A tale of two letters

I forgot to include a section for the Secretary of State for Health in my previous update post. Sorry. But I suppose this way he gets his own post, almost. It kind of pains me but I have to take my hat off to him. We received a handwritten letter this week in which he wrote about how shocked and sorry he was to hear about LB’s death.

“Nothing I can say can make up for the grief and sadness you and your family will feel at his loss – he was clearly a remarkable and wonderful young man…”

He apologised on behalf of the government and the NHS and said he’ll keep a close eye on the case. He ended by saying “In the meantime may I once again say how terribly sorry I am that this entirely avoidable tragedy happened.”


It’s a letter from a person. Without jargon. Saying it like it is. Thank you Jeremy Hunt.

We also got a copy of a letter from the Trust Chairman, written to my big sis. She wrote handwritten letters to each board member about the way in which Sloven have behaved since LB died. The response goes through the condolence spiel, talks a bit about accepting the findings of the Verita report, misunderstands her point about Slovens behaviour since last July and ends with the following paragraph:


To be fair to the guy, he has changed his position since writing this letter and mentioned during the board meeting this week that the non-execs may not have been as fully informed about everything that has happened as they perhaps should have been. Yep. And he put a stop to this relentless pressure. But setting that aside, what a contrast in the two letters. If there are any lessons to be learned about communicating with families in such terrible, terrible circumstances, I think Jeremy H has nailed it.

Drop the jargon, drop your own agenda, get your pens out and write as one human to another.


4 thoughts on “A tale of two letters

  1. Fair comment aboun Jeremy Hunt and the sincerity in his letter Simon Waugh and Co have no idea how to communicate on the death of LB too keen to sweep under the carpet. In my opinion and please forgive me for this they both have a responsibility to care and keep safe people who need care. The whole system is rotten to the core they are a well heeled bunch of cronies who sleep safe in their beds at night as do their loved ones. However we who have to depend on the care they provide for our loved ones know how they protect their backs and close ranks when things go wrong. Thus enabling the system to continue to fail the most vulnerable and beautiful people in our society.

    I post you blog on my fb page and really feel your pain I hope things will change X

  2. Pingback: Expected Unexpecteds. | Who By Fire

  3. Hmm. Call me cynical but knowing what we know now about JH and the way he handles things it doesn’t surprise me that the king of NHS spin managed to put together a letter which resulted in him looking good. While I agree the letter is kind and compassionate, I wonder who actually wrote the content?

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