A widow who was left to starve after her nursing care was cut off has died in hospital.

Banstead woman Gloria Foster was left for nine days after the council-contracted agency supplying her with care was shut down by immigration police.

She was found dangerously dehydrated, with severe bed sores and only a faint pulse on Thursday, January 24, after going nine days without the four daily visits she was supposed to have. She died in Epsom Hospital yesterday.

Mrs Foster, in her 80s, was being looked after by nurses from Sutton-based Carefirst 24 and depended on them for her medication, food and drink. The agency was raided and six people arrested on January 15 amid allegations the company had been employing illegal immigrants under the identities of former workers.

Both Surrey County Council and Sutton Council contracted work to the agency and alternative arrangements were supposed to have been made for all those affected. But Mrs Foster, who was under Surrey County Council's jurisdiction, did not get any replacement care.

A Surrey County Council spokesman said: "We're very sad to hear about Mrs Foster's death, and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.

"The safety of vulnerable adults is our top priority, which is why this tragic event is already being urgently looked at by the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board."

The Local Government Ombudsman has said it will step in if the investigation is not deemed satisfactory.

All those arrested in the raid on Carefirst 24 have been bailed until dates in March.

Sutton Council says alternative arrangements were made for all its clients in Carefirst's care prior to the raid.