Review into death of son found in suitcase
Wednesday 02 September 2009
Health and social care services condemned for lack of action
A report has revealed failings leading up to the death of James Hughes, whose body was found in a suitcase in April last year.
Mr Hughes, 21, had a severe learning disability and physical disabilities. His body was found in the suitcase at his home in Redditch, Worcester. His mother Heather Wardle, 43, was found hanged two days earlier.
A serious case review has ruled that social services and health professionals "fell short of the expected standards of assessment and review of his needs". It said that staff at two care centres had raised concerns for James's welfare in December 2007. However, county council social workers didn't visit the family for two months.
David Congdon, Mencap's head of campaigns and policy said: "James Hughes' death is yet another tragic example of how a vulnerable adult with a learning disability has slipped through the net due to the collective irresponsibility of the agencies responsible for their care. This sad case highlights the need for proper safeguarding legislation so that vulnerable adults like James are kept safe."