The Connor Manifesto

We’ve been asked what  #justiceforLB looks like by various people over the past weeks. Tonight we received a reminder from the real David Nicholson’s office that we said we’d email this to them. A very cool and reassuring reminder.

We agreed we’d email our list during the meeting last week. But it seemed a bit too enormous to knock into ‘proper’ shape, too scratching at the surface, too insignificant really considering that LB died. Howl. And we were/are too weighed down/crushed and battered over years by the baseline level of shiteness that exists in learning disability provision to really come up with a meaningful list of anything.

But, hey, let’s run with our fledgling list (already emailed to NHS E towers). In advance of the launch of the #107days of action campaign (to coincide with the date LB went into the unit and the time he spent there), here’s our starter for 10 for actual change (and no more talk/lessons learned) to improve the lives of learning disabled dudes:

What does #justiceforLB look like? 

For LB

  • To achieve all of the below
  • Staff, as appropriate, to be referred to their relevant regulatory bodies
  • A corporate manslaughter prosecution brought against the trust
  •  Meaningful involvement at the inquest, and any future investigations into LB’s death, so we can see the Trust and staff account for their actions in public

For Southern Health and the local authority

  •  Explanation from the CCG/LA about how they could commission such poor services
  •  Reassurance about how they will ensure this cannot happen again
  •  An independent investigation into the other ‘natural cause’ deaths in Southern Health learning disability and mental health provision over the past 10 years

For all the young dudes

    • A change in the law so that every unexpected death in a ‘secure’ (loose definition) or locked unit automatically is investigated independently
    • Inspection/regulation: It shouldn’t take catastrophic events to bring appalling professional behaviour to light. There is something about the “hiddenness” of terrible practices that happen in full view of health and social care professionals. Both Winterbourne and STATT had external professionals in and out. LB died and a team were instantly sent in to investigate and yet nothing amiss was noticed. Improved CQC inspections could help to change this, but a critical lens is needed to examine what ‘(un)acceptable’ practice looks like for dudes like LB
    • Prevention of the misuse/appropriation of the mental capacity act as a tool to distance families and isolate young dudes
    • An effective demonstration by the NHS to making provision for learning disabled people a complete and integral part of the health and care services provided rather than add on, ad hoc and (easily ignored) specialist provision
    • Proper informed debate about the status of learning disabled adults as full citizens in the UK, involving and led by learning disabled people and their families, and what this means in terms of service provision in the widest sense and the visibility of this group as part of ‘mainstream’ society

And, if anyone would like an example of how the final point can be achieved, tune in to the Phil Gayle Show on BBC Radio Oxford where he, and his team, regularly cut through the crap, focus on what is important and have learning disabled people as guests on the programme to talk about what is important to them.

As it should be.

25 thoughts on “The Connor Manifesto

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  2. I’d also been wondering what justice for LB looked like, when the injustice is so overwhelming. That you’ve articulated this from amongst the howls is hugely impressive.

  3. Excellent.In your section ” For all the young dudes” you mention “appalling professional behaviour” , the “hiddeness” of terrible practices , and “(un) acceptable practice” – from my experience the problem is getting people to speak up about these before “catastophic events” like the death of LB happen.

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  5. So much admiration for you strength and courage to get to the truth about what happened to your much loved son LB. I know how it feels to have doors closed in your face when things go wrong. Learning disabled and Mental Health sufferers remain less than valued despite all the hype. The fact that “they” have the power to close ranks and protect “their” backs and careers is appalling how do “they sleep?”. You can count on my support for justice for LB

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  7. Have you taken your case to Leigh Day solicitors?
    You should. They could maybe find a way of how they get paid.
    For the incompetence in your case and possibility of manslaughter, they would be the best, I think.

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  20. My beautiful sister died in 1989. She was in a nhs unit in kidderminster was called Woodfield house. She drowned in the bath. The staff blamed another patient. The coroner declared it accidental death. My parents are both dead now but it’s been really playing on my mind for a while now I can see so many wrongs in what happened to her. No one ever said sorry. I’m so happy that you’ve fought for Connor..I wish we could have done the same.

    • So sorry Wendy. My brain melts at the argument ‘another patient’ was blamed/ ‘accidental death’. This careless brutality has to stop. [You didn’t have the tools that are available now.]

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