A missing ‘apology’ in five parts


Part I.

Michael Buchanan (who I suspect bereaved families across the country are developing serious love for) continues to fight the good fight of uncovering and shedding light on brutal NHS practices. He did a piece about the decision of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to prosecute Sloven for BBC News on Tuesday.

At one point, Huw Edwards, introducing the story, said:

“The Trust earlier apologised to the family…”

I nearly dropped my glass of cheeky and chilled vino.

“Eh? Did you hear from Sloven today, Rich?”
“Neither did I. What apology?

The next morning, a local journalist rang and mentioned the apology.

We ain’t received an apology, mate.

I looked on the Sloven website. Maybe they’d issued a statement. [Putting an apology in a statement is not the way to apologise to a family, mind. I was curious about where this ‘apology’ was].


I continued to hear about ‘the apology’ as the day wore on. With no sign of it. Then bingo. This, on twitter:


Ah. The apology was part of a statement the Trust were sending to journalists. A fake apology extraordinaire.

Part II.

In the same way that the Trust response to LB’s death was to write and circulate a briefing document about my blog to protect their reputation, their response (and this needs to be read within the context that three board chairs, a CEO and a complete set of non-executive directors have now been replaced)  to the HSE decision was to tell the British public, via the press, that they have, once again, offered their ‘unreserved apologies’ to us.

Now Julie Dawes, and your merry band of (shit and/or remaining) executives, here’s the rub:  this is no apology. It is nothing resembling an apology. It is so much worse.

What you have done is:

  • compound the barbaric treatment you have relentlessly dished out to us (and many other families).
  • Make visible the insincere, formulaic and performative ingredients of an NHS ‘apology’.
  • demonstrate you have learned nothing despite saying you have.
  • treat us with further contempt and disrespect I didn’t think possible.
  • show us you remain incapable, either wilfully or otherwise, of understanding basic humanity and decency.

Part III.

The statement is pure spin. A closer look at the wording:


The HSE has “informed the Trust of its intention to prosecute in relation…” [Prosecute who?] “Connor’s death whilst in our care…” [It could have happened to anyone, we just happened to be holding the parcel when the music stopped.] “Could have been prevented…” [Introducing uncertainty into the findings of the independent investigation and the inquest.] “We would like to…” [But we ain’t going to.] “Once again…” [We have apologised to this vexatious mother relentlessly.] “Offer our unreserved apologies…” [A prize for us to take with grateful hands.]  “To his family.” [Family for PR purposes, ‘the Mother’ for every strategic opportunity to stick the boot in.] “Continues to do everything it can…” [Apart from actually say sorry].

Part IV.

You didn’t get in touch with us to say sorry. You got in touch with the press.

Minutes after finding the ‘apology’ on twitter, I received an email from your administrator. On behalf of you and the Board Chair, Alan Yates, about meeting up with the group of families you have treated like utter crap.


You can email me about a meeting (to benefit you) but you can’t say sorry.

You didn’t get in touch with us to say sorry. You got in touch with the press.

I find this unforgivable.

Part V.

Rich and I have felt pretty low since the HSE news. People have been saying it’s remarkable that the campaign has achieved so much. It is. Bryan, from My Life My Choice, earlier reminded me of the time I sat in his office a year or so ago, dejectedly saying we didn’t have a craphole chance of achieving our aims… particularly around making sure Sloven didn’t profit from the sale of the Slade House site and a prosecution against the Trust.

The trouble is, of course, LB remains dead; our beautiful son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend, is forever absent and, within a shifting family landscape, newer family members will never meet their quirky uncle LB, brother in law, second cousin or potential godfather. We know this. Any bereaved family knows this.

What your latest ‘unreserved’ non-apology beyond shiteness this week has shown, is that you have zip all understanding of this, and that you couldn’t give a flying fuck. You have been beaten into a corner by a remarkable, and unprecedented, collective brilliance, and you’ve learned nothing.



8 thoughts on “A missing ‘apology’ in five parts

  1. So true, so familiar and so very wrong.

    ‘I am aware of the history’…,so started a letter last year from the Head of adult Care,

    My son and flat mate had been dreadfully neglected and disrespected for years ..and all our appeals to be heard were ignored for years.

    My son was left physically and emotionally damaged.

    The Ombudsman stated that the cultural causes were so great he could not guarantee any improvement soon.

    He was right. …for the nightmare too soon started up again….and then all got worse.

    I filled all the gaps, rescued all the crises. When exhausted, I reluctantly complained last year.

    The response began… ‘I am aware of the history’…

    Two vulnerable people, and their long years of pain, misery and damage, neatly shrunk – to an abstract,


    • Cont:
      Love, super human resilience and doggedness are not the only strengths for which Sara should be applauded here.

      …. as any one, who, like Sara has been forced on bare knees to crawl years over flint shards, in a hail of mother blame and disrespect for justice for a beloved son or daughter learns, this means that we must recount it, relive it in every agony detail,,over and over and over and over.. at the whim of our Public Servant tormentors…,

      It is our reality, it is our real life. And for many of us the pain is too great..and we flinch away… defeated.

      Our tormentors just walk away from it all ..for is just work……and they go home to their real lives.

      No greater horror or torture was ever before thought into reality by a human on another human.

      Sara, hold your head high..we all salute you..

      You endured, for Connor xx

  2. What justice is there in this country when it has been proven beyond all doubt that an innocent, precious life was unlawfully taken, a family has been robbed so cruelly and casually and the individuals at every level who created this culture of appalling criminal neglect have never been charged in a court of law with a crime. After promises of candour, transparency and accountability, an apology which has taken years to formulate in their heads, gets stuck in their gullets. Despite everything said, the perpetrators of all of these crimes against innocent and vulnerable humanity are still in denial and still at large.

  3. All very well talking about improvements but even now Sloven don’t know what percentage of staff are trained and competent in epilepsy – and not a single Director, Governor or CQC Inspector has identified it – https://999crash.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/epilepsy-rage/. Failure to apologise properly is bad enough but failure to know who has competency after all this time an insult to Connor’s memory. 

    Might the failure to identify these shortcomings have something to do with the figures being published in font size 4! My optician informs me that this is at the bottom limit of text that is legible for someone with normal eyesight or with glasses, which correct to normal! Unfortunately, there is no legal requirement for a minimum font size in public documents but 4 is bordering on the ridiculous. But then, as the old adage goes, ‘excreta tauri cerebrum vincit’ – Bullshit Baffles Brains.

  4. Pingback: Epilepsy Rage 2 | Campaign for Reform At Southern Health

  5. Oh yes, they have learned. They learned that after LB’s inquest they got away with exactly the same grubby dodge: not actually making an apology to you, while extruding a pseudo-apology to the media. So they are repeating the tactic.

    Next time (there *will* be a next time; brace for the same old Slovenspunshitespeak after the HSE case) perhaps Michael Buchanan et al. will have got fly to this particularly despicable piece of smarmy cowardliness. It would be nice to think that in future, the ladies and gentlemen of the Press will cross-check with you over the accuracy of any Sloven statements about apologies and call the (Un)Trust(worthy) (swine) out on it, in print and on air.

  6. an apology and an almighty sweep to remove from the public domain any ‘ learning experiences ‘. Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board, Learning from Experience Database – Serious case reviews. CS ( Oxford ) Surely unacceptable to have a version of events in print to’ learn from’ given the HSE decision to prosecute. Completely shocked to see it today looking for something else entirely .

  7. Pingback: Steve Trenchard, NHS regulators & FPPR – Alexander's Excavations

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.