Having been a cheerful swearer with vague, unarticulated boundaries (that have raised some eyebrows among some family, friends and colleagues) over the years I’m being pushed into (almost) using language I never dreamed I’d use.
Oxfordshire County Council’s legal department have replied to our concerns about the ‘independent’ investigation into LB’s death that emerged a few weeks ago. (We had no idea this report was being conducted, it’s full of inaccuracies and LB’s health and social care records shouldn’t have been shared with a third party without our knowledge).
The response begins with a rehash of the terms of reference of the ‘investigation’. In a howling example of irony these include; ‘to review the contact between adult social care, LB’s family and school’.
There follows a shedload of rubbish statements. For example:
What a peculiar statement. An all powerful ‘Council’ doing stuff rather than individuals. OCC senior staff should probably have a quick read of Chris Hatton’s latest post about bureaucracy. OCC (and their ‘independent’ consultant) have a habit of stating what wasn’t the case. Like stating in the report that I wasn’t present at a meeting after detailing who was. Detailing what wasn’t strikes me as a bit of a warning flag in terms of trying to understand what’s going on in both the construction of the report and the subsequent defence of it.
The letter states that the OCC report was commissioned by the Director of Social and Community Services in July 2014 (and then was delayed by the police investigation) before the Verita report was commissioned. As the tender process for the NHS England review was underway in June 2014 and Verita awarded the contract in July this is simply inaccurate. Post-hoc rationalisation. Wrongness upon wrongness.
Wow. OCC taking ‘the dog ate my homework’ to new levels. This is just nonsense. Almost laughable but of course it ain’t. In some sort of unacknowledged hinterland (a space occupied by many families I’m sure) we now have two choices. Leave this ‘report’ as a public document inaccurately detailing events, to be potentially used in LB’s inquest and other arenas. Or suck up the emotional distress (and time) of carefully picking through the lengthy document to edit and correct seedy, inaccurate and self serving statements. That seems fair.
The final statement in the letter responds to the confidential status of the report. It sends my brain into a spin, given the context.
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I’m left raging. As always. Well and wondering if OCC really have a legal department or does someone like the independent consultant do a bit of moonlighting.
We are seeking legal advice.