‘Missed opportunities’ to protect murdered woman
AN independent investigation into the death of a vulnerable woman has concluded there were “missed opportunities” to stop her being abused before her murder.
Sharon Greenop, 46, was found dead at her home in Troon, South Ayrshire in November 2016, murdered by her sister Lynette Greenop.
A Significant Case Review said no one could have foreseen her death but it identified a series of failings in the care provided by South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership.
Sharon’s sister, Lynette Greenop, was convicted of her murder and sentenced to life imprisonment for her crime in May 2018.
Prior to her death, Sharon received a community care package from social work services within the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership.
The purpose of the Significant Case Review was to consider social work’s involvement with Sharon and identify whether there were lessons to be learned about how better to protect adults at risk.
The review was led by independent review chair and extremely experienced senior social worker, David Crawford, with the review team comprising representatives from South Ayrshire Council, NHS Ayrshire & Arran and Police Scotland.
The review found that responsibility for Sharon’s death lies with the person convicted of her murder – her sister, Lynette – and that no one could have foreseen her violent death.
However, it also identified a number of issues for the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership including the decision to allow Sharon’s care package to be closed, describing it as flawed and allowed the circumstances to develop that ultimately led to her death.
The Partnership missed opportunities to raise adult protection concerns regarding Sharon’s wellbeing, which could have resulted in interventions that could have stopped Sharon being abused.
Sharon’s community care package was one of hundreds that hadn’t been reviewed by the Partnership in a number of years despite a statutory obligation and a corporate policy to undertake annual reviews.
The duty system – the initial response for social work referrals – was found to be not fit for purpose and previously identified failings had not been sufficiently addressed.
Record-keeping was described as ‘extremely poor’ and hampered by outdated information systems, meaning there was insufficient information about Sharon’s care and wellbeing and it was difficult to manage her case effectively.
The report concludes that there are undoubtedly lessons to be learned from Sharon’s death
Sharon’s sister, Diane Hogg, said she has questioned the continuity of the care and the system since the brutal murder.
She added: “It’s been two and a half years since the brutal murder of my sister Sharon Greenop at the hands of her younger sibling Lynette, a year since the trial and conviction of her murderer.
“I questioned the continuity of care and the system which should have protected Sharon. As the review was progressing and urgent recommendations were being administered, I knew that other areas would take time to change.
“So, with hindsight maybe understanding and insight, looking at the past mistakes it could prevent another family from undergoing the same traumatic experience. Hopefully these lessons can and will be learned.
“Although I have answers it still leaves an undeniable feeling within myself that just maybe my sister would still be alive if protocols and policies had been followed.”
Tim Eltringham, Director of the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We take our responsibilities to protect vulnerable adults from harm very seriously. And while we know it won’t bring Sharon back, we are deeply sorry that we failed Sharon and her family and I have delivered that apology in person to her sister, Diane Hogg.
“We fully accept the findings of the review and recognise where we fell down in delivering the standard and quality of service that Sharon needed and deserved. We’re doing everything in our power to ensure this cannot happen again and we’ve made a lot of progress in improving how we work.”
Sister Lynette with Sharon Greenop