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Banstead pensioner dies in hospital after being left without food or water for nine days

By Surrey Mirror  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

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A VULNERABLE widow who was abandoned for nine days without food, water or medication has died in hospital.

Gloria Foster, who was in her early 80s, was left in her Banstead home without her daily carers after police and the UK Border Agency raided the Sutton-based company which had looked after her, and arrested some staff members.

The pensioner was taken to Epsom Hospital suffering from starvation and dehydration but died on Monday. An investigation was launched immediately.

Reigate MP Crispin Blunt described Gloria Foster's ordeal as horrific.

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He added: "I am very sorry to hear that Mrs Foster has sadly passed away. Clearly there are questions to answer, and I would expect a comprehensive investigation between all of the agencies involved.

"I would certainly not like to pre-judge any more of the narrative before it is formally established. Monday's desperately sad developments can only increase the salience of that need."

Officers from the UK Border Agency and Metropolitan Police raided the Upper Mulgrave Road offices of Carefirst24 on January 15. They arrested four people on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to assist foreign nationals. They were bailed until April.

The Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board, which protects vulnerable adults and is made up of Surrey Police, NHS Surrey, Surrey County Council, Surrey Borders NHS Foundation Trust, 11 district and borough councils in Surrey and voluntary organisations including Mencap, the Surrey Coalition of Service Users and Action for Carers, will now be carrying out an urgent review of Gloria Foster's case.

Surrey County Council spokeswoman Joy Ridley 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."

No-one from Carefirst24 answered calls for a comment.

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