Vulnerable pensioner left to 'lie in her own filth for weeks' while a council-appointed carer cleaned around her
Janet Norton, 72, lay immobilised on sofa for two months with back injuryCarer cleaned the flat but appears to have ignored her desperate stateDaughter became suspicious after mother never answered the phoneDiscovered her lying in 'disgusting state' and in own waste
and alerted paramedics.
The carer – who was given five days
training before starting work with Care UK – has been suspended after an
investigation was launched.
Both Care UK and Merton Council have apologised for a 'service failure'.
In August 2012 Mrs Norton was deemed by social services to be capable of looking after herself and her husband John, who is mentally impaired following a breakdown 20 years ago.
From October her condition rapidly worsened but the carer failed to notice she was in severe pain, unable to move, and began to use the sofa as a toilet.
Mrs Norton's daughter, Sharon Matthews, said: 'I had not seen mum and dad for three months and after a while I became suspicious because mum would never come to the phone.
'When I discovered what happened I was shocked and disgusted. The smell was unbelievable and there were flies everywhere.
'I called the ambulance and it took them two-and-half hours to get her out because she was in so much pain. They had to cut her clothes off because they were drenched in urine and faeces.'
On the day Mrs Norton was discovered, her carer had written in his records: 'Washed the dishes, swept and mopped the floors. Kept Janet company for the remaining [sic].'
The previous day, he wrote: 'Janet was on the sofa with her husband beside her. I swept the floors, washed the dishes and put them away. I kept them company for the remaining time of my visit.'
Simon Williams, the council's director of community and housing, said: 'It is clear Mrs Norton's change in needs was not reported back. We regret we didn't know about it until December 17 when Mrs Matthews told us.
'It is really unfortunate this has happened. We are very sorry but we wouldn't like to cloud the fact there are really good care workers looking after vulnerable adults every day.'
Mrs Norton lay immobilised for two months with a back injury on her sofa. The carer appears to have ignored her desperate condition
Her family say the carer failed to notice she was in severe pain and was unable to move from the sofa
He said social care watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, was informed of the case on Tuesday, but the council has not asked for the police to investigate, nor will the council's three-year contract with Care UK be reviewed.
A spokeswoman from Care UK said: 'As soon as this matter was drawn to our attention, we withdrew the care worker and we are working closely with the council on a full investigation so that lessons can be learnt for the future.
'We believe that concerns were raised and we met with the council to discuss the situation in December. We would like to offer our apologies.
'The vast majority of our care teams are dedicated, compassionate people who work hard to help the people we support lead safe, comfortable lives.'
Mr and Mrs Norton are recovering in a dedicated care centre. Merton Council has now agreed to place her in a 'more suitable' property with a greater level of supervision.