A truly battering day

I don’t think there can be many worse experiences than having your son (with epilepsy) drown in the bath in a secure NHS setting.

But then, instead of being able to grieve ‘in peace’ (not that I can ever imagine feeling peace again), we have to deal with the monster that is the NHS and the procedures that kick into action when something like this happens. And this is fucking hideous.

This state run organisation, supposedly built on the premise of care, is able to investigate its own cock-ups and, at the same time, grind bereft, shattered and exhausted families to bits. How can this be? I’d heard terrible, terrible stories from other parents but thought timing wise, given all the recent talk of change and reports into the way the NHS is run, there would be some improvement in the way in which it deals with unexpected deaths.

Well you can chuck all the post-Francis, post-Keogh, post-Berwick talk in the bin. Post-my arse. So many cliches spring to mind thinking about these reports. Wind, pissing, paper, written, teapot, chocolate.. endless. Simon Denegri nicely illustrates how the language of these reports suggest inertia rather than action. Yep, inertia, surely a central feature of a monolithic structure. Oh, and you can lob ‘post-Winterbourne’ in the bin too while you’re at it. Given LB died in a treatment and assessment hellhole.  Empty, meaningless statements of change. Almost embarrassing really.

We (stupidly – well more me than Rich to be honest) thought that we were being listened to. That our concerns and our lack of confidence in an internal [yes, really, internal] review were taken seriously. Our CID guy even forwarded the link to my ‘letter to the internal reviewer’ to the person leading the review. Love him. The acronyms disappeared, LB was called by his name. And the Trust introduced some innovative levels to the review. Innovation Simon, not inertia. Some comfort. Movement in the right direction.

And then, yesterday, an about turn. Innovation suddenly reduced to a shell. A complete sham. It was a rug, feet situation. We walked round for the rest of the day reeling and raging. Truly battered. Our son died while in the ‘care’ of this organisation. And now, this same organisation is wielding a level of power over us that is astonishing in its wrongness. Astonishing in its hypocrisy.  Astonishing in its cruelty.

6 thoughts on “A truly battering day

  1. Whatever’s happened/not happened is not sounding good. I hadn’t realised that the police investigation fed into the internal investigation, not the other way round…can Andrew Smith help? or go direct to Cameron – this is an Oxfordshire Health issue. Even take it direct to Dept of Health? or could you go to press, TV? Channel 4 news (could someone who knows him speak with Jon Snow perhaps) or even BBC Oxford…could you face that?
    Maybe if you draft something we (all your friends/followers) can send similar letters at same time to draw more attention…Would be “happy”(?) to help…Wendyx

      • Angela – the system isolates and ostracise you ….. the next step will be a gagging order – all about control and not letting the public know just what is going on within the NHS & Adult Social Care. The most infuriating thing is the people responsible will walk away – unless you take out civil action there will be no justice……. we must show Solidarity…….

  2. This is just typical of the system across the country – my son recently had a serious injury in the care of the local authority/agency – the system went on the defensive.

    My son has had 6 operation due to the injury and more to come – the lack of empathy is overwhelming – they [the authority or the agency] have never asked were are we up to with the treatment or ask about my son’s welfare. My son was only in a new service for just over 24 hours and the agency breached the Community Care Assessment a legal document which resulted in the ”accident” The authority have now employed an independent social worker !! and I now only correspond with the authorities legal department [even though I have not sort legal representation] who are brisk in their writing to say the least.

    What I find remarkable is that ”EVERYONE IS UPSET BECAUSE I’M UPSET MY SON HAD AN ACCIDENT WHILE IN THEIR CARE” [couldn’t make it up]

    They never listen only to collate information that they turn round and use against you – you have to pick your words very carefully – it all about preserving the system – they want us to go away – they want us to say ”it’s okay LB died – it’s okay your son was seriously hurt” lets move on….. ”well that’s not going to happen……..

    Justice and Recognition for LB and my son and for all the parents struggling with the tyranny of the system.

    SOLIDARITY – shoulder to shoulder girlfriend……. xx

  3. I just cannot find adequate words to express how angry I am on your behalf – everyone should be accountable, it should not ever be a “cover your arse” exercise but I can only imagine the level of frustration you are feeling as this appears to be the case. I have a friend who, when she kicked up a huge fuss about her severely disabled daughters schooling/treatment, had the tables turned and nearly ended up being declared an unfit parent. Fighting the system took her to the edge of a breakdown.

    It is so very wrong, and I am so very sorry 😦

  4. I don’t know what to say Sara, other than I can just about imagine what crap they have come up with now. Hang in there Sara, they can’t get away with what they did. So much for NHS accountability.

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