A disabled pensioner died after he was badly scalded while taking a shower and left for six hours because a carer failed to carry out a routine check on him.
Grandfather Alan Pavitt, 79, suffered severe burns after falling and accidentally knocking the hot tap on.
He should have been found by a home help at a 10am visit scheduled to coincide with when he had his daily wash. But she was late and told police she assumed the widower was out after letting herself in at 10.45am and finding the flat empty, claiming she did not try the bathroom door.
The carer claimed she returned at 1pm but had forgotten the key code so couldn’t let herself in.
It wasn’t until 2pm when she went back for a second scheduled visit that Mr Pavitt, who lived alone in Romford, east London, was found collapsed in the bath.
However, the carer failed to relay the severity of his condition to a 999 operator and it was around 4pm before he was taken to hospital with 11 per cent burns.
The former postman, who had limited mobility after a previous stroke, developed kidney failure and died nine days later in March 2016.
Police investigated but found insufficient evidence to prosecute the carer or the firm she worked for, Westminster Homecare, in connection with Mr Pavitt’s death.
But senior coroner Nadia Persaud later ruled at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court that the ‘failure to check his whereabouts and wellbeing’ at 10am delayed treatment and contributed to his death.
Yesterday Mr Pavitt’s daughter-in-law Shelley Pavitt, 43, said she was still haunted by thoughts of him suffering alone for so long.
‘When we got to hospital he was in agony,’ she said. ‘There was literally no skin on his leg. He had been really sick because of the shock and had lost so much fluid from the burns that he had gone into kidney failure.’
She and her family are concerned about inconsistencies in the unnamed carer’s version of events and are taking legal action against Westminster Homecare for compensation.
Nicole Brendel from law firm Slater and Gordon, who is representing the family, said: ‘They cannot turn the clock back but by sharing their own painful experience they hope to stop these kind of mistakes happening to anyone else.’
Westminster Homecare has been contacted for a comment.