Archive - Tuesday, 2 July 2013
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MP calls on council to 'come clean' over vulnerable pensioner death
An MP has called on a council to "come clean" over the failings which led the death of a vulnerable pensioner.
Gloria Foster was left to starve for nine days
Banstead widow Gloria Foster died earlier this year after the daily carer visits she depended on stopped and Surrey County Council made no provision for alternative care.
The 81-year-old was left for nine days without access to food or water and was found in a critical condition at her home in Chipstead Road on January 24.
She was taken to Epsom hospital but died on February 4.
Mrs Foster's carer visits ended when immigration police raided and shut down Sutton-based firm Carefirst 24. Both Surrey County Council and Sutton contracted care of vulnerable people to the firm and both were warned of the raid days in advance and told to make alternative arrangements.
No arrangements were made for Mrs Foster and she was discovered by an NHS nurse making a scheduled visit.
Police investigated the circumstances leading to Mrs Foster's death but the Crown Prosecution Service ruled there was no criminal case to answer. The Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board is investigating but, as yet, no findings have been made public.
Pressure is now mounting on Surrey Council to explain what happened and how it will stop anything similar happening again.
Sutton MP Paul Burstow said: "Gloria Foster’s death was a tragedy, and one that could almost certainly have been avoided if better systems had been in place to make sure that vulnerable people are never left without the care they rely on.
"Surrey has to come clean and be very, very open about what they’ve learnt and what they’re doing to put it right for the future."
Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow
Mrs Foster's friend Ann Penston, from Sutton, has also called for someone to hold their hands up over what happened and for the council to provide an explanation.
Surrey County Council said it will publish the findings of the investigation.