Authorities tried to help couple found dead

An independent review into the care of an elderly couple found dead in their home found today that authorities had tried to help but they had "consistently refused support".

The bodies of Jean and Derek Randall were found at their home in Northampton in January.



At the time a concerned neighbour said she had tried to get the couple, in their 70s, help from various authorities, to no avail.



But a Serious Case Review launched by the Northamptonshire Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults Board found they had not been neglected by authorities.



The independent review involved local GPs, Age Concern, Northamptonshire County Council, and Northamptonshire NHS.



Serious Case Reviews are usually launched when a vulnerable adult dies and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor.



No inquest will be held into the Randalls' deaths as they died of natural causes, but the Safeguarding Adults Board said a Serious Case Review was launched amid concerns more should have been done to help the elderly couple.



A summary of its findings said efforts had been made to help the Randalls, which they had not taken up.



But bosses said important issues had been raised and an action plan put in place to learn for the future.



The report said the couple - referred to as Mr and Mrs R - lived together in their own home and Mrs Randall had only partially recovered from a broken hip in 2007.



In December 2009, Mr Randall told his GP his wife's condition was deteriorating and the couple were contacted by the district nurse, and referred to social services, the report said.



"The couple chose not to accept the offers of services made but did agree to advice being provided by Age Concern about the possibility of residential care," it said.



"Information was given by telephone and post and was not followed up by Mr and Mrs R."



The report found a neighbour also tried to get the couple help from the social care service and Age Concern, while their local MP also wrote to the director of Adult Social Care Services.



"This resulted in a manager attempting to contact Mr and Mrs R by telephone on January 7," the report found.



But it said by that time the couple had been found dead in their home in Birch Barn Way, Northampton.



"Mr and Mrs R died from natural causes and no evidence was found of abuse or neglect," the report said.



"At least until the final days of their lives, Mr R was able to successfully care for his wife and the couple rarely sought assistance and consistently refused support following Mrs R's discharge from hospital in 2008.



"Both were judged fully capable of making decisions regarding their care needs on different occasions by different professional staff."



Mr Randall's niece Susan Spring, 52, previously said the couple became reclusive when their disabled son David was born. He died in the late 1970s when he was about 18, she said.



Today Northamptonshire County Council's corporate director of health and adult social services, Charlie MacNally, said: "We welcomed the serious case review as we were keen to investigate fully the surrounding circumstances of this distressing case and ensure any opportunities for improvement were identified.



"The coroner's findings had already made clear that the couple had both died from natural causes and that this was not a case of abuse or neglect."



But he said the review raised important issues and an action plan for its recommendations had already been put in place.



"It can be difficult to accept that adults who have sound mental capacity are entitled to refuse professional help or services, as was the case here," he added.



"But nevertheless, it is vital that as an organisation we are ready and able to support those adults who do ask for support and have taken on board fully those recommendations that will help us to do this better.



"This includes making sure that information is effectively shared, both across council services and between partner organisations, to allow health and social services professionals to be able to respond in the correct way."

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?