Regular readers will know I spent ages writing a letter to the Sloven governors at the beginning of the year outlining the boards (barbaric? inhumane?) treatment of us since LB’s death. It was a deeply distressing task which took hours. I didn’t cover every bit of action (or non action) because it would have been unreadable. The letter can be read in full here.
It ended with this paragraph:
Only one governor, Mark Aspinall, demonstrated any interest in responding properly to my letter, as I chased up an answer every few weeks for four months. Apparently it was taking a long time to go through all the points I raised and getting the governors to agree to a reply. Last week we heard from Jim Mackey that NHS Improvement had followed up the non response with the trust and had requested a copy of the reply too.
I received this letter the next day.
[Before reading it, you should probably make sure there is nothing breakable within reaching distance. In all seriousness.]
Please hurry up someone and do something with this totally toxic, festering bunch of self satisfied and equally stupid, pointless people. I now have rage feelings in parts of my body I didn’t know existed before. LB died [he died???] and you – the board and now the governors – have treated us with contempt, disrespect and much worse.
How is this remotely acceptable? And how do any of you, and I mean all of you, possibly sleep at night?
If intelligent and good people, appointed only to ensure the competent Leadership and Governance of the NHS and the safe care of the most vulnerable people in society, can put their name to this ….and really mean it and believe it….
We have no chance.
I attended the Council of Governors meeting last Tuesday as a member of the public so, whilst the content of this letter does not surprise me, I am shocked and appalled that it has been issued – not just to you Sara but I understand also to many others awaiting a response from the Governors. I am shocked because I got the impression that many Governors thought the contents highly inappropriate and they would refuse to put their signature to it. I certainly spoke to one on Friday who was ‘spitting feathers’ about a letter sent out on his behalf – I now suspect this one.
One of many reasons why Mark resigned.
And therein lies the problem – Mark was one of the few Governors in whom I had any confidence: he could have made a difference. There are a few others like him but they are in a minority and normally outvoted. Many are brown-nosed.
Sadly SH is not alone, others are in the wings waiting to happen, or to be found out. I have on several occasions told Somerset partnership trust their Governors are not taking their positions and roles seriously. As usual, no one is listerning….. It has taken almost a year for a complaint to be accepted, made by an advice charity on behalf of a client!
My son died in the care of the mental health trust 6 years ago and so far I have not had an answer to why there was no investigation into a sudden and unexpected death.
PHSO said they couldn’t investigate as it was ,out of time. It wasn’t.
A service complaint to PHSO is still being considered 2 years later.
What a patronising bunch of miscreants they are. They were ready to ignore you Sara and Rich in the vain hope you would go away. They hoped that your grief would render you weak and submissive. In fact your terrible grief empowered you both and gave you strength to fight this terrible injustice. I might add that your steadfast determination to root out this toxic culture that exists in Sloven have empowered many other people too.
What is clear is that they haven’t got a clue what to do. They are grabbing at the ‘safe space’ narrative as a life-line. The bottom line is that they have two conflicting responsibilities – one to the patient and one to the organisation. Patients come and go but the organisation represents their colleagues and friends. The ‘duty’ to colleagues creates an inherent bias towards protecting the system (and also yourself). Will the introduction of a safe space to fess up make any difference?
Extracts from Andy Burnham’s comment on the verdicts from the Hillsborough campaign in the Observer yesterday:
”This story should give hope to anyone fighting injustice”
”…….says something very worrying about the way we are governed…..”
”As well as wrongly maligning the people…..the establishment made the fatal mistake of underestimating them….”
”The system plays the long game. it can afford to. It works on the basis that people will become ground down……” (And just go away?)
”The success of this one campaign needs to have a domino effect on others”. It must also mark a shift in the balance of power from the state to the ordinary people, starting with more accountability……”
”We must have an end where ……….can use retirement (resignation?) as a means of escaping accountability……”
”The legal system also needs radical change”.
”The authorities spend public money like water in hiring the best lawyers….in contrast victims have to scratch around…”
”A new generation of campaigners had to come to the fore”.
”This (Hillsborough) tells us that change is possible…..is a moment when Britain changed for the better”.
Acknowledgement Andy Burnham and to the Observer newspaper Sunday 1/5/18
Great minds think alike – I have referred to Hillsborough in an open letter to Sloven – published at https://999crash.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/go-now/ – and also to a scandal at an Ambulance Trust where the Chairman and CEO did go quickly.
Typo, oops, has added a couple of years to the date above…( just feels like it ?)
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