Island social workers made ‘fatal mistake’

    Social workers have been criticised at an inquest into the case of
    a 92-year-old woman who died nine days after being left
    “distraught” at the news that her care package was to be
    withdrawn.

    Isle of Wight coroner John Matthews said the island’s council had
    made a “fatal mistake” over its handling of Olenka Thomas’ home
    care arrangements.

    Social services told Thomas that owing to staff shortages, her care
    package would end in 48 hours and offered her a temporary care home
    place. It later emerged that Thomas’ care would end after four
    days.

    After hearing expert evidence that the trauma would not have
    triggered the bronchopneumonia that caused her death, Matthews
    recorded a verdict of natural causes. But he said social services
    should not have involved Thomas until they had exhausted all other
    contingencies.

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