Helena Opoku Wiki
Helena Opoku Biography
Who was Helena Opoku ?
A vulnerable retiree died of carbon monoxide poisoning when she burned coal to keep warm after her power and gas were cut off, according to an investigation.
Helena Opoku died on April 4, 2021, three months after a self-neglect alert was issued to Redbridge Council social services.
While receiving inpatient treatment for injuries sustained in a car accident in January, Ms Opoku spent a week in the hospital.
During this time, her staff identified her as a vulnerable adult, but after her discharge on January 14, social services did not assess the risk she posed to her or to her home.
Ms. Opoku returned home to find that she had cut off the electricity and gas, so she turned to charcoal to heat and cook food.wikipedia
The autopsy found that Ms. Opoku had died after inhaling poisonous carbon monoxide gas emitted from burning charcoal braziers in her poorly ventilated home of hers.
How old was Helena Opoku ?
She was 67 year old.
During the investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death, Graeme Irvine, the East London Area Chief Coroner, confirmed that social services did not assign Ms Opoku a social worker until April 1.
Coroner Irvine stated that at the time of her death, Ms. Opoku died while she was waiting for the social worker to contact her.
Following the end of the investigation, Coroner Irvine sent a “report to prevent future deaths” to the Redbridge Council.
In the report, he criticized the council for its wrongdoing, saying: ‘During the course of the investigation, the evidence revealed issues that raised concern. In my opinion, there is a risk of deaths in the future unless action is taken.
“ During January-March 2021, the London Borough of Redbridge Social Services Adult Social Care team in Cranbrook and Loxford were unable to adequately investigate all of the more serious protection referrals made to them.
During the same period, the team was unable to appoint social workers for vulnerable people within a reasonable time or conduct suitability assessments for vulnerable residents’ homes.
“In my opinion, steps must be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe that you have the power to take such action.”
The City Council’s social care team has until Dec. 8 to respond to Coroner Irvine’s report and their response should contain an explanation of the steps they will take to prevent similar deaths in the future.
Helen Opoku Quick and Facts
- Helen Opoku had her electricity cut off before her death in Redbridge in Apil
- The 67-year-old pensioner was hospitalised in January following a car crash
- She was identified as a vulnerable person and was given a social worker
- However, three months after the alert, Ms Opoku was found dead in her flat