Death of pensioner Gloria Foster highlights need to 'look out for elderly and vulnerable'
3:10pm Saturday 9th February 2013 in News
An MP who described the death of a starved pensioner as an ‘appalling tragedy’ has said it highlighted the need for people to look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
Banstead’s MP Crispin Blunt said lessons would come out of a serious case review launched after his constituent Gloria Foster, 81, died on Monday, February 4.
Police are also investigating how Mrs Foster came to die after being left to starve for nine days when a care agency contracted by Surrey County Council (SCC) was shut down by immigration police.
Mr Blunt said: "I think of course this is an appalling tragedy and an awful story that will touch everyone. No one would want that to happen to anyone they knew."
He said highlighted that everyone should be aware of the need to look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours and keep them involved in the community.
He said: "The important lesson we as a community are able to take is to look out for each other."
Mrs Foster was left without the four daily nursing visits she depended on when the UK Border Agency and police raided Carefirst 24 last month.
Mr Blunt said: "My view is to allow the serious case review to happen in a way all the facts can be established and in light of that review come to conclusion about measures necessary.
"I think we should let the review take its course and come to conclusions in light of that."
The Surrey Adults Board, an advisory panel made up of bodies including the police and the council, has been convened to conduct an investigation alongside the police inquiry.
Mr Blunt said he was satisfied that the panel’s review was the ‘appropriate vehicle’ to identify what happened and the responsibility of social care agencies.
The UK Border Agency and police met SCC and Sutton Council before the raid on January 15 and raised the need to ensure continuity of care for agency patients.
But no alterative arrangements were made for Mrs Foster who was found dangerously dehydrated with severe bed sores and a faint pulse on January 24. She died in Epsom Hospital.