It’s been a long old day. So this will be short. With a photo or two. Probably the best sort of post. I can’t engage with the CQC report right now in any depth. I’m too worn out. Other than to comment on one dimension of it. The lack of ‘performance’ by the staff given they were being inspected. This leapt out at me. Probably tugging at my sociological roots. We all perform. Particularly when we’re being surveilled. I’ve sat in countless meetings with health and social care professionals over the years trying to perform being a ‘good mother’. An exhausting and pretty much thankless task. But one I tried to do (well, until I became jaded and lost patience, probably around 2/3 years ago).
The staff clearly weren’t ‘performing’ ‘good care’ during the inspection. The more senior staff kind of were in places. In their talk. Well they could describe models of care (or something). Whether or not staff knew how to perform basic first aid procedures, you’d kind of imagine they’d (any staff) perform hanging out and interacting with the patients. Because this is central isn’t it? Not the performance, but being social, being sociable, chatting, interacting. Engaging. Being with.
But they didn’t.
Does this (please say it doesn’t) indicate that they felt the ‘care’ they were demonstrating was ‘good enough’? That they didn’t feel any need to engage with the patients as people. People with something to contribute.
I hope not.
Anyway, twitter has been humming with outrage today. Tweets, retweets, despair, disbelief, rage and more. Good. Social media possibly allows no hiding space, no get out clause for worn out, repetitive excuses when it comes to poor practice.
And keeping with a more positive focus here’s a couple of photos I came across today. One from a holiday in Instow, Devon. When it rained every day but we hunkered down and watched the Olympics. The other a trip to London Zoo. Possibly the same outing LB addressed the top floor of the Oxford Tube to London, asking any terrorists on board to make themselves known.
it took some time for it to sink in that this was not just a lack of performance while knowing they were being observed – but a lack of performance while being observed EVEN AFTER LB’s death just a couple of months before. Words fail.
I think perhaps staff get institutionalised as well – they no longer recognise what is good or bad. Not saying that’s an excuse at all, they are after all human beings and should have said or done something. Just as worryingly, it shows that managers hadn’t tried to change things even after LB’s death. Anyone should have been able to come into the unit and see that things weren’t right, it’s not like the CQC had to dig. I work in a corporate team (nothing directly to do with care at all) of a health organisation, and if I went to a meeting in somewhere that had these sort of issues I would be raising it at the highest level.
With my Sociologist of Organisations hat on, I find this very revealing. My gut feeling is that it shows a lack of loyalty both to their immediate bosses and to the Trust. Most people feel enough pride in their organisation (even if they don’t always like their job), to make an effort to present a good ‘front’. If there’s no effort then this suggests a total breakdown in leadership (which is pretty obvious here) and that the nurses were feeling disempowered to improve the situation and were unconsciously ‘asking’ for someone to take charge. This is not to excuse their shitty behaviour, but a crap organisational culture and personal disempowerment can cause people to do all sorts of things they really, deep down, find abhorrent. Whilst awful and shockingly poor care manifests with the people on the front line, the root of the problem is usually higher up the heap.
Radio 4 You and Yours
48 minutes in
On a lighter note Sara, love the comment about the terrorists! Whenever my son (37) got stopped by security at an airport he would declare ‘it’s not as if I’m carrying guns or anything!’ in a loud voice! It didn’t go down too well in Egypt or JFK! Xxx
That made me smile. xxx
Hi again Sara, I sent a tweet earlier asking if I could print your PDF poster to take to our Mencap Bazaar tomorrow, not sure if you have seen it? Would this be ok? Xx
Yes, of course. It has a typo but I’m too done in revise. Feel free to use as you want. And thank you. x
Thanks! Filling in raffle counter foils and waiting for cakes to come out of oven. One could say I’m a bit of a last minute person ….. But I get around to everything in time! Including LB’s artwork! Had hoped to send for some in time for tomorrow but …..it’s still on the todo list! Done in must be a bit of an understatement for you – hope you are managing to get some rest. Stay strong xxx
Hi Sara, just in from bazaar – took a few of your posters up – and gave one to our MP! He said that he and many other MP’s know of you and LB. I suggested that he gave the poster to David Cameron! One might hope that DC could be fired up to join and support you ……. but …… ( is that a pink pig I see flying past my window?) …. he already seems to have forgotten this :-
Love Jenny xx
Thank you Jenny, that is good to hear and so fab you took the poster in to the bazaar. Also interesting to read ‘old’ Cameron on disabled children. Would be so good not to have to see those pink pigs (again).