At that first pre-inquest review meeting, back in the day, Sloven’s legal team tried to narrow the focus of LB’s inquest with their infamous natural death statement. In addition, they argued the various ongoing reviews into what happened meant that broader issues were being investigated.
This list of reviews included (quote):
Investigations by a number of professional regulators, including the GMC and NMC, following referrals from a number of sources.
Wowsers, we thought. Have Sloven souped up the slowest staff disciplinary process on record? (19 months and still waiting…*) A number of sources? Who? We referred one staff member but other sources?
We found out eventually (today, nearly two months later) that, er, it was just the
one two professional regulators. And one two staff members. One referred by us and one (a member of staff who had left) referred by Sloven. Blinky blonky blimey. Really? Trusts and their trusty, publicly funded, legal teams can submit made up rubbish to coroners? How the fuck does that work?
Well clearly in direct contradiction to Simon Hughes’ nonsensical argument on Radio 4 last week that inquests are family friendly, cuddly, inquisitorial gigs. And families most definitely need no legal representation. Tsk. ‘No no no‘ says Mr Hughes. Waggling his finger vigorously at bereaved families.
It turns out that Bevan Brittan, Sloven’s solicitors, openly promote their expertise in ‘inquest management’. They’ve even got a handy little ‘Avoiding a Coroner’s Rule 43 report at an inquest‘** article allegedly aimed at beleaguered Trusts caught on the hop letting pesky patients experience serious harm or worse on their watch.
An extract from their website:
Inquest management. Managing witnesses. Statement taking. Management at the inquest.
My brain (what’s left after 19 months of intense and unremitting grief and a full on battering by everything I naively/stupidly held to be ‘good’), kind of melts at this point. How can an inquisitorial process need management by an ‘Interested Party’?
LB died. He drowned in a bath. In a place in which he should, if nothing else (because there was nothing else) have been safe.
As simple as.
That we are being forced, seemingly deliberately slowly through a shite coated, beyond unfair and punitive system, is inhumane. To discover that Sloven’s legal team can apparently trot out lies, in a public hearing, without sanction, is…?
Dunno. We’re out of words.
*For a Trust that has consistently positioned the well being of their staff over us and other patients at the unit, they don’t half treat them like shit too.
**A serious and reputation damaging knuckle rapping report.
[Update 27.1.15 I made an error in that Sloven had referred a member of staff, but not sure this changes much of the above].
That is how legal things work, isn’t it? Not about justice, but about winning, managing, distorting. My experience was clinical negligence, which for me was about finding out what happened and trying to stop it happening again. Naive. Doesn’t work like that, but at least legal aid meant there were two powerful teams. A lay person telling the truth is just playing the wrong game by different rules.
Surely anyone lying with an intent to mislead the judge/coroner/jury/ media, or indeed anyone listening, has major problems right from the start. But then I think that’s a well known fact as old as history its self. Let them keep digging that pit, they are doing a marvellous job all by themselves.
It is all beyond vile, I think the trust agreed to a jury up front as a ‘ today only managers discount’ It made them look good. Truth be told a jury would always be appointed on a point of law, they knew as much. They are the hunters. The professional regulators are snoozing and no sorrow filled scandal to date has awakened them. I am confident your legal team will see you through this mire,best wishes x
NHS Trust’s and LA’s (paid by us) are insured against negligence…. so when shit hits their fan yet again, their (should be) accountable managers can trot off and forget about it all… have their real ‘normal’ life, etc while their big purse state funded (by us) legal people sort it out for them. Parents like us (sans a child or have a now very broken one) are not and can not, …………………..and the difference between the two is exactly as you describe it Sara, for us…….’months and months (years ) of unremitting grief and battering’…..For them, it is just another work issue to be dispassionately managed for them, by yet another expensive team of external experts.
So very very wrong.
The system is based on safeguarding and risk against the lay person and service user. My logic tells me that safeguarding and risk should in fact be the other way round or a two way affair.
Maybe safeguarding quangos for families……Sure there is funding for this somewhere?
Alert systems in place a centre whereby safeguarding and risk can be reported by lay persons and action/scrutiny is then taken against any service providers. This could save the taxpayer and the state fortunes….
If funding is available for these managements to play with words then surely funding is available to protect vulnerable people against the continuous abuse by service providers.
Yep they have the funds to defend the wrong doing cover ups, and lies, us families? well we just have to keep on going until the changes are made.
Anyone with a human conscience will know that the system is wrong. That we need RIGHTS HUMAN RIGHTS to safeguard our loved ones.
A Safeguarding Watchdog run by families/service users.
Is your service provider following the rules? Is your service provider including you and your family and not pushing you away? Is your service provider adhering to the Code of Practice and not for there convenience? Is your service provider respecting your human rights as a service user?
If not, then this is a serious safeguarding Issue then contact us. We can issue safeguarding concerns and protect you and your loved one from abuse death, pain, heartache, and injustice.
The good news is that safeguarding is protected. So families we must jump on the bandwagon and safeguard our loved ones for all persons with a disability of any kind.
In the ideal world safeguarding SHOULD be protecting our vulnerable, but it clearly is not. No more than the MCA/DoLS is right now. Both are being scandalously and repeatedly abused by the very people who we are supposed to trust with our family members. If safeguarding was alive and well, both LB, Nico and god knows how many others would still be with us.
Yes, this is my point exactly……’SHOULD BE PROTECTING OUR VULNERABLE”….
We know the problem is sadly because of the well known facts that have arisen from reading this blog ( our own experiences) and all the media coverage of last year. There seems to be no real penalty for negligent care providers or LA`s etc. who break the law. I have often wondered as you probably have, who protects these people, more to the point …Why.?. Now with the whole CSA in the news too, its clear we have not been able to protect our children for decades from people we thought we could trust.
Lets hope with all our combined effort in time we can effect some change within the law.???
Sara do you think there is any chance of getting Slovens on ….what….criminal negligence, corporate manslaughter, perhaps discrimination under the European Court.? What do your team think? Is there a corporate manslaughter law and if so what would the penalties be? A fine, for LBs death. Prison for those culpable seems the only answer
Too right. About time too?
The cruel and sadistic bottom grade manager and people who bullied and intimidated the most vulnerable and powerless of people in Winterbourne, rightly got (too small?) jail sentences.
The people who drew the fat profits and who owned the place (and others, for I read that similar issues were raised in Dundee for example) walked off free, profits securely trousered to potentially do it all again somewhere else.
The commissioning NHS and LA’s and their people; paid well to ensure safe and kind care and to listen, monitor and act immediately …people who failed to listen or monitor or act, are where? Still in post probably or are up the job and salary chain in other orgs?
Justice? Surely the law in this regard is an ass,
I agree with you Weary Mother, and Shirley, because it seems to me that too much gets brushed under the carpet and hopefully “forgotten” with good PR. In my experience what normally happens with people ( staff ) who have been found negligent, is they kind of get “disappeared” within the system very conveniently. They move department, or are on long term sick leave, or just leave the company altogether. Either way they are “not available for comment” and therefore escape any punishment somehow. This is what has to stop and there has to be more accountability for ANY amount of poor practice, especially when it ends in a preventable death.
Some areas of ‘responsibility’ are very blurred. Bedside care is more often delivered by Health Care Assistants than by nurses these days, but HCAs have no professional responsibilities or duties, because they have no mandatory training or professional standing.
In theory, responsibility for the care delivered by HCAs rests with the registered nurse who delegated the duties to them and that nurse should be supervising them and monitoring their work closely – see http://ow.ly/I4hMp.
In practice, HCAs mostly have to rely on a smattering of technical knowledge and a wealth of good sense to get them through, because RNs are too damn busy with managing their own excessive workloads to make sure the the HCA delegation/reporting loop closes properly every time.
Although I’d be prepared to put money on the HCA being the one handed the can – at least in the first instance – if anything goes wrong.
Were LB’s carers HCAs or RNs?
They weren’t carers really, but there were 2 learning disability nurses and 2 support workers on 24/7 and 5 patients. [Howl]
Looks like a ‘support worker’ is the MH equivalent of an HCA. No minimum requirements, and it’s not a professional role.
“An NVQ Level 2 (= 5 A-C GCSE’s) in Health and Social Care (or a similar subject) is ideal for becoming a support worker, but not essential.
Experience isn’t essential to become a support worker, what’s most important is a commitment to supporting people with learning disabilities get the most out of life.”
Although how the professional staff could have forgotten the non-LD part of their *nursing* role…
When Martin was on the Ridgway unit in 2007 he had learning disability “nurses”. They didnt appear to have any training in anything, except restraining holds which they used frequently – Martin even had a panic attack when they restrained him one time. The psychiatrists in charge didn’t seem to have any training either.All the tests they did on Martin were divorced from reality. Also they never even read his epilepsy notes.Everyone also had training as to how to cover their backs under the MCA. The final irony was that when the psychiatrists did make the right decision that Martin was not sectionable the judge inthe Court of Protection OVER RULED THEM!!!!!!!. At the moment I have a good case against the LA for financial abuse and for overruling my EPA, and a case against the home for almost everything. Martin asked the Court of Protection for me to be his Health and Welfare Deputy and they refused, I am now in the process of appealing this on his behalf. Oh yes and in 2007 the same judge put a penal notice on me if I “influenced” Martin. I don’t think we have a chance – we live in a corrupt society – money counts. Morals and ethics ???????
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