Five years and four months


Approaching five years since LB died has been weighing heavily. Five years. Half a decade. Mostly taken up with a brutal fight for accountability. Leaving us barely standing at times. Irreparable, inexcusable damage and destruction.

Five years.

Five years since I last hung out with, touched, talked with, loved with my eyes as well as my heart, my beautiful, extraordinary boy.

Five years.

The Williams Review

Today the rapid policy review ‘Gross Negligence Manslaughter in Healthcare’ report by Norman Williams was published. Four months in the making. A ‘rapid policy’ route. Four months…

Four months.

Four months of hearing from ‘many individuals and organisations. Bereaved families, healthcare professionals and their representative bodies, regulators, lawyers, investigatory and prosecutorial authorities, as well as members of the public…’

A review conducted, written, signed, stamped and published within four months.

Four months.

Shorter than the length of time NHS England sat on the leder review before sneakily publishing it in May.

Four months.

And five years.


12 thoughts on “Five years and four months

  1. It’s done and dusted for them Sara but never for you and your family
    Let’s hope your views and families who have suffered in the same vile way are the loudest voices.

  2. What gets me about that statement is that they are concerned about prosecutions but there is no mention of concern for the people who might die as a result of their negligence. I can’t imagine your grief, but I admire what you have done in those five years despite the horrendous treatment you have received from Sloven et al. LB will never be forgotten.

  3. Progress.

    The NHS and LA’s are now a team.

    Health and Social (so called) Care’ are now co’ Branded – Integrated, – on letter headings.


    …..own Brand of chummy oversight and skill in closing ranks – and own Brand of defensive aggression, confuscation and avoidance of all responsibility……

    Double, double, double … ?.


  4. Unfortunately this “rapid review” has recommended curtailing the powers of the GMC and thus their ability to take action in cases like these. This is very distressing for Jack Adcock’s family. It cannot be right for ministers to hobble regulators in this way to suit themselves.
    Hunt (obviously spotting a cost-free way to curry favour with doctors) claims there is too much “culture of blame” in the NHS, yet so many cases like yours show that, far from blame, there’s actually a culture of cover-up and denial.
    Worst of all, this man Hunt is now in charge of social care. In charge of making sure people like Connor and Jack Adcock are cared for. This terrifies me as my own daughters are severely autistic and the eldest has epilepsy.

    If Hunt can sweep medical failings under the carpet by the simple ruse of tying the hands of the GMC, what’s to stop him making care failings “disappear” by hobbling the CQC so they cannot draw attention to problems??

  5. Having followed your life, your experiences and your photos, and read of the utterly appalling manner with which your family were treated, I am AGAIN, appalled by this report. I am a Hospital Chaplain, I have been a Social Worker. Never in all my days have I seen such jargonised shite pour forth. The professionals are concerned that simple errors could result in prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter. Oh FFS, take the boo boo bus. If you are in a profession that is supposed to care for people, get on caring for them. That’s what you get paid for, for God’s sake. Simple errors, like not making sure someone eats a balanced diet, like making sure that parents (who are the treasury of information about their child), are listened too when they tell you their child should not be given a certain type of medication. What shames me all the more was that back in1992 I was a social work student and for the summer break, I became a member of a team that was providing 24 hr care, for 4 adults with life challenging difficulties, who were living in the community. Each adult had their own one bed flat, purposed built in a new housing estate. Part of my task was to be the carer present for a young man who had Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. This young man would make all his own decisions about what he ate, he would have arguments with his mum about clothes, how late he stayed up, and his girlfriend, but mum would go home safe in the knowledge that her son was receiving care that would not be too intrusive but would be there ‘just in case’. And that was what I was, the ‘just in case’ person. I helped out with personal care for the other three adults, and generally made myself useful. This was 1992! What in the name of all that is holy has happened. All I see is staff not taking responsibility for their actions or inactions and trying to blame everybody else but themselves. People with certain labels, let’s call it what it is, detained without the proper legal safeguards in place (I was also an IMCA and Dols advocate) God I am furious. and in all this we get the staff pissing and moaning. Not one mention about the devastation that their ‘simple errors’ have and continue to cause. The parts that you have put up on your blog, leave me quite weak with anger and a futility about what I can do. But that is my issue. For you and your family I pray that you will continue to be a strong support to each other, that at some point, there will be a break in all the words and fuckwittery that has poured out of organisations, professional bodies and care home providers (wry laughter). Shalom.

    • Battlesister,
      Parents are a treasury of information about their child, and have to witness so much of others negligence, in disbelief.
      You freeze because you can’t believe your situation.
      In my case certain harm comes from delaying actions, saying we’ll discuss something important at the next meeting, when action is needed now.
      So many professionals don’t do their jobs, and we can’t make them.
      The responses ‘I was busy and didn’t read your e-mail’, ‘I have a long case list’, ‘I was on leave’, etc. have gone on for years and permanent damage done. What services are these??
      As my other child says, lack of action is like watching a car crash in slow motion.

      Our MDT’s minimal input for years leaves me as the only one cog in the wheel that’s working.
      I often wonder how it we’d be if we had had actual help.

      • “The only cog in the wheel that’s working”. Boy does that strike a cord with me! My greatest fear is what will happen to my girls when I’m no longer here. The eldest is about to turn 18. They won’t let me be her health and welfare deputy (apparently this is no longer considered necessary as everyone will just “work together in her best interests”!)
        But absolutely NOTHING happens unless I make it happen. Her social worker is nominally in charge. She only works 2 days a week and often isn’t there even on those days!

        • Well, Ann, I happen to know a ‘health and welfare deputy parent’, who is clearly a rare breed! She must be surrounded by excellent professionals.
          I haven’t applied myself, am only a finance deputy, but have been asked by our social worker to be my son’s representative. You are a representative anyway.

          Also you can’t just all work together in best interests in a blanket way, as every decision is separate and depends on your daughter being supported as much as possible to understand and make a decision as Principle 2 in the MCA states – and she needs a significant and trusted person’ who ‘she prefers’ = you.

          • Hi, possible the Deputy you know is of long standing. From what I can gather the policy of only appointing them in exceptional circumstances is fairly recent. Or perhaps they were in exceptional circumstances.

            Of course the de facto way of doing things will continue to be that, in practice, I decide stuff (as no-one else is going to). Now she is an adult, I have still have all the responsibility, but no rights.

            • Incidentally, the Court of Protection accepted our £800 application fee before telling us they now only rarely appoint H&W deputies! I complained, so now they have at least now changed the guidance on their website to let people know they are unlikely to be appointed.

      • Captures all – exactly.

        How would our lives been if we had had actual help – and we had not had to battle continually to stop the paid people who should help us – screwing up our son/daughters’ life.

        As they do ours.

  6. Four months….well of course it doesn’t take long for a doctor to decide that only doctors should be allowed to discipline doctors (as lightly as possible).
    It does not take long for the author of the report to make exactly the “recommendations” that the Health Secretary has told him to make. And it does not take long for the Health Secretary to “accept” those “recommendations”!

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