Suppose they covered this on their “away days” at the Farnham Castle???
Surrey County Council left 81-year-old widow to starve to death in her own home after being warned by police that she needed urgent care
- Gloria Foster, 81, was discovered at home dehydrated and with a faint pulse
- She was also suffering from kidney failure and severe bed sores when found
- Pensioner left without four daily nurse visits after Carefirst 24 was closed
- Police gave Surrey County Council pensioner’s contact details on day of raid
- But it failed to act she was left alone at home for nine days
By ANTHONY BOND
PUBLISHED: 09:36, 9 February 2013 Daily Mail| UPDATED: 11:13, 9 February 2013
The council was warned by police that an 81-year-old woman needed urgent care but failed to act – leading to the woman starving to death in her own home, it has emerged. Stroke victim Gloria Foster depended on agency nurses who visited her home four times a day for food, water and medication. But after the agency was closed down last month – for allegedly employing illegal immigrants – her council did nothing to look after her. It has now emerged that on the day the raids took place, Surrey County Council was given a list of all the agency’s clients and contact details by the Metropolitan Police. According to the Daily Telegraph, this included Mrs Foster.
But the council failed to provide any alternative arrangements for the widow’s care and she spent nine days alone at home. When someone eventually went to her home, in Banstead, Surrey, on January 24, they found that Mrs Foster had all but wasted away. She was severely dehydrated, suffering kidney failure, had serious bed sores and only a faint pulse. She was taken to Epsom Hospital but died on Monday. Detectives from Surrey Police are now investigating Mrs Foster’s death and have seized her care register as evidence.
She had been receiving help in her own home from Carefirst24, but Surrey County Council became responsible for her care after a number of its workers were arrested last month following a UK Border Agency (UKBA) raid. The care register shows that Mrs Foster last received care on January 15. The nurse wrote that she gave Mrs Foster spaghetti bolognese and fruit juice.
She also wrote that she put on the washing machine and left Mrs Foster watching TV. Mrs Foster was then found at home on January 24 with her walking frame out of reach in the lounge. The washing which the nurse placed inside the machine was still inside. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Jo Wood, Mrs Foster’s god-daughter, said: ‘Can you imagine just lying there not being able to move for nine days? It must have been horrific. What happened to her is simply unforgivable.’
Her friends have previously said that what happened to her had been ‘appalling’ and demanded answers from Surrey County Council, the local authority responsible for her care. Ann Penston, from Sutton, said: ‘How on Earth could this have been allowed to happen? ‘How can they just close this thing down and not identify the people they were supposed to be taking care of? ‘She did not deserve to go out like this – in agony with a total feeling of being lost.’
Mrs Foster’s MP, Conservative Crispin Blunt, described her ordeal as ‘horrific’. He said: ‘Clearly there are questions to answer and I would expect a comprehensive investigation between all of the agencies involved.’ Mrs Foster, a lover of classical music and the theatre who is believed to have worked as a stenographer, had no children. Her husband Bob, an accountant, died in a car crash in Saudi Arabia about 30 years ago. She had suffered a stroke and lived alone in the £200,000 house she had owned since 1984. Private agency Carefirst24 had a lucrative contract from the council to look after her. But the agency was suspected of employing illegal immigrants and six people were arrested by UK Border Agency officials when its Sutton headquarters was raided. Alternative arrangements should have been made but Mrs Foster did not get any replacement care. She had no idea the agency had closed and was unable to call for help. A district nurse visited her by chance and found her in a critical condition. Miss Penston, who had known Mrs Foster since the 1980s, said she ‘couldn’t imagine’ how her friend would have felt after being left alone for nine days. ‘I don’t know how she survived. She had a glass of water by her bed. ‘I don’t know if she managed to get up and get it but my assumption is that for she was just lying there waiting for someone to come.’ Paul Burstow, Liberal Democrat MP for Sutton and Cheam, said the council needed to get to the bottom of why its procedures did not work properly. The UK Border Agency said it had warned the council of plans to shut Carefirst24. Neighbours and residents condemned the failings that led to Mrs Foster’s death. A man named Robert posted an internet message saying: ‘Surrey County Council Social Services should be ashamed of themselves. Appalling.’