Back in October 2013, Fran was going to be the family advocate on the Sloven investigation into LB’s death. This descended into farce almost immediately as Fran was banned from being involved because of some trumped up nonsense around Oxfordshire Family Support Network. And then unbanned. Once back, Fran’s involvement only spread to one meeting before Verita were commissioned to do an external investigation.
At the meeting with two Sloven employees (one of whom wrote the leaked quality and safety review nearly a year before LB died; the report which Verita, NHS England and NHS Improvement are now arguing was disclosed (my arse)), Fran was given a lifelong confidentiality agreement to sign. She took a hard copy away to get it looked over, slightly bemused as it had bits crossed out and handwritten amendments.
She was surprised to receive several missed calls from the clinical director the next day (on her home phone and mobile) desperate to get hold of her and two messages. This is the first message (early evening). It was followed by a second message first thing the next morning asking her to get in touch. And more missed calls across the morning.
The life long confidentiality agreement itself was now confidential and not to be shared with anyone (not even a legal representative). Complete and utter Sloven nonsense. Typical bullying and bombastic approach. Terrible, terrible interaction with a family friend/member of the public. No whiff of care, concern or sensitivity around the fact that a young man drowned in their care. Just a dehumanising ‘mum and her solicitor’ and agitation.
What a sign of what lay ahead.
ps. Fran’s son, James, still uses Sloven services. Her willingness to publicly share this message and story is a testament to her not being cowed by bullying services who too often hold families over a barrel of fear. She said to me an age ago that she had been a whistleblower as a nurse in her early twenties. ‘Before ‘whistleblowers’ existed.’ She just called out poor practice. I think she’s right. This is the only way change will happen.