DCSIMG

Care boss suspended
in OAP death probe

News

News

The boss of adult social care has been suspended by the council after allegations of an ‘appalling’ failure resulting in the death of an 82-year-old woman.

Secret information obtained by the Citizen claims social work manager Mark Hutton IGNORED two reports that Stony Stratford recluse Elizabeth Proudfoot was at risk.

Former Labour party stalwart Mrs Proudfoot was found dead at her Latimer home last month.

A 48-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder but police have since released him without charge and closed the investigation.

Meanwhile the cause of dementia sufferer Mrs Proudfoot’s death is still uncertain and under investigation by the city coroner.

But the Citizen can reveal that calls were made to the adult social care department of Milton Keynes council on two occasions a few weeks before the death.

It is believed the calls came from neighbours who expressed concern that Mrs Proudfoot, who was cared for by her son John, was at risk.

A source said: “The first call flagging up concern appears to have been ignored by the social work team and nothing was done.”

After the second call it is understood a female social worker told Mr Hutton she was ‘worried’ about visiting Mrs Proudfoot’s home alone.

It is alleged Mr Hutton instructed her not to attend and no visit was ever made.

The source said: “If this is true it is a spectacular and appalling failure of the social work team to do their duty.

“While it is not known how Mrs Proudfoot died, it is possible that she could be alive today had the council responded properly to the information they received.”

Mr Hutton was suspended two weeks ago and it is believed councillors and officers were advised to keep the matter ‘hushed up’.

This week councillors from the leading Labour group are calling for a full investigation into the alleged failure.

They are also demanding full transparency in future about all cases where a city resident could be at risk.

The investigation will also examine records from Mrs Proudfoot’s GP practice and examine whether where could have been better communication between the health service and the council.

An inquest into her death opened last week and was adjourned until November.

A council spokesperson said: “It is not appropriate to discuss individual members of staff.

“We were very sorry to hear of this lady’s death, and - as is usual – we will co-operate fully with the police and coroner in any relevant inquiries.”

 

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