Quiet day yesterday. Reading through the final report. A combination of analytic focus on content and sickening agony. I felt like uploading it, pressing ‘publish’ and walking away. Sick of the struggle we’ve had to get to this point. We all are. It’s been a distressing, relentless, time consuming (costa del fortune) experience. There have been so many battles with Sloven Health (SH). So many times I’ve received emails or phone calls, at work, home or elsewhere. Relaying developments, steps backwards, shifts and delays that have made us howl and weep and rage beyond rage. I feel battered, embattled, crushed and physically shrunken. I know Rich feels the same.
LB died. And he shouldn’t have. As simple as.
Our beautiful dude. In an NHS setting where we thought he was safe. A systemic failure in the most basic provision of care. Yet SH were horrifically quick to badge his death (a healthy, fit and lively young man) as ‘natural causes’. How often does this happen?
SH (I can’t call them the ‘trust’ anymore) have embraced a new, shiny, transparency and openness in the last few days. The hills are alive with the sound of candour and all that. (Weirdly, or maybe fittingly, Maria von Trapp died around the same time.) The report will be published (fully redacted, and almost unreadable) on the SH website tomorrow. At some undisclosed time. Good it’s being published. Not good about the redaction.
A request to any media interest in the report: please don’t run with a superficial and largely meaningless ‘lessons learned’ angle.
Instead could a critical lens focus on;
- how an NHS trust can openly operate such a sub-standard level of care in one of its units (at a cost of around £3500 per patient per week). They didn’t even up their game for a CQC inspection eight weeks later. And no professional who went in there, even the swat team who pitched up after LB died, noticed anything amiss. [A focus not just on SH here but also commissioners, the local authority and higher up the chain…]
- how widespread is such appalling learning disability provision? [On a slightly more positive note, last week’s CQC board meeting demonstrated a strong commitment to change (around 1.02). LB was one of the 3 lives discussed].
- how does the post-Winterbourne View work square with what happened at STATT?
What happened to LB should add weight to the call for closer scrutiny on premature deaths among learning disabled people. It’s beginning to sniff a lot like euthanasia through the backdoor from where we’re sitting.
Anyway, in advance of this report becoming public, here’s a short film of the dude. Because he counts. Like billy-o. In buckets.
The report will be published at some point tomorrow.
You can sign up for email updates of our campaign here; http://eepurl.com/O1cvH
You can follow @JusticeforLB on twitter.
If you tweet about the report, it would be fab if you could include #justiceforLB so we can keep a track of thoughts/views/comments.
I’ll set up a new tab on this blog for discussion/thoughts about the report. These can be a comment as usual, or as a ‘guest’ post (either anonymously or with your name included). Please email these to firstname.lastname@example.org. And any thoughts or comments are welcome. From the heart, from experience, from a practice, academic or policy background.. Whatever…
Finally. We couldn’t have got this far without remarkable support in many ways from different sources (expected and unexpected). It shouldn’t be that families have to rely on having networks in place, or access to relevant networks, to be able to get anywhere when something like an unexpected or preventable death in hospital/social care happens.
This is where social media can really kick ass. Discussion/thoughts about this to be continued.