Monday, April 27, 2009

Power-freak British social workers, backed by police with a battering ram, snatched a dementia patient from her daughter's house and took her back to care home

Concerned about the treatment her elderly mother was receiving in a care home, Rosalind Figg decided to look after her personally. She and her partner created an ensuite bedroom with an alarm system to wake them if 86-year-old Betty Figg, who has dementia, got up in the night. When her mother confirmed that she was unhappy, Miss Figg took her home in the hope that it would be the end of an unfortunate chapter in her life.

But two days later, amid astonishing scenes, the old lady was snatched back by social services. A distraught Mrs Figg was wheeled to a car with a blanket over her head after police who had been called in as back-up threatened to smash the door with a battering ram if the family did not hand her over. Yesterday she was back in her room at £2,000-a-month Butts Croft House in Corley, Warwickshire.

'I will fight tooth and nail to get my mum back,' said 55-year- old Miss Figg at her home in Coventry. 'I can't believe this has happened - I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and realise it has been a bad dream.'

Miss Figg's mother had lived alone in Coventry since the death of husband Brian 15 years ago. She was admitted to hospital last June suffering from swollen legs and was becoming increasingly forgetful. Her daughter initially agreed to advice from social services that she should go into a home and she moved to Butts Croft House in August, with the fees being paid by the family.

In October, Mrs Figg fell out of her bed and was starting to lose weight and her daughter decided to give up her pottery business to care for her at home. Divorced mother-of-four Miss Figg and her partner Christopher Roberts, 41, created the downstairs bedroom, installed wheelchair ramps and had a special bed delivered with sensors in the mattress so an alarm would wake them if the old lady got up in the night.

But a council occupational health specialist ruled the three-bedroom semi-detached home was still not suitable for Mrs Figg. She was taken back to hospital in November after picking up an oral infection. When she returned to the home, her daughter went to visit and discovered Mrs Figg's mouth was caked in dried blood and she was complaining of feeling hungry.

Last Saturday, as usual, Miss Figg took her out from the home but says her mother was so unhappy there that she decided not to return her. She said she had contacted police before doing this and officers had told her it was a civil matter and did not concern them. Miss Figg, who herself used to work as a carer, said she saw a real improvement in her mother in the next two days, by the end of which she was laughing and chatting to neighbours over a cup of tea.

However, Coventry City Council obtained an 'emergency warrant' from magistrates under the Mental Health Act on the grounds that a 'person believed to be suffering from a mental disorder is being ill treated and neglected'.

'Mum was escorted out of my house in her wheelchair and had a towel thrown over her head as though she was some kind of prisoner,' said Miss Figg. 'She is not happy in the home. She should back with her loving family where she belongs.' A neighbour who witnessed the raid said: 'I can't believe they brought a battering ram. They use them to break into drug dens, not to cart off little old ladies.'

A council spokesman said an independent advocate had been appointed to work in Mrs Figg's best interests. 'Staff from a number of agencies are involved in safeguarding her, including using statutory powers to protect her against further moves and to provide a mental health assessment after she was removed from a residential care home by her daughter against advice.' He said social care staff had been refused entry to Miss Figg's home and returned with police assistance. A police spokesman said: 'Police were asked to assist social services to remove an elderly woman to a place of safety. 'A warrant was granted and an enforcer was taken in order to gain access to the property if needed. The enforcer was not used.'

Butts Croft House is a 28-bed home which specialises in dementia care. It has not been rated by the Care Quality Commission since changing ownership in October. It was inspected for the first time under the new regime last month. A spokesman for the CQC said the report was still being finalised and was not due to be published until late May.

Original report here. (Via Political Correctness Watch)

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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