Rich and I walked down to North Parade yesterday so I could stock up on wool to help me get through the final section of the GMC tribunal. A process started in May 2014 when we referred LB’s responsible clinician to the GMC. The tribunal has spread out across two weeks in August, two weekends in November and a further three days from this Monday.
The consultant, Valerie Murphy, relinquished her licence in 2014 and returned to work in Ireland. When we referred her we knew nothing about the patient who died seven years before LB in the same bath. A death she raised with the Trust in March 2014 and then 18 months later at LB’s inquest. A death dismissed in life. Another layer of grim wrongness discarded as easily as a dirty wrapper in a street bin.
I already feel queasy that the sanction will be decided this week. The impairment decision makes for a devastating read and the process has been brutal. George Julian is back in Manchester tonight ready for the 9.30am start. She will be live-tweeting the proceedings at @JusticeforLBGMC shedding light on these processes (and allowing us to follow from home).
We walked down Cuckoo Lane. Passed the John Radcliffe hospital where LB didn’t die. The Oxford Brookes University nursery where he went as a tot (before being ‘released’ with a ‘too difficult for us’ stamp). Across the Marston Ferry Road and along the river to University Parks. Roaming around various North Oxford roads until we emerged opposite North Parade.
The small wool shop (Oxford Yarn Store) for a novice but seriously hooked crocheter was dazzling. Like a cave of brilliant jewels arranged and heaped on every surface, from floor to ceiling.The woman was reassuringly helpful showing me what wool I should use and a photo of the end result if I used the wool I liked. I suspect I’ll be a long term spiky novice on the stitching front (I have history here) but she was quietly encouraging.
After some careful questions about my recent turn to crocheting she said she was following what happened to LB and her nephew was autistic. She wished me luck and looked sad.
Over on twitter (which constitutes about 15% of my current non-working life if I include the early hours of the morning) reverberations about Hadiza Bawa-Garba continue. This is the doctor recently struck off by the GMC. I relentlessly stand on my timeline with a faulty light sabre (alongside a number of other family members, lay people and the rare medic) hitting back at what seem to be outlandish, extreme and inappropriate claims by hopefully a vocal minority of medics (though given the shedload of cash raised overnight to challenge the GMC decision I’m not sure).
I don’t have any personal feelings about Bawa-Garba being struck off. I’ve consistently said that a legal process has been followed to the max and until further details of the original manslaughter trial are known there’s little point in speculating about ‘scapegoating’ or miscarriages of justice. I worry that Jack’s Down’s syndrome was a feature simply because of the dire mortality figures around learning disabled people. Certain people receive differing care across health and social care settings.
The tone of the challenge by the medical profession is grim; little or no consideration of Jack and his family (or worse), exclamation marks, unsavoury and sometimes inconsistent comments. There has also been condemnation of dissenters to the ‘We are all Hadiza” calls. Among other things this week I was called Mildred from Three Billboards. ‘A woman past caring’ said the medic dismissively erasing the intense love, complexity, humour and strength of McDormand’s character. I’ll take that, I thought. I’ll bloody take Mildred.
And hope the right decision is made this week.