Well LB was a bit older than you. He was very funny, loving and loved buses and Eddie Stobart lorries. He got upset and a bit low when he was 18 and ended up in hospital. It was a special sort of hospital. It cost more money each week for LB to stay in that hospital than most people earn in a month. It was run by a bit of the NHS called Sloven. The NHS is supposed to look after everyone in this country when they are unwell.
It turned out that Sloven didn’t really care about patients like LB. Or care about some of their staff. Staff became fed up and some became pretty rubbish at their jobs because of this. They stopped looking after patients properly. LB had a thing called epilepsy which meant he could suddenly pass out. Staff knew this but the doctor in charge told them it wasn’t a problem.
One day LB was in the bath alone (which he shouldn’t have been) and passed out. He went under the water and died. We felt our world had ended. Sloven pretended LB would have died anyway. They said he died of natural causes. But people don’t usually die in the bath (or when they are 18). Instead of being able to feel sad and think about our beautiful boy we had to fight to get Sloven to admit LB died because they didn’t look after him properly.
Sloven refused to do this and the people, like NHS England or Monitor, who were supposed to make sure Sloven did the right thing didn’t. Nobody who should have sorted this out, did anything. Usually when you work you have a boss who makes sure you do your job properly. And your boss has a boss. It turns out, in the NHS, the bosses of bits of it can do whatever they want. The Sloven boss, called Katrina Percy, and her senior team just carried on behaving badly.
We were worried some other people might have died because they weren’t cared for properly like LB. The boss of NHS England agreed to pay for a review into other deaths that happened in Sloven’s care.
Meanwhile, a lot of other people, all sorts of people, joined in the fight to try and get Sloven to take responsibility for LB’s death. They did all sorts of brilliant stuff. Sports stuff, music stuff, they made films, animations, held cake sales, did embroidery, gardening, drew pictures of buses, flew flags, put LB’s name on buses and trucks and all sorts. Lots of people began to know who LB is. There was lots of fun, love and happiness about LB and people like him.
The trouble is, all this fab stuff didn’t stop Sloven behaving badly. They lied to us (and others) and tried to stop us finding out what happened to LB. They spent more money than some people earn in a lifetime on lawyers to do this. Money paid for from people’s taxes. Luckily, some brilliant human rights lawyers and barristers helped us. The inquiry into LB’s death, run by someone called a coroner, found that LB died because he wasn’t looked after properly. He should still be alive.
The report into the other deaths also found that Sloven didn’t care about lots of people like LB. When they died suddenly Sloven said they died of natural causes and didn’t try to find out why they’d died. Sloven were furious about this report. They said it was rubbish and tried to stop people reading it. Then they argued that other bits of the NHS were just the same. Allowing certain people to die early and then say it was natural causes.
We think Sloven don’t really think that LB and people like him are proper people. That’s why they didn’t do anything when they died early. Like a lot of things, they’ve got this completely wrong. We just need to work out what to do about it. Because LB’s death has shown us just how badly some people are treated in this country. And how those people whose job it is to actually do something about this, don’t really care either.