Running out of punchy titles

The latest twist in the workings of Southern Health. Seriously wearing. I felt so low today I went to bed this afternoon. The final report into LB’s death wasn’t completed as expected on Tuesday. It’s been delayed by a further two weeks because they’ve decided to allow the staff to comment, directly to Verita, on the draft. We only know this because I contacted the investigators today. Southern Health don’t keep us informed of much. What do we matter?

I’ve lost track of the shifting positions, inconsistencies and duplicity they’ve demonstrated since LB died. Since their investigation began on October 1. The investigation was to take 60 days but as they’re such a bunch of muppets, nothing was put in place in advance to start it on time. They then faffed and fluffed for six weeks before handing it over to an independent organisation in the middle of November (around day 46).

The final report is now due on February 21st (with no guarantee we’ll receive a copy). That’s 144 days since the investigation started. 232 days since LB died.

Until this report is finalised, it can’t be sent to the coroner. Until the coroner gets the report (or the Sunshine Southern Summary version) he can’t make any decisions about the inquest. An inquest, for all of you lucky enough never to have been pitched into this space, is a thing of complete and utter dread. For so many reasons. To have it delayed, through such unnecessary and inhumane actions, is unforgivable.

I’m sure any regular reader must know, by what happened to LB and the findings of the CQC investigation, Southern Health do not come out well on any count. I suppose that’s why we’re being subjected to such extreme, desperate, bullying actions.

Do I have to say again that our beautiful, talented, hilarious and completely defenceless dude died under the care of this bunch of bastards? The worst fear of any parent, made worse, so much worse, because we thought he was in safe hands. The NHS. In the care of at least four staff (including two learning disability nurses) 24 hours a day. With five patients to look after. “Supported” by a team consisting of a psychiatrist, psychologists, an OT, a charge nurse, an essential life planner, a unit manager, some herb who was at every community team meeting I attended but never said his role (he took blood) and a “care” manager. This wasn’t an understaffed, over populated, under-resourced ward. This was (or should have been) fucking royalty.

Once LB entered that unit, the staff took the hardline he was an adult. Despite their ridiculous questionnaires pegging him at a “mental age of 10”. Because he was deemed to be ‘an adult’ we were excluded. Our knowledge, love and understanding of him, built up so intensely, over 18 years, was irrelevant. They knew better.

But of course they didn’t. How could they?

How could they?

15 thoughts on “Running out of punchy titles

  1. It shows a total lack of respect and human decency not to inform you why there is further delay. How can they sleep at night!

  2. Over 20 years ago now, my older brother died as a result of an accident while under the care of our local learning disability service, whose story was inconsistent with the opinion of the doctor who attended the scene. In the face of massive opposition from health professionals, my parents took the decision not to pursue a case against the NHS trust. I am a mother now and I’m not sure I could have let it lie like that, so I have enormous admiration for you for pursuing this and going through the hell you are being put through to get the answers you are seeking. You are right, the actions of Southern Health are inhumane and lack any compassion.
    Thinking of you x

  3. Powerful post. A child lost unnecessarily through the care system which is now desperately defending itself. It`s excruciating but important reading. Keep well. Many are with you and wish for justice.

  4. Even I am at a loss for words! The continued messing around, moving of goalposts and utter disregard to your right to grieve, or have a family life, never mind hold down a job, is quite simply beyond comprehension. It’s toxic bullying behaviour, designed to wear you down until you break….we won’t let that happen. Have upmost respect for you and hope they get a grip soon enough or some of the big wigs wade in and start taking responsibility back – if they can’t be trusted then they should be gone. You know where I am xx

  5. I am often scared to comment , in case I say the wrong thing. But I continue to read your blog and despair at what they are putting you through. And in the mean time it could in theory happen to someone else . It should all be made public , as soon as possible. I heard on radio Oxford about an old peoples home that has failed to reach inspection standards 5 times now. So why is it still open? No respect for the most vunerable in our society that’s why.

  6. How do you keep ploughing on? I’m not surprised you wanted to crawl into bed and make the world go away. Except of course it doesn’t, it just keeps throwing stuff at you. They can’t cover up for ever.

  7. Sara this wont help you but all the others out there. As soon as your son or daughter reaches 18 apply to the Court of Protection for a Life Time Power of Attorney and register it. This should give you back the powers you had as a parent, and enable you to speak for your child.

    • Doesn’t work like that if the person lacks capacity. (A difficult issue in itself.) CoP not keen to make parents Welfare Deputies. BEING a deputy does help a bit, but is like accepting Direct Payments – the independence comes at the price of control – just from a different direction.

  8. I don’t know if this will help, but having been on the other side of the fence for many years as a drugs worker.. The organisation responsible for care will always defend themselves. However, I have significantly more faith in the coroner.

    We were given training by our local coroner, and he made it very clear to us that if every ‘i’ wasn’t dotted and ‘t’ crossed, we would be up in court. Systems are computerised now – there will be no getting around this. Every piece of available evidence will be analysed.

    And where there is no evidence, it will be presumed that nothing happened. Opinions, word-of-mouth, allies – they will be worth nothing.

    The day I spent with the coroner taught me that, even though my practise was already spotless, my presentation of the facts also needed to be. I stayed and finished my notes for as long as it took every night.

    So Sara – I do have faith in the process. The coroner will be well-versed in identifying poor practice. The truth will come out.

  9. Your recent tweets are heartbreaking. Such a terrible time after such an unbearable loss.

    This afternoon, I saw a news items on deaths of vulnerable young people in custody – lessons will be learned. On to Cameron on the floods – lessons will be learned. Winterbourne View, of course, and lessons must be learned. I am beginning to hate the phrase. As an ex-teacher, it particularly grates. Meaningless, facile. Nobody seems to be much interested in learning anything.

    Your humanity, though, and courage – lessons can be learned from that. You will make a difference, you ARE making a difference, because you won’t let go of telling that your son mattered, that he was special, and that our children are not lesser but more, deserving of proper care and respect. It shouldn’t have to be such a fight.

  10. Thinking of you and your family. These people think nothing of kicking you when you are down, shame on them if they were capable of even feeling shame.
    I believe that part of NHS Trusts delays in completing investigations etc is not merely incompetence it is a calculated effort to avoid claims under the human rights act as many people do not know that they need to file a civil case within 12 months of their loved ones passing. Trusts often drag their heels until after this 12 months has passed.
    A note to those who may read this and think that a claim is about money- this is NEVER the case in a young person’s passing, any money recovered will often only just cover legal fees. It’s about those responsible accountable for their actions and inactions. Unfortunately a coroners court can only make recommendations and when people die because the trust didn’t care it takes more than a recommendation in my opinion.
    Wishing you every strength X

  11. Pingback: Seven Shades of Shite. | Who By Fire

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