Portsmouth’s disabled residents left fearful after woman’s death

Anne Savidge's death has sparked a series of worried calls from other disabled people
Anne Savidge's death has sparked a series of worried calls from other disabled people
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COUNCIL officials are seeking to reassure worried disabled residents after a woman’s death sparked an investigation.

Anne Savidge, pictured right, died days after being abandoned by 18 different care services in Portsmouth.

The 64-year-old’s death has left other disabled residents in Portsmouth rattled, a charity leader has claimed.

Lynne Rigby, the principal officer at the Portsmouth Disability Forum, said her organisation had been contacted by a number of fearful residents in the wake of the scandal.

She said: ‘A number have been people who are very independent, self-sufficient, resilient, intelligent and yet they are still worried. That is a concern.

‘If you have people who are very able, albeit who are disabled, who are thinking these thoughts then what is happening in the minds of other people who are more vulnerable. That’s what’s worrying.’

The comments have worried Portsmouth City Council which has been in discussion with the forum to see what action it can take to reassure residents.

Mrs Rigby added: ‘The city council is keen to make sure people are reassured given the tragic circumstances of this poor lady’s death.’

Civic leaders were left shocked when the circumstances of Ms Savidge’s death emerged last month.

Tory council boss Donna Jones pledged an immediate investigation. The call was echoed by members across all political parties.

Quizzed on how far the investigation had progressed since then, a city council spokeswoman said: ‘An experienced independent investigator has been appointed to lead and deliver the investigation.

‘A scope for the investigation has been prepared that will allow the investigator to deliver a wide-ranging and detailed report into the case.’

Mrs Rigby welcomed the news but stressed the probe should not be rushed.

‘It’s far better to take the time to do this properly so we understand everything,’ she said, adding: ‘I would not like to be here in a year’s time and we are still sitting waiting for it.

‘The investigation needs to be a thorough one.’