Warden row over fall

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A PENSIONER’S daughter is calling for the return of Doncaster’s warden service after her mum was left on the floor for three days following a fall at her home.

Patricia Matthews, aged 81, is now recovering in hospital, but her daughter Angie fears the incident could have had a far worse outcome.

She believes her mum would have been found much sooner if she had still been receiving a daily visit from a warden to her Tickhill bungalow.

She said: “They need to put the warden back in place.

“They pay for this service so why cut it?”

Mrs Matthews had been issued with an emergency pendant alarm but was not wearing it when she fell out of bed.

Angie has since found out her mum fell out of bed and was unable to get up, so crawled into the bathroom believing she would be able to lever herself upright using the side of the bath.

But Angie said: “She then fell into the bath with her legs hanging over the edge.

“She was there for three days. It was from Monday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon when her cleaner found her.

“I don’t know what would have happened if she hadn’t been found then.”

Angie said her mum wasn’t wearing her pendant, but said she felt sure other older people are not wearing the device in bed. She said forgetfulness could also have played a part.

“I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Angie said.

The warden service was scrapped to save £1 million a year and the council claimed it would be more modern, flexible and responsive to the needs of local people.

As well as the pendant alarm system, which can be used inside and outside the home, the council also plans to use a volunteer befriending service to provide social contact.

Joan Beck, the council’s director of adults and communities, defended the arrangements. She said: “Ensuring the health, well-being and safety of vulnerable adults in Doncaster is a top priority for the council.

“As well as the pendant alarm system, we offer residents a wide variety of tailored telecare solutions designed to ensure their well-being and independence.

“Had Mrs Matthews been wearing her pendant at the time of her fall she would have been able to access assistance from our contact centre immediately. This emphasises how important it is for citizens with a pendant to wear it at all times in order to get the full benefit of the service.

“We will be happy to work with Mrs Matthews and her family to discuss any concerns about her current care arrangements and will look to recommend additional solutions where appropriate.”