Mid afternoon yesterday an unnamed person turned up at work, managed to find our office, handed over a memory stick, read out the password for me to unencrypt (disencrypt?) the files on it, checked they could be opened, got me to sign a letter and left. All very secret squirrel.
I was left with three heaving PDFs. Communications from Oxfordshire County Council and Clinical Commissioning Group mentioning me and/or LB between March 2013 to 27 July 2014.
I’ve only glanced through this stuff. Hundreds of pages. So just wanted to jot down my initial thoughts. In no particular order. And ignoring the stuff of ongoing police investigations.
There is pretty much no recognition/acknowledgement or reflection a young man died and he shouldn’t have done. No surprise now really. It’s largely about blame, self protection, reputation and process.
The pages are littered with mentions of ‘mum’. Please ditch the ‘mum’ stuff. It’s so blinking patronising and degrading.
The records start in September 2013. A six month chunk is missing. More carelessness or incompetence (or worse). Either way, not acceptable. Simply unacceptable.
Redactions are reasonable. Mostly names and occasional small sections of text blacked out.
Hints of sensible thought are present which is refreshing. Reflections that the findings of the Verita report are awful and media coverage can only be negative, for example.
A stand out thing is surveillance. There are transcripts of the Phil Gayle show (in which the Gman shines through with his piercing questions) and twitter, this blog were a constant source of discussion and even information. Rich’s ‘Move on down the Bus’ song was circulated among the CCG. One commissioning bod found out about the ‘bath ban’ on these pages. (For info, apparently it was instigated by a ‘nervous’ consultant and was lifted on the day of the CQC inspection… Any news on the staff disciplinary actions I wonder?)
I tweeted yesterday that I was beginning to understand the viewing figures of this blog. It must be bookmarked across Sloven Towers, the local authority and CCG. And, I suppose, other organisations outside of Oxfordshire who may be following with a mix of fascination at the complete shiteness of the whole situation and relief that they ain’t involved/implicated.
Of course it doesn’t have to be surveillance. Social media has created a space that offers health/social care professionals alternative ways of gaining insight into the experiences of people/patients. And the consequences of their actions and the systems that underpin them. One or two people in these exchanges seem to get that.
I wish I could share your optimism that the those who are surveilling might also be learning something. I am certain that there ARE lots of good people working within the system who are as appalled as those of us on the receiving end. But the perils of sticking your head above the parapet are very firmly in place, i fear, while those with the real power do not seem to lose much sleep.
It would be nice to believe that all those Social Media Departments that are being set up had benign intent – but I doubt it. Currently trying to explain to a student that Orwell’s 1984 is not quite as quaintly irrelevant as it may appear. Surveillance always important to those who aspire to be “Leaders.”
Suspect you’re right Lizzie, just wishful thinking really.
No, DON’T think it is wishful thinking! The “leaders” may aspire to controlling and subverting the conversation that you have very bravely started, but that doesn’t mean that they will be able to. People with our aspirations for better – much better – were, in the past, easily isolated and silenced. Mustn’t, and don’t have to, go back to making it easy again.
Presumably someone is also checking that whatever you signed when you signed for your bedtime reading material, is being adhered to. Assuming you’ve been sworn not to publish it.
Nope, looks like I’ve just signed for the swag. Will double check..
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