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Son: I asked for help before my mum died

90-year-old fell at home during wait for care package

30 June, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Karthy Nair with her son Dhevdhas

A RETIRED Highbury teacher died waiting for the Town Hall to provide her with social care, six months after an assessment was requested, her son has claimed.

Karthy Nair, 90, fell at her Highbury home on January 18 and died three days later in University College Hospital due to a bleed in the brain from a head injury.

An inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Wednesday ruled that the death was accidental.

The inquest heard how Ms Nair’s son found his mother on the kitchen floor at 10pm. She could have been lying there for five to six hours as the light was off, suggesting she had been there before it was dark outside.

Speaking after the inquest, her son Dhevdhas Nair said at the time of his mother’s death he was working late two days a week. He said: “If we had a care package in place from the council
we may not have had to leave her alone for such long periods of time in the day.

“Until that point it was working okay, because she was fairly comfortable but I was aware she was deteriorating slowly so that’s why I wanted to get some help from social care.”

Mr Nair said an assessment was arranged just before Christmas but no one from the council turned up to the meeting.

He was still waiting for a report from the council about the delay – six months after his mother’s death.

“I wanted to get a report from the council before the inquest,” he said.

Ms Nair was a peace activist who taught at Highbury Quadrant and Canonbury primary schools.

Alongside her brother, Devan Nair, who would later become President of Singapore, she was one of the founding members of Singapore’s People’s Action Party, which helped overthrow British colonial rule.

After she moved to Britain in 1956, she often attended anti-war protests. Her home became a base for peace activists.

Health and social care chief Councillor Janet Burgess said: “Islington Council was very sorry to hear of the death of Mr Nair’s mother and we express our sincere condolences to his family.

“We understand that Mr Nair has a number of issues arising from when he requested a care assessment for his mother prior to her death.

“We have spoken to Mr Nair about this already, and look forward to discussing this further.”

She added: “We are keen to make sure that all Islington residents have the best care and council services possible.

“We will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure these are in place.”

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