Three years now. Well we’re into the fourth year really. I thought I’d update you on where we’re at in terms of justice and accountability. Not far really. [Sorry]. Various investigations limp on. The General Medical Council (GMC) has spent over two years collecting evidence about the clinician who was kind of in charge of you. You know. That woman who spoke to you for about 15 minutes across your whole time in STATT from what I can tell from the records. And gave you Bonjela after you had that seizure. She’s got about a week left to respond to the allegations the GMC have put to her. We’ve no idea what these allegations are because it’s all secret squirrel stuff. She’s working in the Emerald Isle now. Still responsible for patients.
She pitched up at your inquest in October with a barrister who was like the worst of worst baddies in a Simon Pegg film. He, like Sloven peeps, questioned whether we wanted you home. We did. I’m so sorry if that got lost over those hideous weeks in the unit. We stupidly, stupidly thought you were in a safe space while support was being sorted. Turns out all the failings in the unit were written in a report the summer before you went there. But nothing was done. [Howl…]
Your inquest went as it should have done. Superb legal representation (as you’d have expected) and a jury of nine members of the public who listened and understood how deeply you were failed by Sloven.
Other investigations are going on. Still. We met three people from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on Thursday with Norman Lamb. The meeting was in Portcullis House which you’d have loved. Heavy weaponery, police presence and security… The meeting was disappointing. Not the objective, razor sharp, robust, investigative scrutiny I imagined. Mind you, the writing was on the wall given the speed in which they slapped a charge against a production company for Harrison Ford’s leg injury in June 2014.
There seems to be a fog engulfing and dispersing any critical challenge by public bodies of public bodies. And when you stupidly ain’t considered to be fully human, that fog just thickens.
We managed to get a review commissioned by NHS England into deaths in Sloven ‘care’. This found a scandalous lack of interest or engagement in investigating unexpected deaths. We thought this report would lead to sharp and immediate action. But nah. Seems like this is ok.There’s a bit of tweaking going on round the edges but no commitment to really looking at these deaths or to act with any conviction. You’ve been mentioned a few times in the House of Commons though which would make you smile.
Meanwhile, Sloven failings continue to pile up. They are seriously shite. NHS Improvement sent in a troubled shooter, Tim Smart, to look at leadership failings. He spent a few weeks there, avoided speaking with families, got some psychometric testing organised and decided there were no leadership probs.
I can hear you saying ‘Mum? Why mum?’ into infinity and beyond.
I dunno. I was waiting for the Scooby Doo gang to pitch up and unmask him as Mr Crawls or one of the other villains in the end. Such a nonsensical, cartoonish judgement. Apparently Alistair Burt, the social care minister, is still looking into it but for some reason, that rag bag bunch of muppets remain in post.
These systems we loosely brought you up thinking were good, right and just, simply and sadly ain’t fit for purpose. While the public have stepped up and created an explosion of brilliance around you, your life and the lives of so many other people, you were and continue to be well and truly fucked over by those you always firmly believed in.
There was a story in the Guardian mag about you a few months ago. A very funny journalist, Simon, came round and later a photographer. You’d have liked them both. Joel souped up some of our old photos. Like this one. No orange binoculars but the old shower cap and goggles. Rocking life as you always did. Your way.