Minetta Webb surrounded by family and friends

Minetta Webb surrounded by family and friends

Police have accused a loving family of abducting their 107 year old grandmother from a hospital after they became concerned about her treatment.

Minetta Webb who is the second oldest woman in Britain, was originally admitted into Manchester’s Royal Infirmary hospital for an eye infection.

But her family became concerned over her welfare after she developed bedsores. They then agreed that she needed 24 hour care at home and doctors initially agreed to discharge Minetta.

However, when the family went to collect her, they were told that the only person who could sign Minetta out was her daughter. But when her daughter came to the hospital to collect her, the man on reception told them that he couldn’t get hold of the discharge papers, but said the family could take their gran home and collect the papers in the morning.

But just as they were leaving, two burly security guards ran after them and told them that they couldn’t discharge her afterall.

Grandaughter Susan Peltier, 50, told the Mail: “‘They were saying: “Bring her back! Bring her back! You can’t take her!” It was so confusing. We’d just been told that we could take her home but now they were using heavy-handed tactics to try and stop us.

“As soon as Gran was in the car, I panicked and put my foot down and sped away. I didn’t want to stop and discuss it because it was clear they were going to try and get her back in the hospital. At home, we had a large welcome party waiting for her. Twenty members of the family from all over the country were here to celebrate her return.

“The moment Gran came in and saw the faces of her family, you could see her spirits lift. She looked better than she had done in weeks.”

But their issues with the hospital did not end there. At 11pm at night, the hospital had sent around four police officers and accused the family of kidnapping their gran.

The family went outside to speak to the officers but refused to let them in. They were threatened with arrest and the police said that if they failed to comply, the door would be kicked in.

It was then that they found out that their beloved gran had been made the subject of a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DOLS) – an order which allows local authorities, care homes and hospitals to restrict the freedom of vulnerable people if it is in their best interests.

Mrs Webb’s relatives claim they had never even heard of the order until the police arrived.
After four hours of negotiations, the family allowed paramedics and doctors to come in and see their grandma at 2am. Both the paramedics and doctors agreed that Minetta was better cared for at home.

After the police left, the family contacted the hospital the following day to see the order – they were not allowed to.

Granddaughter D’borah Peltier, said in an interview published by the Mail: “We’ve requested it over and over from every authority going by letter, phone and email, but no one can provide it. We think that’s because you need the family’s input to get a DOLS order into place and no one here has ever signed anything like that. We are being so careful as to what we sign just in case we’re tricked into signing the DOLS.”

Over 6,000 DOLS orders have been made since 2011 and  more than half of them were used to sedate dementia sufferers. However, a further 5,050 orders were turned down as not being in the patient’s best interests and the Mental Health Alliance has criticised the system as being unfit for purpose.

A spokesman for Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust told the Mail that Mrs Webb’s removal from the hospital was ‘subject of an ongoing review by Social Services, the police and the Trust. We are therefore unable to comment further.’

The family added that they were afraid that if their gran is ever admitted into hospital again, she would not make it out.

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