Bit of a ragbag ramble this evening. Including some tips for social care bods. I had a bit of a sort out today and a few choice docs from Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) popped up. Now OCC are doing a seriously cracking job at keeping their heads down so far, despite clearly being concerned that their involvement in what happened might come under the spotlight at some point. A lot of their exchanges are fuelled by this blog (or “the BLOG” as they call it).
The Director for Social and Community Services didn’t write to us after LB died. Or after the CQC found appalling failings at STATT in a report published in November 2013. Or after the Verita report found LB’s death preventable in February 2014. Nope. He wrote on April 2nd (saying sorry ‘about the death of’ LB) in response to comments I’d written about OCC. [Tip 1. Write to families straight away if someone dies an unexpected death in provision you commission. Not just when you feel publicly threatened]. OCC also declined to attend the pre-inquest review meeting recently (‘nothing to do with us guv’) even though the coroner’s court is in their building [Tip 2. Send someone to inquest meetings when the person’s death was preventable].
There’s a long list of things we think OCC did wrong. Not least giving STATT a green light in their quality review at the end of 2012. A month or so before a Winterbourne View JIP team of three (including an Oxon commissioner) visited and thought the place was a shithole. The commissioner put in a decorating chit (and now says no crap other than shabby detected) while the other two assumed the commissioner would do something about the place. Other than a lick of paint.
OCC self preservation workings are very apparent in docs disclosed to us. For example, in response to a request from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to offer us a meeting (as I seemed to be softening on my blog. Yes, really), a senior OCC official’s response was What if she brings her solicitor along with her? I think we need to do a bit more thinking before offering a meeting out of the blue. S/he then decides if the meeting goes ahead an OCC person should attend too in order to know what the CCG geezer is saying. Wow. [Tip 4. Second guessing responses and back watching suggests a right old toxic culture which needs urgent attention/disinfectant].
This blog seems to have evened out (only slightly mind) the power differential between families and health/social care organisations. It features in so many exchanges in disclosed documents often with links to posts. Slovens solicitors wrote a pretty steaming letter to us a couple of weeks ago (copying the coroner in) because I’d made an error on a recent post (now corrected).
I was a bit mortified at the time as I’ve tried to be accurate throughout. But given the amount of ‘errors’
cough cough the Sloves have made throughout this foul process (and the slimy, smearing Briefing document they circulated to fuck knows who else in addition to NHS England, Monitor), one error is pretty remarkable really. In the circumstances.
What a murky, murky little biz.
Stay classy, y’all.