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Pensioner left to rot in his own bed: Shocking case puts Camden adult safeguarding under fire

06:00 10 April 2014

Ken Macleod was finally taken to hospital after the Ham&High dialled 999 for help this week

Ken Macleod was finally taken to hospital after the Ham&High dialled 999 for help this week

Archant

Serious questions have been raised over the care provided to vulnerable adults in Camden after the Ham&High discovered a pensioner physically rotting and covered in excrement in his home.

Ken Macleod's leg was left to rot for months as he waited for a social worker to come and visit him at his bedsitKen Macleod's leg was left to rot for months as he waited for a social worker to come and visit him at his bedsit

Ken Macleod, 70, was discovered with his legs covered in ulcers, his toes gone black, and old bandages soaked in months of pus.

Unable to walk to the toilet, he had also been reduced to soiling himself for weeks on end – leading to his own faeces covering and infecting his severe wounds.

With no phone, no next of kin, no friends and unable to walk easily, he was left with no way of travelling to hospital or asking for help.

As the Ham&High rang 999 to call an ambulance to take him to A&E on Sunday, he said: “I was told someone from the council would help me but I’ve been waiting for months for someone to come.

"I was told someone from the council would help me but I’ve been waiting for months for someone to come.
When they eventually gave me a date I waited by the door but nobody turned up.
I’ve been waiting for the dressings to be changed since January.
I really hope I don’t lose my leg."

Ken Macleod

“When they eventually gave me a date I waited by the door but nobody turned up.

“I’ve been waiting for the dressings to be changed since January.

“I really hope I don’t lose my leg.”

The former journalist was left waiting months for Camden Council care workers to visit and assist in his care.

A diabetic, who is visibly unable to look after himself properly, he was admitted to University College Hospital (UCH) in December after a cut in his leg developed into ulcers.

Staff at UCH were so alarmed at the state of Mr Macleod that they contacted the council to request he be cared for following his discharge on Christmas Eve.

But for three months, he says, nobody came to his Mornington Crescent home.

Ambulance paramedics were shocked by the extent of Mr Macleod’s injuries and said he should have been admitted to accident and emergency “weeks or even months ago”.

Desperate for help, Mr Macleod claimed he had hobbled to Ampthill GP practice in Crowndale Road, around the corner from his home, last Friday to ask that the dressings be changed, but says he was told by a nurse “we don’t do that here” and was “sent on his way”.

Spotting his injuries, a concerned member of the public visiting the bedsit in which he lives at Happy Vale Hotel, in Harrington Square, also alerted the council to his condition last Tuesday (April 1). He has heard nothing since.

As Mr Macleod recovered in hospital this week, the council insisted it had made “repeated attempts” to contact him by telephone – something Mr Macleod denies.

A council spokesman told the Ham&High: “Mr MacLeod was offered and refused adult social care support and was then offered outreach support.

“Unfortunately despite repeated attempts to visit him, both unannounced and pre-arranged, Mr MacLeod did not make himself available.

“He was clear about his preferences not to receive social care support.”

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