Yorkshire councillor goes on hunger strike over '˜mistreatment' of woman

North Yorkshire County Council was last night holding urgent talks with two of its elected members over the 'mistreatment' of a 90-year-old woman at a local care home, after one of the councillors went on hunger strike in protest.

Coun John Clark, who represents Pickering, took to the steps of the council’s headquarters yesterday where he was joined by Richmond councillor Stuart Parsons.

After threatening to keep up his stance to pressurise authorities to take action over the care of the woman who he says “can’t speak up for herself”, county council officials said they were holding talks to resolve the situation.

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Coun Clark, leader of the authority’s Liberal group, claimed the case had been on-going for three years when the woman’s daughter first raised concerns over standards of care for her mother, who has not been identified.

Coun Clark said the mistreatment included insufficient liquid intake, weight loss, being fed in an unsafe manner and bruising to the patient’s arms and wrists. Despite the authorities being alerted to complaints three years ago, the care afforded to the woman has not improved, he said.

One of the alleged incidents include the woman receiving only 170ml of liquid on the hottest September day for a century.In a lengthy statement, the county council explained that it was investigating the claims, adding that the care home had voluntarily suspended any admissions while the council worked with the home and other agencies to address care standards. The council added: “This is a live investigation and we have asked for all evidence of poor care in this case to be shared with us.”