An elderly woman died in the hospital after being found alone in her home two weeks ago, reports say. Gloria Foster, in her 80s, was abandoned by her caregivers after a raid on the company that had been responsible for her care.
After nine days without her four daily caregiver visits, the widow was found severely dehydrated and starving.
Foster had been receiving help in her own home in Banstead, U.K., from the company Carefirst24. However, when the company was raided on suspicion of illegal employees and fraud, Foster’s care was left in the hands of the Surrey County Council. And allegedly, they failed to act on Foster’s behalf.
A spokesperson for the county council said, “We’re very sad to hear about Mrs Foster’s death, and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time. The safety of vulnerable adults is our top priority, which is why this tragic event is already being urgently looked at by the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board.”
The UK Border Agency, which conducted the raid and arrests made last month, said that they met with local authorities in advance to notify them of the raid. A spokesperson for the agency noted that the purpose of the meeting was to let local authorities find alternate care for those dependent upon Carefirst24.
The agency’s officers arrested six people on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to assist foreign nationals at Carefirst24/s headquarters. The arrests took place January 15.
All those arrested were later bailed until various dates in April.
After being abandoned by the county council and the company in charge of her care, Foster was found in her home after over a week of being left alone. She was brought to the hospital, but did not recover from her ordeal. She passed away.
Foster’s MP, conservative Crispin Blunt, describes her ordeal as “horrific.” He adds, “I am very sorry to hear that Mrs. Foster has now, sadly, passed away,” he said. “Clearly there are questions to answer and I would expect a comprehensive investigation between all of the agencies involved.”
Carefirst24 provided health care to elderly people on behalf of the two local authorities.