Putting the bully into billybullshit

There we were. Dreading (beyond dread) meeting Southern Health bods with the external investigators on Thursday morning. An email exchange this afternoon with the investigators was reassuring. They confirmed we’d simply discuss factual inaccuracies and any interpretations/conclusions we didn’t agree with. This wouldn’t necessarily lead to changes.

Then an email from our solicitor. Southern Health have instructed external solicitors.

All change. And a few smacks around the head with a baseball bat.

The external investigators have been ditched from Thursday’s meeting. Instead we’re to discuss our concerns with Southern Health and they’ll relay them back to the investigators (my arse). These concerns should be set out in writing in advance so they can be responded to in full at the meeting.

Oh and, the report will defo remain anonymous and confidential. Because, allegedly:

  • it’s the property of the Trust; we only saw it with the caveat it was confidential
  • it isn’t appropriate to disseminate it wider, the purpose of the report is to learn lessons
  • if published, it would prejudice further investigations in the NHS and prevent staff being open and honest
  • staff were interviewed on the basis the report wouldn’t be disseminated
  • the Trust has a duty of confidentiality to LB and he’d be identifiable if the report was public.

I had that freezing cold feeling when I read this email. The same feeling I had when we took LB to the unit that Tuesday evening, nearly a year ago now. This morning I caught the bus to the cemetery before work. To visit LB’s grave while there was some sunshine. I thought about how the investigation had pretty much pinned down how what happened, happened. And how it should never have happened. And cried.

There aren’t really that many health related ‘lessons’ to learn from what happened if we’re honest. These are ‘lessons’ most health professionals know before they start their training. And a lesson ain’t really a lesson if it’s common knowledge.  It’s a bit like a supermarket selling a load of rancid meat because a freezer breaks down and the investigation into the death of a customer concludes; ‘Er, make sure the freezer works’.

There are broader issues around the complete disregard and indifference with which learning disabled people are treated of course. But I don’t think Southern Health need to get too hung up on “learning lessons” in this instance. They should really know ’em already or ship out. And stop pretending they can provide learning disability healthcare.

It’s also absurd to say that future investigations will be prejudiced if the report is made public because staff won’t be open and honest in the future. If Southern Health think that all the interview extracts included in the report reflect openness and honesty they are more stupid than I imagined. We’re talking ‘dog ate my homework’/’nothing to do with me guv’ type crap. Perhaps staff would be more open and honest if the content of reports were made public.

And how can staff be assured in advance that the report won’t be disseminated? You can’t possibly make that a condition in advance of knowing what might come to light.

“In the course of the investigation we discovered some heinous crimes dating back fifty or so years, involving hundreds of patients, and but we told staff the report won’t be made public, so we’re keeping keeping it all confidential…”


The last point, that Southern Health has a duty of confidentiality to LB (not a duty to keep him safe from harm, a duty to keep him alive or even ‘care’ for him) is scandalous. Reputation is clearly the only thing on the agenda of this bunch. A state funded organisation. An organisation, allegedly, built around ‘care’.

The meeting on Thursday is off. Not surprisingly. And we’re here. Waiting for the legal missiles to be launched.

Fucking bastards.




16 thoughts on “Putting the bully into billybullshit

  1. What a complete shower of gutless useless bastards ( excuse the swearing)
    I feel so angry and upset for you,for your family ,friends ,colleagues and LB
    How dare they ??? They are going to try get away with this ???!!!! Heads should roll .someone is responsible, someone was not doing what they were paid to be doing . LB is no longer here and they get to decide who comes to the meeting and what gets discussed .
    So ….so ….,sorry
    Keep fighting I know it must be so draining as you are all dealing with the daily heartache of no longer having your beautiful son here . Thinking of you .

  2. We don’t need no report to know they failed LB, even if they don’t want us to say whats in the report they can stop us protesting outside the unit or no 10 downing street. They held all the cards and told us what we allowed to do, who we can have as an advocate, now lets tell what we going do for LB, we can protect his memory so it does not get buried under aload of shite paperwork. For a family thats thought so hard for lovely dude for so long they should not have to edure more pain striving for the truth. X

  3. If it were possible, I’d be applying steel toecaps to every Southern Health arse in sight; as it is, this just makes me want to vomit with sympathetic rage.

    The whole thing is a shitload of suppurating bollocks and about as convincing as the puppy putting on the “Who? Me?” face when you find it next to the spreading puddle of piss. How dare, how DARE they try to control you, anonymise and discount the fabulous dudesomeness of LB, erase his imprint on the world, and fuck with your heads like this? Do they think it won’t be clocked? Unbelievable. A level of institutionalised stupidity that is over the Kafka event horizon.

    Bastards. Bastards. Bastards.

  4. Speechless. Just can’t believe how they can keep rubbing salt in the wounds. As for protecting staff …. They interviewed them on WHAT basis??? Staff had a duty to tell the truth and that truth should be as public as the victim’s family want it to be. Name and shame should be the policy. Oh – and someone should tell them that confidentiality doesn’t really apply here – LB’s tragic tale is too well known now. Stable doors. Stay strong, love Jenny xx

  5. Sarasiobhan,

    I haven’t been in touch before. I don’t even know your real name.

    I have been following your blog since about November, when a NAS friend made a link to it on facebook.

    I don’t know where to begin in response to all the appalling things which have happened to you, LB and your family. You are right that that SH is just interested in reputation (of the organisation and of individuals in it). The key emotional response on the part of individuals in the organisation is ‘fear’; fear of being exposed to scrutiny, fear of being found wanting, fear of losing their job and a profound fear of meeting you and being made to see first hand how their inadequacies destroy the lives of the people they are meant to serve.

    Like most fear, it is being expressed as aggression towards the object of the fear – you.

    Hold on, and hold on, and keep holding on.

    (Your blog is changing my life).


    Joe Stalin is alive and well and employed by Southern Health, me personally I would publish, they can’t hurt you any more that you hurt already…… don’t let them manipulate and control.
    Fucking Bastards they are not that good………

  7. Solidarity indeed! Happy to protest at Downing Street …. along with more people than would fit in there I would imagine. Xx

  8. It just keeps getting worse and worse, my heart aches for you. I think they are trying the good old bullying tactics ,” lets wear them down with a lot of red tape , keep throwing a few more legal costs in there , the family are bound to crack. ” I hope you can keep strong, I hope you get the support and the funds you need to keep on fighting, not only is important to you and your family , it is also important for all the youngsters just like LB that are getting failed by the system. If I had the brains, I would offer my help in a heartbeat, but this is way out of my league. xxx

  9. It is out of the league of most ordinary people I would think – and these bastards know it. I don’t believe it is fear, either – it is indifference, and arrogance.

    My daughter’s life was …changed, distorted…by negligence. I kind of wanted someone to say sorry too – but it wasn’t about blaming. These bad things are not malicious or intended, but they are made much much worse by cover ups and indifference. This one Sara, is so wrong and incomprehensible. How it could have happened is crucial to you and also to all of us who fear such things. Tidying it away to protect dubious interests is outrageous and your refusal to be cowed admirable. I do know from my own experiences that the urge to stop others suffering a similar fate brings some measure of comfort in a situation where nothing can make it right.

    Take care of yourself in this terrible time.

  10. Bastards! – and what exactly would happen if you leaked information? It seems a rather lesser crime (to me) than saying they would care for your son and not doing so…Bring on Jon Snow is what I would say…..Wxx
    Alternatively a protest as others suggest – hopefully with publicity – protest being that we are not allowed to say what we are protesting about

  11. I am so angry for you. How dare they treat you treat your family in this way. Trying to behind half baked legal and privacy laws. So much for the openness and transparency that the NHS supposedly embraced. It just proves how terrified they are that the truth will out and they will be shown for the inept, uncaring, unprofessional organisation that Southern Health really are.

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