Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lambeth Failures Led to Death by Starvation

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lambeth Failures Led to Death by Starvation

Article excerpt

Byline: MAXINE FRITH

A WHEELCHAIR-BOUND 74-year-old woman starved to death in her own home because of "persistent and serial" failures by social services, according to a report published today.

The inquiry into the death of Violet Hardy criticised social workers, hospital doctors, GPs, district nurses and management for the tragedy.

It found that Mrs Hardy, from Dulwich, was allowed to waste away over a period of months, despite having numerous care plans put in place to look after her. She was found dead in her flat by a friend in June 1999, weighing only a few stone.

An inquest said she had died from "lack of proper nutrition" - a verdict almost unheard of in modern-day Britain.

The joint inquiry by the health authority, King's College Hospital and Lambeth Social Services was finally published today, three years after Mrs Hardy's death. It made more than 40 recommendations for improving services.

The inquiry chairman, Peter Gluckman, said: "Sadly, the joint inquiry found that not only did the care system as a whole in Lambeth persistently fail to connect and work effectively in the interests of Violet Hardy's health and quality of life, but it also discovered that individual and discrete parts of the system were weak and failed her too. …

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