Nearly 16 months now since LB died. 16 long months. Nothing’s happened really in terms of change or accountability. The preventable death of a fit and healthy young man in the ‘care’ of the state. In an NHS unit. In the UK. In the 21st century. A young man who was victim of a system that simply doesn’t recognise learning disabled people as human. Can you imagine?
LB’s death has crushed our lives. The damage caused by 16 months of fighting, campaigning and raging is unknown yet. But given I feel pretty shit on a daily basis, probably substantial. Standing up to an NHS trust that bullies, deceives and demonstrates complete disrespect/disregard for us, is pretty relentless. The Sloves throw money at reputation repair and focus on protecting staff (a selective protection given a staff comment here). The experience, for us (an irrelevant, irkesome family), is the equivalent of a daily battering. An experience documented by other parents like James Titcombe, Anne Dixon, Rosi Reed and siblings like @waketheworld. How can this be?
So where are we at? In no particular order, as always:
- One staff member so far is being investigated by their professional body after a referral we made. Sloven staff disciplinary proceedings are like a stuck record; continually finishing in the ‘next few weeks’ or ‘ongoing’. Shameful, shameful delay and prevarication. The Verita report makes clear individual staff failings. It should not have been our responsibility to do this.
- The Death Review is out to tender and will take 4 months.
- The police investigation is ongoing.
- The second review into LB’s death, covering transition, mental capacity, restraint, why he went into the unit and broader governance issues, is underway by Verita. Due to be completed early next year.
- The pre-inquest review meeting is on November 25th.
- The Slade House site is shut to patients. A problematic silence about what will happen to this prime chunk of land continues. And what is happening to people who would have been admitted to the units there. Nothing like allegedly sweeping in to take over known problematic provision in a different county, allowing it to worsen (till something serious happens), closing it and flogging the land. Nope. Nothing like it.
- On a brighter note… the #LBBill is going at a pace that Sloven should take lessons from (no vimeo in sight). The easy read version of the draft bill is being produced and will be blasted out for discussion in a week or so. Complete energy, commitment and passion.
- The LB Fighting Fund total so far, after remarkable efforts is £24, 267.77. Wow. Wow. Just wow. So many people, many of whom we’ve never met and who never met LB, have contributed to this amount. Just brilliant.
We’re heartened by the remarkable solidarity #justiceforLB demonstrates. We ain’t got a vimeo budget but there are countless people willing to step up and do all sorts at the drop of a hat.
We’re also fucking delighted that our quirky dude, who loved buses and laughter, seems to have touched, and even impacted on, people’s lives. What a legend.
Sarah you are also part of this legend. My heart and my family are unspeakably grateful that you are the warrior that can continue this fight. Whilst so much is so slow and so destructive to LB’s memory there are many many people with you now and this will not go away.
What a legend indeed. Stay strong. I can’t really imagine what a toll this is taking on you and the family but, like you, I can see no other way to live. Sending you love xx
My son was neglected, intimidated and eventually crippled and the man who did it walked away. In spite of a fight which amputated years of my life and all my energy and my entire family having diminished lives, this man was promoted. Although told not to go near my son, he did and used to smirk at him. ‘Look smiley and nasty at me’ as my son described it. When neglects were proved and his manager was moved on to an equal status role in the LA, he told my son ” …… has got an even better job”. The Head of Adult Care and team ………..all teflon coated. It was/is unbearable.
We abused and crippled families are too many. Too many for this still to be happening over and over again to so many vulnerable people, and to so many families… in this ……a so called civilised society.
I read about the CQC’s new improved standards this morning in the Foundation of Learning Disability Forum postings. An ‘anon’ had posted in response to these standards, ‘what standard is needed to immediately close a place down’. ‘Surely the only one needed is ”would I leave my mum/dad/daughter/son here”? LA’s and NHS too?
Connor should never be forgotten! Even my social-media-avoider of a husband told me several weeks ago about a campaign to investigate the appalling death of a young lad called Connor Sparrowhawk – so I think it shows the publicity is working.
Will support you until someone, somewhere, is made accountable, and then afterwards too. You are amazing Sara, never forget that. xx
hi my mane is don my MP is Dawn Primarolo i live in Bristol
have had experience of this hideous practice
The slade site isn’t closed. One unit remains that is by far one of the best units I have seen.Unfortunately I won’t get a chance to work there as deployed somewhere else. How long before it gets crushed in the giant wheels of SHFT?