become necessary to change our plans. To support the National Health Service we are working with partners to create as many bed spaces in the community for those able to leave hospital but with no suitable home to go to.

133 Langton Way has been identified as potentially suitable subject to a range of internal work being undertaken. These are being assessed now.

Dot Dot Dot have therefore been advised that until further notice they can no longer

have access to the premises. Please be assured that those living in the scheme will not be Covid 19 sufferers on discharge and all will receive the required support to allow them to live safely and comfortably until a permanent arrangement can be achieved.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely, Richard Parkin, Assistant Director of Housing Services

Residents immediately adjacent to the building sought further reassurance and clarification and on 6th April, Ward CouncillorBrighty forwarded the following update

Subject: RE: RBG/Langton Way letter

Thanks Councillor Brighty.

The situation is fast moving and adapting day by day as we get Langton Way ready, so I can provide some answers now but this doesn’t mean that the situation won’t potentially change in future. I will try to keep you updated if anything does change.

The intention is that Langton Way will be used as one of a few “step down” facilities for hospital discharge across the borough. This will be for residents who are “medically optimised” i.e. they are no longer “sick” but can’t quite return home yet as they may need some minor adaptations to their home or an assessment by Occupational Therapy for a package of support that they might require. The goal is to discharge anyone from hospital who no longer needs health services, thus freeing up beds for those in need.  In theory residents should stay at Langton Way between 7 and 21 days before being moved home.

The Housing Team have been accelerating work to Langton Way to get this ready for the “peak” of hospital discharge which is expected to be Mid-April to Mid-May. We currently have hospital beds on order for 22 of the rooms and once these are delivered then Langton Way should be ready to start receiving residents. As said previously, there is other provision within the borough so it is possible, although unlikely, that Langton Way will not be called upon for use (if the national effort is successful in reducing the peak), it was decided that we would have this property ready however just in case.  I predict the first residents would move into Langton Way mid to end of April.

I am not currently clear on what the testing procedures are within hospitals currently but this is not intended to be a Covid site and we would not expect people who have been tested for Covid 19 who have symptoms to be moved into this facility. However if someone has been tested for Covid-19 and been hospitalised and then recovered, it is possible they would be discharged to Langton Way. The Hospital Discharge Team however would take this into account including any risks to other residents who would be placed there.  Clearly it is possible that someone would be placed in Langton Way and contract Covid-19 after being placed there.

The facility will be staffed by carers and volunteers who would have appropriate PPE. It is not expected that residents will leave the site to visit the local area and if they did for exercise they would be advised to keep strict distancing as per the government guideline. We would also expect no visitors for the residents as per the current guidelines.

Although this is clearly a worrying time for all of us I foresee little risk to existing Langton Way residents to this temporary facility being in place.

Let me know if you or any of your constituents have any further questions and I will do my best to answer them.


Richard Parkin, Assistant Director of Housing Services.

Langton Way Association; COVID-19/Coronavirus lockdown support

We’ve seen a tremendous, spontaneous response to the current crisis. Many neighbours have offered help with shopping, collecting medicines or other support to older or vulnerable neighbours who are housebound or socially isolating at home.

As the lockdown tightens and we are instructed to stay at home, remember that shopping for, and support to, vulnerable people are legitimate reasons to go out. 

Please contact the following volunteers directly if anyone you know needs help; especially if they don’t use email or the Langton Way Residents Facebook group.

Volunteers offering help to neighbours isolating at home

Audrey and Huw at 16 Langton Way, 07710 726291

Helen and Arun at 18, 07903 302192 (Arun) and 07825 222168 (Helen)  

Kerry at 37, 07590 538061 

Mandy at 80 Langton Way

KJ at 98, 07841 641020

Judith at 99, 020 8269 2446 & 07900 245445

Simon at 100, 07770 381606 

Martin and Caroline at 135, 07887 645660  

Shilpi at 158 Langton Way

More information & how to volunteer…

Some residents are already helping older neighbours. Post any more offers of help on our closed Facebook Group page at langton.way.se3 or email

Councillor Mariam Lolovar reminds you that Royal Greenwich seek volunteers at: (copy and paste the link). has Council updates. 

Government “Distancing” advice is still online at at and links to harsh new official guidance is at

A new “Blackheath Standard & Westcombe COVID-19 Community Support” group also offer assistance:

Finally-stay safe 

Keith, our Neighbourhood Watch contact, repeats Police advice to beware of scams or fake callers; no Council, Health or other officials will ever visit you without prior notification; email:

COVID-19 update