Naive beyond naivety. We were pitched into a completely devastating, toxic, harrowing and obscene space/journey on July 4th 2013 without warning. In an instant. From pretty much nought to a billion with the opening (as kind and sensitive as you can possibly be in the circumstances) words of an A&E consultant. On that baking, baking hot July morning. The snuffing out of a young life and unleashing of horror, devastation, disbelief and pain that defies description.
From thinking about the prom on the bus to work to autopsies, coffins and cremation.
We had no idea then that two years later we’d be locked in a foul, stench ridden, rotten corner with both Sloven and Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) doing their best to extricate themselves from any responsibility for what happened. Sloven by withholding documents, pulling dirty stunts like arguing drowning is a natural way to die, sending bullying letters and consistent obstruction. OCC by conducting a secret and completely biased (non) investigation into what happened. We had no idea that the actions of both (public) bodies (and others who remain shadowy in the background through their non action) would actively add to and increase the intensity of pain and agony.
Naively and even despite the above, we thought that #107days this year (we never expected or wanted to have to revisit the almost spontaneous explosion of goodwill, celebration, solidarity, commitment, awesomeness and magic that unfolded last year) would incorporate the outcome of various ongoing reviews; General Medical Council, Verita and Mazars.
A nonsensical expectation.
Instead, we have no outcomes and an additional ‘thing’ to add to the wait list; the revised OCC ‘investigation’. [This is a ‘might as well wait for the fucking cows to come home’ item supposed to be finished in June.]
So what the fuck are we actually waiting for? And why?
What’s the big mystery?
LB was a fit and healthy young dude with a diagnosis of epilepsy. The STATT unit he was in was clearly crap. It was taken over by a “Trust” based 100 miles away 8 months before his death. OCC and the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group were apparently happy to shell out £3500 a week for his non care indefinitely. An independent report published 16 months ago established his death was preventable. The unit has since shut and a series of failed CQC inspections across the county have highlighted the maggoty state of provision in Sloven’s “Northern patch”.
As a vague aside, no one seems to be (publicly) going near the question of what happens to the prime chunk of land that the STATT unit was on. If it’s sold, who gets the readies? If the dosh goes to Sloven and into their southern based coffers where does that leave people/kids in Oxfordshire who need support? Ho hum. Awkward questions that won’t disappear but a brief glance at Sloven’s latest Board papers for the meeting tomorrow suggest that property sales form part of their ‘business’.
Setting aside the monetary considerations which, along with reputation, seem to be the only thing Sloven and OCC respond to, I keep coming back to the question; what the fuck are we waiting for?
Dan Goodley and Rebecca Lawthom raised this question as they took the #JusticeforLB flag back to Glastonbury for a second year;
Without answers, they repeated their remarkable commitment to sharing what happened to LB with Glastonbury revellers. They managed to share LB’s story, keep the flag flying high with no flagpole breakages and hook up with Rosie and Jack. Love em.
Keeping the hope flickers well and truly fanned. With joyousness, humour, love and dedication. Maybe someone/organisation with any power/influence will step up too. And act. As we continually say, it ain’t rocket science.