Severely disabled woman left to die after council axes 18 care services just days before Christmas

Severely disabled woman left to die after council axes 18 care services just days before Christmas
A severely disabled woman has died after her local council cut her off from 18 care agencies. She was unable to leave her bed to eat, drink, or go to the toilet, but was left to fend for herself only days before Christmas.

Southsea woman Anne Savidge’s care services were cut off on December 10 after claims she had verbally abused staff. Six days later, she was rushed from her home on Lawrence Road to Queen Alexandra Hospital, where she died on December 21.

The disturbing reality of the former midwife’s final days was made public by disabilities campaigner Geoff Holt, a friend of Savidge’s. It was Holt’s confrontation of a council meeting last week that sparked an urgent investigation into the death.

At the meeting he told shocked councillors and the public gallery that he couldn’t believe the council had no ‘plan B’ to provide care for the ailing woman.

“Anne sat there, mostly in her wheelchair, for five days, in pain, her bladder tumour now oozing blood on her clothes, no food, frightened to drink because she would wet herself and not even having her hands and face washed,” he said.

“I am in no doubt whatsoever Anne’s lack of care over that period was to blame (for her death).”

Holt said he had also written to Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan to warn them of the dangerous situation that his friend was in prior to her death.

Leader of Portsmouth City Council Councillor Donna Jones said to local paper the Portsmouth News that the council would investigate Holt’s claims.

“The first I have heard about this terrible, horrific incident of this lady’s passing was just then in those comments by Mr Holt,” she said.

“I think it is right and proper the council does carry out an investigation and that we do look into the circumstances to find out exactly what has happened.”

“Without wanting to apportion any blame I take what you have said at face value.

“It is right and proper that we do look into this to assure ourselves and this administration, that our social care could have done everything that they should have done.”

Holt also shared his view with the Portsmouth News, telling them: “Myra Hindley had care before she died and she murdered children,” he said. “Yet this little old lady didn’t. That’s disgraceful.

“This little old lady, who was scared and terminally-ill, was banned or barred by 18 different care agencies – 18. That beggars belief.”

A Portsmouth City Council spokeswoman confirmed to RT that an investigation into Savidge’s death is now underway.

"The Adult Social Care team at Portsmouth City Council works with some of the city's most vulnerable residents, day in and day out," she said.

"At the meeting of full council on Tuesday 13 February 2018, it was agreed that an investigation into the care received by Anne Savidge should take place, led by Portsmouth City Council’s chief executive David Williams.

"It would be inappropriate to comment until this investigation is complete and the findings have been published."

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