“A place I call home”

Warning: It’s 12.30am. I’m on Madison time after a full on, action packed four days in the States followed by Epic Party Night. My ability to think, write and judge is probably a bit wonky. I just caught up with the latest ‘news’ from the Winterbourne Joint Improvement Programme and I’m going to be a bit short and to the point. LB died (he died?) and I really don’t want to hear more shite about shite.

    1. Ditch the niceties and stop thinking there is some “treat” space to ‘focus energies and attention on what can be achieved’. Real people are experiencing crapshite experiences that would not be acceptable to most people’s pets.  Stating ‘We are where we are’ as if there is, or has been, no agency involved is offensive and unacceptable.
    2. The passive, hopeless ‘we’ve only got a year to go so what can we achieve?’ is nails on blackboard stuff. If you take on a tough gig, you should really have an understanding of the terrain.
    3. Ditch the ‘we must give hope to the individuals and families who are currently in hospital settings…’ Those individuals and families really don’t need your empty words. They have a much more sophisticated understanding of the landscape of provision and horror they or their family members are experiencing. They want action.
    4. ‘We must not decide the challenge is too difficult and give up’. Er. Not sure what this is supposed to mean/achieve. But if you want to bung me whatever salary scale to work within such parameters, please do. “Ah, thank you NHS/social care employer, I took on the task with good faith but the challenge was a bit tricksy so I’m giving up… Oh and that tiny blip about abuse in one of my residential provisions? We really don’t need to go there, I’m doing my best…”
    5. ‘I’m pleased to announce there has been a 100% return from NHS local and national commissioners’. Eh? So there is a choice attached to providing these figures?  As ever, I can’t help wondering if there is some sort of longstanding joke going on. The whole system seems to be hamstrung by nonsensical demands and yet in areas in which attention really needs to be focused, there is an ‘opt in’ attitude.
    6. Stating ‘if you want to know what the situation is in your area please do ask your local CCG’ is a bit like saying ‘Rarra hoo ho, bolowlo, bloooblom gara‘. Most people don’t know what a ‘CCG’ is and if they do, contacting them is one of those mysterious (utterly frustrating) processes.
    7. The discrepancy between the figures and ‘what was agreed by the partners in the Concordat’ is something you should be dealing with. Presenting a set of unexplained figures that don’t fit with the model of what you expected to achieve at this point, with a bit of a curious question mark attached is, erm, fucking unacceptable.
    8. Not sure now you have ‘robust and detailed quarterly figures’ this will actually lead to change.
    9. Talking in terms of ‘local heroes’ is pretty offensive. It shouldn’t be seen as ‘heroic’ to provide appropriate support/provision.
    10. As I always bang on about, the focus on the well being of people who were in Winterbourne View ignores people in other, similar settings.
    11. ”Unsticking’ complex situations’… ? Eh? What does this mean?

Basically, what a pile of old crap. It strikes me that we have an extreme case of provision for a group of people that no one cares for or about, other than their family (if they have one), that have a historically designated space (despite a body of evidence that challenges this space) in which all bets are off. Restrain, medicate and leave to fester. And yet Commissioners can find around £200,000 per year to keep people in places you wouldn’t leave your dog in for a weekend.

LB died (he died?). Can you imagine? Can you imagine your 18 year old son losing his life through sheer carelessness in a hospital? Nearly a year ago now. The only concrete response other than the crap hole unit he was in closing (which is a cheap shot to avoid actually changing provision), is a blanket ban on bathing for remaining patients in the next door unit.

I want to ask the Winterbourne JIP/Department of Health/NHS England;

What the fuck are you actually doing?

What have you done all this time?

How much funding has been spent on the Winterbourne JIP?


3 thoughts on ““A place I call home”

  1. Exactly! When we asked our local authority (Cambridgeshire) about how the ‘Think Autism’ initiative was going to help young adults in our area, their reply was that a young person with
    an ASD had helped design a garden! Well that’s ticked that box! I wonder how many high earning staff it took to work that one out! Every time there is a government initiative whether it be Winterbourne Joint Improvement Programme, ‘Think Autism’ or Think Local Act Personal’, its just another load of high earning commissioners producing pages of ‘glossy magazine’ type ideals that never come to fruition.

  2. I agree with every single word of this post. What a bag of shite this whole embarrasing situation is. Aside from using #Winterbourneexcuse as a reason to stop funding placements that seemed a ‘bit dear’, what is actually happening?

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