Authorities investigate Cynthia Barrass death

THE death of Cynthia Barrass a year ago next month prompted an investigation by North Tyneside Council’s adult safeguarding board.

Its serious case review aims to find out what the council could have done to safeguard Miss Barrass so it can learn lessons for the future.

A report will be finalised within the next few weeks and published.

Paul Hanson, pictured, the council’s strategic director of community Services, said the authority was sorry it had not been able to save Miss Barrass from her brother’s neglect. This was a dreadfully sad case of a vulnerable lady dying in squalid conditions because someone who should have loved and cared for her failed to access the help she needed, he said.

Mr Hanson added: “All agencies will take the review’s recommendations seriously and use them to help make any improvements necessary.

“We are committed to never being complacent and will always seek to do things better.

“However, safeguarding adults is not just our business. It is a matter for everyone in our borough.

“We are asking for the support of our residents and communities to ensure no one ever again suffers the lonely and undignified death of Cynthia Barrass.

“It is also about making sure that no carer of a vulnerable adult ever feels isolated and unaware of where they can go to get the help they or their loved one needs.

“In this case, it is particularly sad that the teams of people available to help Miss Barrass were not allowed in to make a difference.

“We would say to every carer that you and the person you care for have the right to our help and support.

“Asking for help is not a sign of failure. We will listen and act to meet those needs.

“In recent years, all agencies have improved the services available to meet the needs of vulnerable adults and their carers.

“For example, government inspectors recently awarded the council’s adult social care service an excellent rating for the third year in succession, recognising its commitment to safeguarding.”

“Across the borough, thousands of front-line workers in the council, in health, in the police and community and voluntary sector, have been trained to develop increased awareness in safeguarding issues and the referral procedures.

“North Tyneside’s safeguarding adults board promises it will continue to work to make this borough a place where vulnerable adults are safe and supported, with the care they need and are fully entitled to.”