Taking Mildred, Murphy and North Parade


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.

5 thoughts on “Taking Mildred, Murphy and North Parade

  1. Sara – hope things are as well as can be expected with you. Good luck this week.

    Back to your case, Sloven refuses to disclose the letter from Dr Dolman, produced by Murphy’s Counsel. I believe Sloven’s reasoning is flawed. However, the MPTS information governance team tell me you should be able to obtain a copy.

    The secretary to Sloven’s Interim Medical Director and a Consultant Psychiatrist, who I met by chance, tell me there is also a three-day Inquest starting on Monday in Winchester Coroners Court. It’s in the Council Chamber rather than the usual Coroners room so it must be a biggie. None of us (including BBC South) have heard the deceased’s name before so they have been pretty tight-lipped about it.

    Will be thinking of you tomorrow. Take care.

  2. I loved George and Mildred, so I love you for reminding me of Mildred. Wishing you a positive and sensible outcome in the proceedings, this twisted world we live in is governed by none believers looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses. One day, they may be on the other side and understand how desperately frustrating it is to be a (non-medic) yet hold such valuable insight. Love and support to George Julian too, she is such a stalwart x

  3. How odd that we find ourselves thinking about the consequences for individuals who display indifference. Maybe this says we are human.
    Yet reflective practice should be the norm. Instead it seem to just present practitioners with ample opportunities to take the time to think of their own excuses.. So sad.
    But the truth comes out in the end.
    Even if it’s in the afterlife.
    I wish you well & hope you find the peace you deserve x

  4. Dear Sara – my fingers are crossed hoping you and your family get the result you are hoping for. Accountability does not seem like too much to ask. Take care.

Leave a Reply to karel Cancel 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.