Police have launched a formal investigation into how a pensioner came to die after being left to starve for nine days.

Banstead woman Gloria Foster, 81, was left without the four daily nursing visits she depended on for nine days after a council-contracted care agency was shut down by immigration police.

She was found badly dehydrated, with severe bed sores and only a faint pulse at her home in Chipstead Road on Thursday, January 24, and died in hospital on Monday, February 4.

Surrey County Council contracted Mrs Foster's care to Sutton-based Carefirst 24. Carefirst 24's Upper Mulgrave Road offices were raided by the UK Border Agency and police and six people were arrested on January 15. Prior to the raid the UKBA met both Surrey County Council and Sutton Council, which also contracted care to Carefirst 24, to tell them to make alternative arrangements for clients. No alternative arrangements were made for Mrs Foster.

Initially police were going to leave the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mrs Foster's death to the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board, an advisory panel made up of bodies including the police and the council, but now Surrey Police has launched an investigation.

A spokesman said: "Concerns surrounding Gloria’s care were raised to Surrey Police at the end of January by staff at the hospital where she died on Monday, 4 February and officers are now looking into the circumstances surrounding her death.

"The Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board has also been convened and they are conducting a parallel investigation."

Related articles

Starved pensioner Gloria Foster died "with a total feeling of being lost"

Pensioner dies after being left to starve for nine days

Pensioner left to starve for nine days after care agency is shut down

Care agency workers arrested in immigration raid