The tragic death of en elderly woman abandoned without medication, food or water for nine days comes against a backdrop of ‘efficiency savings’ in Adult Social Care by Surrey County Council.
Widow Gloria Foster, who was in her early 80s, died in Epsom Hospital after being found suffering from starvation and dehydration. Mrs Foster had been under the care of private company Carefirst24, however the company was shut down by immigration police after being accused of providing fake identities for care workers from overseas.
The responsibility for her care then reverted to Surrey County Council, who from initial reports, it appears failed to ensure this vulnerable resident had adequate support.
The Council are investigating and it is too early to ascribe any blame for this sad event which involved not just the local authority, but a seemingly bent private care company, and the notorious UKBA – the immigration cops most famous for brutal dawn raids in which asylum seekers are separated from their families and thrown into immigration detention centres to await deportation.
Surrey County Council were slammed last year for slashing their Adult Social Care budget when even in these austere times neighbouring councils were increasing spending.
A spokesperson for public sector union UNISON warned at the time: “It’s really far too soon to tell the impact of these efficiency savings because they’re just rolling out in Surrey literally as we speak.”
Perhaps now we know.