Socialist Worker

Elderly, frail and kicked out to die

Issue No. 1860

WINIFRED HUMPHREY has died after she was evicted from her private care home in Kent. The 102 year old was forced to leave Bradley House after its owners demanded Kent County Council coughed up more in fees, as Socialist Worker reported at the time. Winifred was transferred to another care home on 20 June. She died just over two weeks later.

Her family believes the forced move led to her death. Mrs Humphrey picked up a chest infection and her condition deteriorated. She suffered a stroke on Monday of last week and died hours later. 'The fact she had to leave the place she had called home without any choice of her own really upset her,' said Mrs Humphrey's son Allan. 'The whole system is wrong. My mother was a person, not just a name on an income sheet. The fact these people are able to profit out of other people's misery is totally unacceptable. These people responsible know what they have done, and I hope the money they have earned is consolation for their nagging conscience.'

Tessa Harding, head of policy for Help the Aged, said: 'It is simply outrageous that older people can be moved around like pawns in this way, to suit other people's agendas, with so little concern for their welfare. This has to stop, now.'

In the same week as Mrs Humphrey died, campaigners blamed the closure of a Merseyside care home for the deaths of four of its former residents. Delamere House in Sutton, St Helens, closed six weeks ago despite a campaign by residents' relatives. They have confirmed that four residents have since died.

One of the four, Colin Nuttall, 61, died of bronchial infection four weeks after being moved to Green Park nursing home in Warrington on 11 May. His brother said, 'When Colin was first moved out he was walking and you could get him to say a few words but within two days of arriving in Green Park he really retreated into himself. His eyes were glazed over and he would just lie there. He just wasn't responding. I know it was a bronchial infection that killed him, but in my eyes I don't think he could recover from the trauma of being taken out of his familiar surroundings with staff he knew.'

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Sat 19 Jul 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1860
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