The family of a Leslie pensioner stabbed three times on Boxing Day say they have been left “horrified and appalled” by Fife Council’s handling of the incident.
Louise Grant, daughter of the injured man, told the Gazette of her family’s anguish – and said the failings in care provision have raised serious questions that housing bosses must answer.
Dick Jones (69) has lived in Burgh House sheltered housing complex in Leslie for the past four years.
He was attacked while in the communal lounge area of the facility on December 26.
Mr Jones (pictured), the chairman of Glenrothes Neighbourhood Safety Group and former husband of Wilma Grant, ex-leader of Kirkcaldy District Council, was taken to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, where he underwent emergency surgery for a knife wound to the abdomen.
A 72-year-old fellow resident has been detained under the Mental Health Act.
His daughter spoke of her anger and astonishment that it took 12 days following the incident for Fife Council to make contact with the family to discuss their ordeal.
She said: “The local authority has a duty of care to all residents and there have been clear failings, yet nobody has picked up the phone and talk to us about what has happened to my father until today (Tuesday), I find that astounding.
“We are still coming to terms with the incident but we have yet to receive any sort of explanation as how this could possibly have been allowed to happen.”
The incident has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal and the family is waiting on news of what happens next.
“As we see it, the man who attacked my father was wrongly placed at the sheltered housing complex,’’ said Louise. ‘‘He too has not been cared for proficiently. He too has been let down by the system.
“We want to know who is responsible for that failing, as we need to have a cast-iron reassurance that my father will not be put at further risk.”
The Gazette has learned that residents’ previous concerns were conveyed to the warden, prior to the Boxing Day incident, and the family is now demanding answers.
John Mills, Fife Council’s head of housing said: “This has been an isolated incident and one which has been shocking and distressing for tenants and staff involved.
“The care and safety of service users is our first priority and we’ll be instigating our own investigation into this incident when it’s appropriate after the police have concluded their investigation.’’
Call for inquiry
A Glenrothes councillor has demanded an immediate review of care following the incident.
Cllr Kay Morrison has written to John Mills, Fife Council’s head of housing.
“This is a deeply worrying incident and it is vital that Fife Council understands what has happened, how it happened and how to make sure it can’t happen again,” she said.
“Residents, family members and all others directly connected must now be treated with the utmost respect and humility as the Council enquiry proceeds.
“There have been a very serious and complex sequence of events leading up to this extremely unfortunate incident. It is, however, already abundantly clear that failures in the system have resulted in a catastrophic and very upsetting time for all concerned.”