Oh dear Mike

Oh dear. Mike Durkins, National Director for Patient Safety at NHS Improvement (my arse), made this statement about the CQC deaths review;


There is so much so wrong with this statement, not least Durkin’s apparent indifference or obliviousness, to what are, often, preventable deaths. What really makes my jaw ache though is his bizarre reference to families of learning disabled and mental health patients. Mike, all families should be properly treated and supported when a loved on has died unexpectedly. Just like all unexpected deaths should be properly investigated. Singling out these families suggests a complete misunderstanding of this latest scandalous unfolding.

As Patient Safety Director you really need to be focusing on why certain patients are dying (consistently) in the first place. [And, if you need herbs off the street to point this out to you, you should probably have a long, hard think about whether you are in the right job.]

Also, before you make a leap to global standards of excellence, you might want to see what’s going on in Spain and their response to the way in which the NHS treat certain members of society. Strikes me, you could learn a thing or two.







14 thoughts on “Oh dear Mike

  1. It just goes on and on Sara, I don’t know how you manage to continue to keep your blog posts so measured. Since Jeremy Hunt has now fessed up regarding the huge number of avoidable/preventable (whatever the current terminology is) (and uninvestigated) deaths in NHS England, I am hoping that the Welsh Govt might now come clean and admit that yes, we have one hell of a problem too, particularly here in north Wales. (Cameron kept throwing mud at the Welsh Govt so they became most reluctant to do anything that might give him ammunition.) But somehow I doubt that we’re entering a new era of transparency and candour. We’ll continue to hear much about ‘excellence’ and ‘learning’ – and the NHS will continue to exterminate vulnerable people and put anyone who dares confront them through a particular type of well-thought out hell involving that tried and tested method of a complete character assassination. Yesterday the local media in north Wales reported the death of yet another mental health patient – it was admitted by the Health Board that the ‘root cause’ of this man’s death was the lack of a hospital bed. Yet I note that the inquest recorded an ‘open’ verdict. So this is yet another death of a mental health patient that will not appear in the suicide stats – and because he wasn’t actually in the care of the Health Board when he died, he won’t appear in their stats either. The Health Board have recently been proudly maintaining that suicides in this region and deaths in their care now ‘compare well’ with other regions. Yet an awful lot of people with mental health problems are still being found dead.

  2. The NHS (and Social Care, etc.) leaders are so at fault to be starting the conversation all over again, as though no conferences and news headlines happened since 2011 and before, as if we didn’t already know all this for many years – is there no shame?
    CIPOLD was DoH driven and already revealed the dark side of the NHS and care services years ago.

    It’s Christmas, and NHS leaders and others cannot end the year on a vague repeated statement that they hope makes them feel less guilty or look good at Christmas.

    There’s nothing Christian about what you are doing.

    Sara’s stamina and our stamina as parents and vulnerable people is the only action driving anything.
    We need you the NHS to stop being false about the care of the most disabled as 2017 approaches.

    NHS, start acting even now, not falsely glorifying when you’ve done nothing to improve – more words mean nothing to those you destroy, who you should have been healing.
    You are not globally excellent for those with the greatest needs, unless they are lucky and have people devoted to them.

  3. Those Sloven campaigners who attended a recent meeting with NHS [Un]-Improvement’s Executive Regional Director (South), Anne Eden, will not be surprised at all by Durkin’s comments. She offended everyone, including Healthwatch Hampshire’s Manager (who facilitated the meeting) and the ‘rebel’ governors (who attended) by being completely unprepared. The open letter sent by ‘grieving mother’ to Jeremy Hunt says it all – read it at https://999crash.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/armistice-day-letter-to-jeremy-hunt/.

    To add insult to injury, Anne’s excuse for not being fully briefed was that she’d only been in the job for 7 months!!! Extracts from her written response and other NHS balls is on the later post, dated 27 November 2016, on the same blog – entitled Lies, Dam Lies & CQC Press Releases. Her letter ended with an instruction not to address her again – we must only to write to the Complaints Manager.

    • All sounds very familiar – there were only certain people (who of course did nothing) that one was ‘allowed’ to write to when complaining about the NHS in north Wales. Too many letters to the ‘wrong’ people (eg. the CEO or Chairman presiding over the chaos and slaughter) resulted in accusations of ‘harassment’ and investigations into the complainants by the north Wales police…

      • Martin’s residential care home in Cardiff has no complaints policy in place, nor has it had for years. Neither has Surrey Social Services, nor Chiltern CCG. Martin and I are effectively silenced.

      • In a recent incident, the same patient/family group who met NHSI were offered by the CQC a choice of three dates for a meeting in January 2017. Having canvassed the group, the CQC was suddenly unavailable on our chosen day: we then offered our second choice only to receive an email implying that was no longer available for the CQC too. Needless to say, the group coordinator expressed his frustration (robustly but not rudely) only to receive an email from a CQC Director:

        “If you persist in calling, I will have to consider what further action we might take.”

        So the CQC mucks around patient representatives (which include bereaved families) and issues threats when their coordinator becomes frustrated. This happened the same day the CQC issued a press release urging Trusts to treat the families of deceased patients better!

        The words ‘pot, kettle, black’ come easily to mind.

  4. The feelings of guilt, grief and need for justice by families whose son or daughter dies from neglect or incompetence in NHS care are similar to that of families where family member is neglected or worse by a LA – but who does not die from it..

    Similar mechanisms of denial and obstruction and parent blame can be brought into play by a LA – who has the additional power to deter any investigation – for son or daughter will require support after any investigation into the neglects…. and the complaint.

    The complaints process within LA’s are as arduously time consuming and ineffective as NHS. With LA Ombudsman – families have only one year to complain – years can be taken up working out exactly what is going on – while more neglects can be happening. The denial, obfuscation and avoidance tools of NHS and LA’s can be very similar. LA Ombudsman will consider only that which has happened within that year. The rest is viewed as ‘historical’. Even if the injuries sustained by the neglect or worse – while family are seeking to understand and being obstructed – are life long.

    When an initial concern is raised by families – far less serious complaints – managers can be impossible to access – then accessed only through the complaints process – which upsets care teams. For no one likes to be complained about. Then comes the inevitable team of closed ranks – where the people stop listening or learning.

    Families may back off at that point – intimated – afraid – of even monitoring support – for a powerful non accountable organisation – can become a vengeful accuser…..

    Families who have complained can live with all the unresolved feelings of grief and injustice – plus a crippling anxiety – and fear of even worse happening to son or daughter – from having no way now to prevent it.

    For …such mums and dads have no means of redress if they are aggressively counter accused of ….whatever…….they may find they are now accused of…….

    To warn them off ?

    Such families learn..despair…and impotence ….very quickly….for beloved vulnerable son or daughter will depend on this LA….. now…..and after your death.



  5. I met Mike Durkin at an HSIB (IPSIS as then was) family consultation day. Will Powell suggested to Mike Durkin, that all Investigations are signed off with a ‘Statement of Truth/No Omissions’ by the Report Author or Hospital Medical Director.

    Mike Durkin thought this was a good suggestion but said that it would need to be run by the NHS ‘Legal Department’.

    Mike Durkin knew all too well that unfortunately Hospital Investigations are not independent and not reliable and they are any old twisted nonsense to try and persuade family’s that nothing untoward has happened and avoid legal liability.

      • FF2016
        You are right. When my son was neglected and worse for so very long – and he was in fact blamed for his own suffering – which prolonged it by years – and during which time I had to fight against same for so very very long to be heard – the Ombudsman investigator was a former LA manager.

        We never saw him – he visited and did interviews in LA .but never met my son or me.

        My evidence on his behalf – in writing and on phone – and evidence from the independent investigation was accepted. I can only suspect that internal investigating social worker did as fair a report as she was permitted. Then two brave coal face workers spoke up for my son and told truthfully told Ombudsman what they knew and saw about the culture of LA at time. . If these three had not – I feel that Ombudsman could well have come to a different conclusion.

        In the stage one of process the internal LA investigating senior SW was an excellent person with true integrity – she/he left the LA very soon after his/her report. I met him/her when my son and I interviewed by the independent panel -she/he held me in his /her arms for a long time and said nothing in words. The independent panel – with her present – supported all my son and I said in their subsequent report and advice to LA. The panel advised LA leaders to meet my son and I and to use us in training to learn from us and our experience. LA refused to meet us or to use us in training.

        I heard later on that one of these magnificent coal face workers also left the LA soon afterwards – and he/she then then went to tribunal for experiencing bullying.

        The excellent complaints officer who had assisted me throughout these years long complaints processes in a very professional way – also left the LA soon afterwards. All could have been a coincidence.

        The Ombusdman upheld our complaint and fined the LA. Ombudsman also reprimanded LA – including for refusing to meet us or to learn from us.

        Many of the issues investigated and castigated by Ombudsman (including dangerous assessment processes) were repeated by LA soon afterwards.

        In my experience nothing has changed in the years subsequent to all this – to demonstrate that this LA has changed its culture. In my experience it is still blaming and aggressively defensive – and reluctant to welcome complaints or to learn from them..

  6. FF 2016 there is no one to whom to expose it. Been trying for 16 years when I made my first formal complaint to Surey SS. No one cares

  7. Shirley I think some people do care but are so far down on the power ladder that they get squashed and intimidated if they speak out.

    Some companies that provide day care are trying desperately to make things happen, but are often stymied by the very people (LA councillors and their ilk) that are commissioning them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.