Pensioner found ‘bleeding to death’ at home
AN URGENT investigation has been launched into the care of an elderly man found “bleeding to death” in the “squalid” Edinburgh home he shared with his sister.
John and Thomasina Gibson – who are both in their 80s and should be visited by carers four times a day – were rushed to hospital after a neighbour raised the alarm and alerted a doctor.
Mr Gibson is now understood to be in a critical condition following emergency surgery, while his sister – who has dementia – is being cared for on a specialist ward.
Medical staff are said to have been left horrified and physically sick by their condition and the state of their home in Claremont Bank, Bellevue.
The city council, which had appointed an outside agency to provide carers for the siblings, has now launched an immediate probe into the case.
One source said it was as if the pair had been “left to rot” despite receiving a full care package.
“How is it that this can happen with four carers going in on a daily basis? Not one person has phoned social services.
“The gentleman was bleeding from everywhere, there was something coming out of every orifice. He had been left to bleed to death. There’s no way the carers couldn’t have noticed. He could have been bleeding for weeks.
“The couple were left in filth. When the doctor was called in he went daft at the state of the house. He said it was utterly disgusting.
“The council clearly doesn’t know what’s going on.”
The council has refused to say which care providers had been tasked with visiting the Gibsons, but it is believed that it will continue to provide services to other vulnerable residents while the incident is investigated.
Neighbours said that they often had to step in to care for the elderly siblings and had been concerned about the standard of care in the past.
They were discovered on Wednesday night after a neighbour saw Mr Gibson bleeding through the window and contacted his doctor.
One resident said: “It’s dreadful, a shocking state.
“You have to question how this was allowed to happen. The carers should have been reporting the state of the house. They are a lovely old couple. We’ve always said something’s going to happen. We all find it very sad that it’s been going on like this.
“There were people going in there four times a day, but we still don’t know what they were doing.” Referring to the carers, another added: “They didn’t stay very long.”
Carers appointed by the council have no powers of entry and those receiving care can refuse help if they wish. It is thought Mr Gibson could be “difficult” with carers at times.
But the care agencies have a duty to raise issues with the local authority if they have concerns about one of the people they look after, and it is understood that no such concerns were raised in this case.
Senior Tory MSP John Lamont said: “It would appear something has gone badly wrong here and I’m glad the council has launched an investigation.
“We rely on home carers not only to carry out care duties, but to flag up any other concerns they may have about the circumstances of vulnerable people.”
A council spokesman said: “As soon as we became aware of the incident we immediately launched an investigation, which is in its early stages.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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