Todays #justiceforLB advent dedicated to older parents got me thinking. Why don’t the main charities involved in the work around closing ATUs sign up to a ‘ditch the bullshit’ model? The Winterbourne Concordat in its various guises achieved nothing. Stephen Bubb and his brekkie chums achieved nothing. This week yet another CQC inspection found brutal and inhumane practices at Calderstones NHS Foundation Trust. [Sharp tweeters picked up instantly that Calderstones actually bid for the Ridgeway but were pipped at the post by Sloven, both miles from Oxford…]
That this latest CQC report barely reached the British media is no surprise. But it did generate a Guardian piece from the holders of learning disability wellbeing in the UK; Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation. Now I have no doubt that both organisations provide invaluable services/support for families/learning disabled people but I increasingly think the bland and repetitive statements that they trot out, relating to Winterbourne type stuff, do worse than achieve nothing (I’ve added a list of selected lowlights at the end of this post).
[Oh my fucking gawd.. what is she doing in the Crimmy break criticising Mencap/CBF???
Bear with me. These organisations shouldn’t be above challenge and should really encourage it…]
I have three particular issues with their latest missive which characterise their typical offerings.
1. The positioning of these organisations as having some particular expertise/knowledge that no one else/organisation has. This is nonsense and I don’t think charities should big themselves up.
2. The framing of this latest travesty as a ‘sharp reminder’. No ‘sharp reminder’ can possibly be necessary given the list of atrocities that have occurred and to suggest it is, kind of hints that some question remains about this.
3. Meaningless, throwaway statements. Most people have probably never given this a thought. Many are probably unaware that such barbaric provision exists in this country. And I’m sure many couldn’t give a stuff. And it must be that many of those involved in current provision (either providing the care or commissioning it) think people are receiving ‘good care and support’ (for them).
Given the high profile of M/CBF, and the almost impossibility of getting any coverage of learning disability related issues in the national media, wasting opportunities to raise awareness about the latest shite exposed with such nothingness is off the scale of unacceptable. There is a consistent lack of understanding, information and making connections in M/CBF missives in this area that means they completely fail to pack a punch (or do anything really). Dunno why, given the resources they have to play with.
It wouldn’t have taken much, for example, to go back and see that Calderstones was actually under a Monitor enforcement notice after abuse was uncovered in 2013. The Trust was forced to take action and had a management change in December 2013. This makes the findings in this latest CQC report (the inspection was conducted this summer) even more horrific. And makes the bland engagement and nonsense knowledge claims by the key charities in this area even more unpalatable.
So how about ditching the bullshit and spin. Stop releasing press limpments ‘calling (urgently)’ for this, that and the other. And actually do something.
What you are doing at the mo clearly ain’t working.