LB’s death shone a spotlight on the inadequate provision for learning disabled people provided by the Sloves (and Oxon local authority). I don’t expect they’re out of the ordinary across NHS Trusts though some of their actions are breathtakingly shite. Once visible (well, once published in a CQC report a few months later), the Sloves were compelled to look lively. That LB’s death sparked no action indicates the level of problem we’re looking at here.
So what did they do? They flew in a trio of experts to examine their pathways and provision. KP, her merry women and man went on tour, meeting the Oxon Learning Disability Partnership Board and other people/organisations. A big, big new plan was developed, discussed at length in their board meeting/minutes. The modern way… In the meantime, they became subject to enforcement action by Monitor. Serious stuff. The march of change backed up by big guns.
Wow. A blast of fresh air through learning disability provision in Oxon. LB died but hey, other local dudes will be getting service with bells on. Person centred, buffed, polished, informed and thoughtful. New committees formed and a Quality Director post created.
Meanwhile, back at Slade House, the John Sharich unit was re inspected by the CQC. They couldn’t inspect STATT as that was conveniently closed. The inspectors found that a lack of therapeutic environment remained, staff were still in the office and a blanket ban on baths was in place. Yep, a ban on baths. Despite none of the remaining patients having any risk factors associated with bathing. And despite a patient staff ratio of pretty much 1:1.
The Sloven journey for the last 11 months has been largely one of performance, waste and prevarication. An exemplar in talking the talk to persuade the great and good they’re up to the task. Meanwhile on the ground, clearly a million miles from any understanding of person centredness or good provision, LB’s peers are being punished for his death with breathtaking disregard for their human rights.
This news caused disbelief and incredulity over on twitter. One person tweeted, if a patient choked to death in their care, would they implement a ban on eating? Sadly a young dude did die in circumstances a bit like this a year before LB. But because the Sloves have so far managed to keep a lid on the circumstances surrounding his death, nothing has changed.
Breathe easy dudes and families of Oxfordshire, eating ain’t banned yet.