Councillors demand lessons are learnt after death of starved pensioner Gloria Foster (From Surrey Comet)
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Opposition councillors demand lessons are learnt after death of starved pensioner Gloria Foster from Banstead
Opposition councillors have demanded lessons are learnt and leaders of Surrey County Council be held responsible after damning a report into a starved pensioner’s death.
Surrey County Council's Liberal Democrat Group welcomed yesterday's publication of the serious case review into the death of Gloria Foster, 81.
Mrs Foster, from Banstead, was left alone for nine days without food or water after her care agency was shut down by immigration police on January 15.
Sutton-based Carefirst 24 was contracted through Surrey County Council, which has suspended a social worker and team leader who are facing disciplinary action.
The Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board report documented a whole series of failings that allowed Mrs Foster to slip through the net.
Lib Dem spokeswoman for adult social care Coun Fiona White said: "I welcome the fact that the board has published this full and detailed report from the review panel.
"However, I have to say that it makes very sorry reading.
"It is clear that there were faults in many parts of the process but particularly in the failure of Surrey County Council to make sure that Mrs Foster was contacted as soon as they had received the list with her name on."
Coun White said Mrs Foster's care reviews were ‘sporadic’, with the last one taking place 22 months before her death, and agencies need to work closely together in the future.
She said: "Everybody involved from top to bottom in providing adult and social care in the community, whether in local government, the NHS or other agencies should read it [the report] carefully and put in place robust processes to ensure there is never a repeat of this sad and tragic case.
"Surrey County Council must take on board all of the lessons learnt and the recommendations from the report. That is particularly the responsibility of the leadership of the council, both at cabinet member and officer levels."
Councillor Hazel Watson, the leader of the Lib Dem opposition on the council, welcomed the ‘long overdue’ report and a progress review in six months time.
She said: "The ultimate responsibility for this tragedy must go to the very top of Surrey County Council’s Conservative run administration.
"Michael Gosling, the then cabinet member for adult social care, who is now the cabinet member for public health and the health and wellbeing board, must take the ultimate responsibility for the service pressures and structural failings that allowed this to happen."
The serious case review concluded the failures "were not intentional or deliberate" and decided that senior managers at Surrey County Council had not criminally breached their duty of care to Mrs Foster.
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