The magic wand

Friday afternoon I left work mid afternoon and went to the cemetery. The outcome of the ‘settlement’ reached on Wednesday was impossible to make sense of. I just kept crying. On the bus home I received an emailed letter from Lesley Stevens (Sloven Medical Director). About the unethical study they are conducting into families experiences of their death review process. The letter inviting people to take part is being reviewed and revised by three ‘service users’, the Health Research Authority have said no ethics approval (or ethical thought apparently) is necessary and Stevens defends the use of the questions being asked of bereaved families (e.g If the review process had been perfect – if it had been everything that you would want it to be, what would it have looked like for you?with reference to the “Magic wand” question:

“if you had a magic wand, and could have three wishes granted…” (see Verma, N., (2014) Appreciative Inquiry: Practitioners’ Guide for Generative Change and Development) and the standard Solution Focused “miracle” or “future perfect” question: “Suppose a miracle happened tonight?” (see Jackson & McKergow (2002), The Solutions Focus: The simple way to positive change).”

magic wand

I read the letter. Blinked. Read it again. And bizarrely (after all this time) realised that Lesley Stevens and a sizeable chunk of the Sloven board will simply never understand (or refuse to understand) that LB died. Or engage with what #JusticeforLB has revealed over the past three years. The burying of the agreed public statement in a PDF, off a link from the Sloven news page, demonstrates the same old, same old, contempt and fakery despite an apparent “successfully mediated settlement” reached on Wednesday. A point not lost on others…

mills tweet

This afternoon I sorted out some photos for Open Democracy who are going to publish the public statement as a word document so it’s permanently searchable online. [A PDF is not…]

As I did, I thought again about Steven’s reference to “a magic wand” or “a miracle” happening. And wondered [again]… how can these people possibly be in charge of an NHS trust? Still.

magic wand 2



11 thoughts on “The magic wand

  1. I will never ever understand how this woman could have the audacity to send you letters about this study. Completely and totally insensitive. Does anyone, ever, ask a bereaved parent what they would like if they had a magic wand? The language used ? Another task for your niece perhaps?
    Enraged for you …. Xx

  2. 1. I wish you hadn’t allowed my son to drown
    2. I wish you had investigated why this happened without me having to fight for an investigation
    3. I wish you had apologised
    4. I wish this won’t happen to anyone else because you were able to recognise/acknowledge your failings and have changed
    Four wishes actually

    • SPOT ON Helen. I would think four wishes were well earnt!Personally I could add another ten because I too have suffered the death on my son… a bath too (allegedly!)
      1. I wish my son was alive
      2.I wish you had told me the truth!
      3. I wish you hadnt sent his possessions back to us, in a bin bag marked ‘NHS Household Waste’
      4. I wish you wern’t so insensitive!
      5 I wish real lessons had been learnt
      6. I wish you realised my distress!
      7, I wish you stepped up and took responsibility!
      8. I wish you couldn’t just move to another NHS job.
      10. I wish you were accountable…….then a magic wand scenario shouldn’t even factor!

  3. Sara I am the wicked witch of the north. My spells are potent! I have waived my magic wand, and invoked the evil spirits EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY OF THEIR LIVES, AND BEYOND WILL BE HAUNTED BY CONNOR’S DEATH AND HIS FAMILY’s GRIEF.

  4. If there had been a magic wand, then I would have wished for everyone who had died needlessly whilst in the care of Southern Health to be alive again. Then I would wish that the whole nasty collective that makes this particular management even exist, would never have been allowed to happen. They don’t engage with any family over anything that requires empathy – they are merely a collective of money makers – you don’t need a heart for that.

  5. It is hard to believe after the admission of so many lies and cover ups that they still have their positions! There will be no incentive for any authority to ever be transparent when there is no punishment!

  6. I wish they would all go away and get jobs in PR. That is where their talents for spinning and fakery lay. Every PR stunt they introduce gets sillier and sillier. Who dreamed this crass wish one? Go and let people with empathy and integrity manage Southern Health.

    Are they actually asking people what they wanted them to do? Asking them how they should have engaged with bereaved families? How on earth did they manage to secure such highly paid salaries if they were unable to master the very basic humanitarian art of kindness and sympathy?

    Please tell me that Sloven.s blueprint on how to manage an hospital trust is not being replicated across the country.

    • I disagree that their talents lie in PR: successful spin doctors succeed – Sloven’s stunts always backfire spectacularly. Also good PR Managers know how to manage a crisis – Sloven clearly does not!

  7. Pingback: Another dirty day down Sloven way | mydaftlife

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