A potpourri* of learning, ‘craftivism’ and fun

One of those maelstrom twitter/social media type few days where all sorts of stuff cropped up. From different directions. A chunk of stuff about learning. We learned that the Health and Safety Executive are picking up the investigation into LB’s death from the police. [We sort of knew this but it was confirmed which is always good in our post 7/2013 experience]. And the interim board chair of Sloven is now the new board chair.  Mike Petter’s involvement with Katrina Percy pre-dates the creation of Southern Health, going back several years. Mmm. He now chairs a board that has, so far, demonstrated little engagement with what happened to LB (other than allowing continual obstruction and delay). And silence about the potential sale of the Slade House site. The original #107days included fab reflection by Amanda Reynolds on ‘What’s a board to do?’ I wonder if the Sloven Board ever asked themselves any of the questions she poses. Suspect not but they could always do it now.

Ho  hum.

One message I received the other day was for a question/s to challenge social workers/nurses who were going to be shown the Tale of Laughing Boy. The film is being used in several arenas to spark discussion among students/staff/senior teams in both health and social care. This is great. It’s a brilliantly produced film that captures love, humanity, common sense, crap and catastrophe. A lovely mate/legend told me recently it says everything she’s always banged on about person centred care in 15 minutes without any mention of ‘person centred care’.

So. Some suggested questions (relating to adult social care/in no particular order) for frank and open discussion in tandem with watching the film:

  • Do you ever/sometimes/often think parents are a pain in the arse, obstructive and make doing your job more difficult? If yes, what makes you think this? Why do you think they behave like this?
  • Have you/your team tried to find ways to resolve this tension and develop a productive relationship with families? If yes, how? What worked? If not, why not?
  • What would you think if a family member/person was blogging or tweeting about your service? What would you do? Do you think they should be ‘allowed’ to do this? What are your views about social media in the context of your work?
  • How often do you think about the aspirations/potential/value of the learning disabled adults you are involved with? Can you give some examples of how you’ve encouraged/enabled them realise their potential? Or things that have obstructed you doing this. If you don’t think about aspiration/potential why do you think this might be? 
  • How might health and social care work better together to ensure that what happened to LB (Nico Reed, Thomas Rawnsley and the many, many others ) doesn’t happen again?
  • Do you think the response of public bodies towards families after such catastrophic incidents is acceptable or reasonable? Can you identify the moments in which something different could have been done? Why do you think there is little apparent shift towards transparency and candour?

These points are just flung out in the hope of some productive discussion. Please add your own questions or reflections below. At some point, we’ll try to pull together some constructive thinking about what’s happened so the more thoughts the better.

More cheerful biz in the last few days involved the launch of the latest #JusticeforLB crowdsourcing request. New, deliciously creative, action to get involved in (details here).

I’ll sign off with my fave (I think) Chicago photo in this potpourri* of a post. Because it captures light, delight and fun.



*I bloody hate potpourri.

8 thoughts on “A potpourri* of learning, ‘craftivism’ and fun

  1. oo this post is rather nice, like a kitchen with a happy bustle and cinnamon in the air. Can’t think of anything useful to post as I have just had a bit of a do with a lady with no money ,a fetching blue perching stool and a heap of debt. I love that photo. Bring on the open discussion.

  2. I would ask how do you as a professional intend to ensure people you work with have a good life and their families are included and listened to? How will you ensure you never lose your vision and become part of the organisational culture that allowed the things to happen that LB Nico and Thomas experienced? What will you do to make sure you see that for what it is if you are ever unfortunate enough to work in a place that bad? What will you do about it if you ever see it? How will you stay true to the aspirations you have now and never become part of group think and organisational cultures? How will you make sure you always protect the person not the organisation? And something about how all this fits with codes of conduct and how those people had lost sight of that most important part of professionalism … The person?

    • I second how will you make sure you always protect the person. How did the perching stool get priority ahead of securing the property at night or providing washing facilities /advocacy ? is a safe outcome for the person to perch atop their stool and observe an intruder from a vantage point ? If you are unhappy with needs going unmet would you insist your concerns are acknowledged ? How often are you assessing safety from serious injury or death ? Have you ever thought , yes I can see how that tragedy came about ? Have you ever raised human rights concerns yourself ? would you openly raise your hand in response if the answer was yes ? If a person has physical disabilities/chronic illnesses and mental health conditions does it make it increasingly difficult for you to see the whole person ? If a person has complex needs are you dreading any family supporting giving a blow by blow list of difficulties that must be addressed to ensure safety ?

  3. Sarah – at Open Future Learning we are developing a module ‘Supporting and Working With Families.’ This module focuses on the experience and stories of families, the tensions and misconceptions that exist between family members and professionals, and offers direction and guidance for front line staff. If you would like and if you have the time to be involved in some way please let me know. Ben ben@openfuturelearning.org

      • We do not have an official title for the module yet, but it’s all food for thought. We can also say we work for the people we support and whether we work for their families depends on their wishes etc.

  4. I have supported my adult son/daughter to live ‘independently’ mainly with minimum, if that, adequate care from LA for years. I have trundled through all the routine gruesome care reduction, cheapest contracted agency introduction reviews, and the now so familiar challenges needed to ensure some safe care. Years of it. Only a rare day off, no holidays for years, without a crises or some routine issue, like agency staff not turning up etc. All care removed because care manager forgot to renew contract with agency, care manager on holiday so no care till …..

    I have obtained legal aid, and liased with the solicitors through to Judicial review a number of times. I am my son/daughter’s chosen advocate. I see every crises through to a solution.

    The.advocates pushed by the LA are part of a massive organisation who also deliver the LA brokerage service. The advocates are transitory, and only do short periods of work. Potentially new advocate appointed each time….

    On all the LA paper work produced around my son/daughter, he/she does not have an advocate. Space empty.

    Just a mum.

    • let’s keep helping Ben with that title Molly. Working with families is dependent on whether the person being supported requests it happens, Ok. The needs of the supported person are paramount to all, agreed. And we Mums work with the LA because ? their are no independent advocates and our duty of care runs through our blood.

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