A very British killing…


Just started reading A very British Killing by Andrew Williams. About Baha Mousa, a hotel receptionist, killed by British troops during the Iraq War. A deeply horrific read for so many reasons. In the preface, Williams writes:

wilsonThe underlined sections could have been written about our experiences/the experiences of other families. Substituting civilian and military commanders with NHS Foundation Trusts, NHS England, NHS Improvement and the Department of Health. Light on apologetic, heavy on disdain. With the Mazars review demonstrating a more systemic and possibly less chaotic approach to the initial violence/harm people experience (not read the book yet so just guessing… sigh).

For three years now, the failing actions of the Sloven exec have been made visible. And they still don’t have to get it. Cosseted in a ‘safe space’ woven with overlapping strands of the Health and Social Care Act (2012)the erosion of accountability and the administrative grotesque, the bureaucratic apathy and institutional failure Wilson discusses, and more.

An example of the impermeability of this space. The Sloven circulation of the briefing about this blog, a day after LB’s death [howl] and the sharing of this unspeakably vile document on these pages, wider social media and during LB’s inquest and wider social media. This exposure, this uncovering and publication of truly toxic action by an NHS Trust would surely lead to censure, to serious reflection and action at board level (and higher) about the priorities/actions of the Trust..?

Nah. Not a dicky bird. Instead, almost three years later – three years littered with failed CQC reports, deaths, critical inquest determinations and no real action – the board papers for the meeting next week state:

risksThe Non-Executive Directors challenged whether the ability to respond to external reports and reputational issues should be the the Trust’s highest risk.’

Reputational risk remains top of the (inspirational) leadership board.

Having felt particularly ground down over the last few weeks/months. I’ll dredge up some optimism droplets and end with three reflections;

At least some of the slumbering non executive directors are (at last) waking up…


There will always be memories of the rebel governors and day trip to the Lyndhurst Community (involving a ‘well travelled jar of pickled onions’ with the My Life My Choice crew.)  

And Andrew Williams – who made these links between Baha Mousa, LB and others – is currently making his way through the bundles from LB’s inquest.

4 thoughts on “A very British killing…

  1. Sara
    LA’s who commission care for their communities and who fail to monitor this care, are keeping very quiet at present?

    All the behaviour you describe and all you have had to endure for these three brutal years has been experienced by other non people, ‘complainants’ all; families who have challenged equally unaccountable and ‘disdainful’ LA’s ?

    When are they going to be held to account for failing to ensure that the care they commission from NHS and other providers is safe ?

  2. Weary mother – you bet the LAs are keeping quiet. They have service agreements with Sloven for the provision of certain joint health and social care services so are implicit in covering up Sloven’s failings.

    For example, at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Governors in January, the Governors appointed by Hampshire and Southampton CCs both agreed to meet a Sloven complainant – subsequently Council officials instructed them not to do so! Hampshire CC even tried to stop a Councillor meeting one of his own constituents! (Forgive my stupidity but I thought we elected Councillors to run Councils – not unelected [and overpaid] officials.)

    I have proof of officers of two LAs dissembling and otherwise acting dishonestly to protect Sloven – which presumably is why they don’t want their Appointed Governors meeting patients.

    And it’s not political – Hampshire is Conservative-led and Southampton Labour-led – their views are diametrically opposed to those of both parties’ Members of Parliament.

  3. Social care and NHS are under the same umbrella. They are covering for each other in their shortcomings. They commission responsibilities of care to each other and we people who are caring for our loved ones do not really know who is monitoring who? Only parents/carers are monitoring the whole show, and when the families are not close by or nor around anymore, the life’s of most LD people are not monitored and it is not safe. Like a health/social care professional told me on the other day–” You do not want to know”

    • The silence is deafening, so stories have to be made public. None of us wanted that. We has a quiet life before, like most people writing here.
      My complaint about my son (unprotected from serious self harm and neglect, lack of post-operative care by careworkers following operations, and a list of safeguarding incidents so long I can’t write here) is dragging on wrt both LA and Trust.
      All the values they proudly write on their websites, and all over the walls in their buildings, they just don’t do for the ‘learning disabled’. They do a better job for others without LD, so why display ‘excellence in learning disability services’ when I don’t seen any excellence?
      In my care, the attention he had from me was free and so brilliant I didn’t realise it at the time, though I know that he realises it since he left us even though he can’t speak. The system is just shock after shock, as no single complaint is ever dealt with. Even the GPs advice was ignored.
      The only attention to detail I’ve seen is on the cash flow and organising holiday leave.

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