Editorial Note: The post below is by Simon Hattenstone and appeared in the Guardian on April 2nd. It fits into the Kidnapped sequence and allows us to draw attention to the #JusticeforLB campaign (Laughing Boy). Once again the point is this could be you or me, could be cardiac or orthopedic or any branch of medicine. We need an up to date version of Buffy Sainte Marie’s Universal Soldier.
Sara Ryan is a sharp, funny woman with short spiky hair and an acute bullshit detector. She used to laugh all the time, as did her son, Connor Sparrowhawk. She and her husband, Richard Huggins sit in the kitchen of their home in Oxford, the table heaped with biscuits and chocolate, and tell me stories about the son they nicknamed Laughing Boy.
Connor was epileptic, autistic and had learning disabilities. He was also very funny – sometimes knowingly, sometimes not. The thing about Connor, his parents say, is that he had no filter. There was the time they went camping, with Connor and his siblings. “One night, the people who were camping next to us came around. And the older man had a beautiful, much younger girlfriend. Connor spent the whole evening talking about paedophiles. We all tried to smile it off, but when we got up in the morning they’d gone.”
He could get things very wrong. Take the time they were staying on a farm and he became convinced the farmer was running an international crime syndicate. “He decided he was wanted by Interpol. He’d march round, raging about the farmer being a wanted criminal.” How did the farmer react? “Oh, they were bezzy mates by the end, weren’t they?” Sara says.
He was handsome, with pop-star hair and a natural stylishness. He was close to his siblings, who adored him
He had a strong sense of injustice, Richard adds, such faith in the law. “He would rant and rave about how we were infringing his human rights. He’d always be slapping injunctions on us.” What about? “Oh, you know,” Sara says, trying to keep a straight face, “cleaning, washing up.”
Three years ago, aged 18, Connor drowned in a bath at Slade House, a residential unit run by Southern Health, an NHS foundation trust. His parents had brought him there a few months before, after he became aggressive and violent, and they found themselves unable to cope. “It felt as if we were buying a bit of time for everyone,” Richard says. “These guys were professionals, Connor would get some support. We thought it was a terrible thing to have to do, but it was fair. Within a few days we thought the place wasn’t very good. But we never, ever thought he wouldn’t come out.”
In October last year, a jury delivered a damning verdict, that serious failings and neglect had contributed to Connor’s death. Two months later, an astonishing report by audit firm Mazars found that Southern Health had failed to properly investigate the deaths of more than 700 people with learning disabilities or mental health problems, over a four-year period, from 2011 to 2015.
In a statement to the Commons on 10 December last year, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the Mazars report had raised serious concerns about Southern Health, which cares for about 45,000 people in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. “Our hearts go out to the families of those affected,” he said. “More than anything, they want to know that the NHS learns from tragedies such as what happened to Connor Sparrowhawk, and that is something we patently fail to do on too many occasions… There is an urgent need to improve the investigation of, and learning from, the estimated 200 avoidable deaths we have every week across the system.”
Connor is still everywhere in the family home. His paintings are on the wall, there are photographs of him and his siblings on the mantelpiece, literature about the case is stacked in piles. The night Connor died, Sara says, the house became more a campaigning centre than a home.
But 100 days on from the Mazars report, she is beginning to think she was naive. “We thought the report would become a national priority for action. And nothing has happened.” She is looking at the possibility of bringing a class action, with other families, against Southern Health, one of the largest mental health and learning disability trusts in England.
Connor Sparrowhawk was close to his three brothers and his sister, who adored him. He went to a small special school, but didn’t like to consider himself as having special needs. He told everybody he was going to run his own business and have a beautiful girlfriend. He was handsome, with pop-star hair and a natural stylishness.
Both Sara and Richard are academics: she is a sociologist who specialises in autism and learning disabilities, he is a political scientist. Connor was a kind and loving child, but at 18 he became aggressive and unhappy. “Maybe he was beginning to get a sense that his life was very different from his brothers’ and his sister’s,” Sara says. “They were leaving home, going to university, and nothing like that was happening to him. No job, no prospects, no qualifications, nothing. He was just surrounded by professionals talking about his future. It was as if his social work team had forgotten that there was a boy, or young man, attached to their care budget. There was no one asking, ‘What do you want to be?’”
Connor went on a school trip to Devon and had to be picked up early because he was out of control. “He was shouting and threatening and doing a bit of pushing, but he was ineffectual,” Richard says.
Sara shakes her head, disagreeing. “You can’t really say that,” she says. “When he did lash out, he was incredibly strong.”
Things reached a head when Connor punched a teaching assistant in the face. “He got suspended. Then he started shoving me,” Sara says.
“Sara had always been sacrosanct,” Richard says. For the first time in Connor’s life, they did not know how to cope. His younger brother Tom, with whom he shared a room, became anxious, and Tom’s friends stopped coming round.
“I was worried that he was going to hurt someone,” Sara says. “He had no inhibitions at all. He’d lost it.” This all happened over a period of weeks. “We’d been ringing social services in tears, saying, what can we do? They said, call the GP if you have trouble over the weekend. They were so unhelpful. We were almost under siege, weren’t we?” She looks at Richard. “Walking on eggshells.”
It was then that a friend told them about Slade House, a five-minute drive away, and well equipped with psychiatrists, occupational therapists, psychologists, dietitians and specialist nurses; they were told that Connor would still be able to do some school activities there. Sara talks about taking him there. Connor did not know where he was going, and it felt like a betrayal. But they were desperate.
Within a few days of him being admitted to Slade House’s short-term assessment and treatment team unit, they had become concerned. Yes, Connor was 18, technically an adult, but they couldn’t understand why the trust was so aggressive about protecting his privacy. “They said, ‘We can’t be told about his medical records without his permission, because he’s an adult.’ We were like, he can’t even cross the road by himself.”
Richard remembers the first time he went to visit in the evening, and the staff told him Connor had just been put to bed. “It was 6pm on a Saturday night!” Another time he was left waiting outside for three-quarters of an hour. “They just didn’t answer the bell, then said it was broken. But the nurses’ station was right next to the door. We could see them.”
Once Sara arrived to find Connor had bitten his tongue. Her immediate thought was that he’d had an epileptic fit; but the psychiatrist had simply prescribed Bonjela. “I pitched up and said, ‘By the way, Connor’s had a seizure – you’d better act on this.’ ”
For some time before Connor was admitted, Sara had been writing a blog about him, called mydaftlife. There were too many funny stories, she says, not to get them down – and Connor loved being written about. “One blog was about getting on a bus after one of the terrorist scares,” she says. “He stood up and said, ‘Are there any terrorists on board? Please make yourself known to the driver!’”
But once he went into Slade House, the blogs became more serious, highlighting perceived inadequacies in Connor’s care. Sara gave the staff nicknames; one psychiatrist became Dr Crapshite.
After almost four months at the unit, Connor seemed calmer and was looking forward to returning home for good (a meeting had been planned to discuss this). Richard asked to visit him on the evening of 3 July 2013 (Connor had to consent, because he was 18). “He was very excited, gabbling, so I said, ‘Should I come round and see you?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.’” But when Connor handed the phone back to the nurse, she said no, Connor didn’t want him to come. He is still exasperated talking about it today. “I said, ‘I can hear him saying yes, I’m coming round’ and thankfully I did. Because that was the last time I saw him.”
On Connor’s 107th day in care, Sara received a call from a psychiatrist at the unit. “She just said, ‘Oh hello, are you at work? It’s Connor, we found him unconscious in the bath. He’s on his way to the John Radcliffe hospital, we’ll ring you if there’s any change. Can you make your way there?’”
Sara says the psychiatrist was so casual, she didn’t think there was anything to worry about; after all, Connor had been taken to hospital a few times after epileptic seizures. “I was texting a couple of mates in the cab. I didn’t even ring you, did I?” she asks Richard. Then she began to worry and rang the unit back. “I said, ‘Was he breathing, was he conscious when he left?’ and they said, ‘Oh, they got him breathing.’”
Sara brushes away the tears, determined to get her words out. “But he was actually dead, wasn’t he? He was on some ventilator. The consultant who admitted him said, in his view, Connor was dead by the time the rescue people got there – but Southern Health didn’t even have the guts to say it was urgent.” At the inquest, it emerged that the tone of the 999 call made from Slade House was so vague, the operator initially said they would book Connor in for a four-hour ambulance response.
Over time, the family discovered how much had been kept from them, and that they had been watched. “It turns out Southern Health were monitoring us. The day after Connor died, they circulated a briefing about my blog,” Sara says. (She found this out only after requesting documents.) Under the heading Potential Media Interest – Background Briefing On Mother’s Blog, it states: “Learning Disabilities SU (service user) has been found not breathing in bath at STATT service in Oxfordshire. SU later died at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxfordshire. Below is a summary of an online blog which we have been monitoring. The blog is written by the mother.”
It goes on to say: “Depending on the reason of death and the events leading up to the incident there may be some concerns raised by the Mother on Day 63 (21 May 2013) which she may revisit.” Sara explains: “That was the entry when I wrote, ‘I can’t believe he’s had a seizure and they’ve not noticed.’ Southern Health was monitoring the blog, and they didn’t pay any attention to the content of what I was writing. Yet as soon as Connor died, they circulated a briefing saying, this particular entry might become problematic.”
Two weeks after Connor’s death, Sara discovered that Southern Health had recorded his passing in the minutes of a board meeting published online: “A Serious Incident Requiring Investigation (SIRI) occurred in one of the Trust Learning Disability in-patient facilities, leading to the unexpected death of a service user. The postmortem indicates the user died of natural causes and early investigations indicate all appropriate systems and processes were in place and being followed leading up to the incident.” At the time, Sara did not think she could have been more angry, but she was wrong.
In September 2013, six weeks after Connor died, the Care Quality Commission visited Slade House, and failed it on all 10 counts it inspected: there was no battery in the defibrillator, no oxygen in the oxygen tank, no therapeutic interactions, there were traces of faeces in the furniture, medicines were out of date – and on it went. Three months later, in December 2013, the Statt unit was closed down. In May 2014, it was reported that the CQC had returned to Slade House and that its services had improved; baths, however, were now banned in favour of showers. The reason was never revealed to Connor’s family.
As soon as Connor died, people advised Sara and Richard to get in touch with the charity Inquest, to get hold of Connor’s records from Southern Health, to make sure the postmortem had been conducted correctly. “We were given a list of about 15 things and told you’ve got to do these this morning or you’ll be screwed, and it was true – we would have been.”
With a strong social support group, they were in a relatively good position to find out what had happened to their son – but even so it almost did for them. “There have been times, God knows, when both of us have thought, what is the point of carrying on?” Richard says. “I’ve got high blood pressure and am on antidepressants. I’ve lost part of my job.” Deborah Coles, director of Inquest, has worked with the family since Connor’s death. “Without their determination,” she says, “the truth would have been hidden from public scrutiny. What about all the Connors who don’t have families to speak out for them?”
After two years spent negotiating what form the inquest would take, proceedings finally began in Oxford last October. Sara had already discovered, to her horror, that Connor had been left alone in the bath. But it was only in court that they learned the door had also been locked. Even then, lawyers for Southern Health quibbled over whether the door was actually locked, despite a nurse testifying she had used her key to open the door.
“That was one of those moments which showed you what an arsehole the British legal system is,” Richard says, raising his voice. “Two barristers representing members of staff stood up and said, ‘Oh nononono, just because she opened a door with a key doesn’t mean it was locked.’” He’s lost for words. “I mean, what sort of ludicrousness is that?”
In court, the counsel for Southern Health made capital out of the fact that Sara had called a member of staff Dr Crapshite on her blog, suggesting that her attitude might have affected the way staff cared for Connor.
In interviews conducted after his death, Sara was referred to by a member of staff as “toxic”. “These interviews were submitted as evidence at the inquest,” Sara tells me. “Under one section headed ‘My Relationship with Dr Ryan’, a student nurse wrote, ‘I was really scared of her, I saw her shout at a consultant.’ But when the same nurse gave evidence, she retracted it: ‘No, I wasn’t scared of her. She was a mother who cared for her child.’ So I reckon they were coaxed into writing this crap.”
On the fourth day of the inquest, the counsel for Southern Health disclosed that, seven years before Connor’s death, another patient had died in the same bath. This came out only after it was raised by a former member of staff. “The police had carried out a two-year investigation into Connor’s death and they’d never told them that,” Richard says. “Three of the staff who had already given evidence had been working there when this happened, and hadn’t mentioned it.”
A document disclosed at the inquest showed an action plan had been written following an incident at Slade House in 2004, stating “the baths should be removed because they were therapeutic and too deep – hence not fit for purpose”. This was two years before the first death, nine years before Connor’s.
“If somebody dies in a bath, you act, don’t you?” Sara says. “If they’d paid attention to the first man who died and decided the baths were too high, Connor would be alive.” When asked by the Guardian why they had not told Connor’s family about this previous death, Southern Health said the man “did not suffer from epilepsy and had not drowned… and was therefore not relevant”.
Far from accepting responsibility, a barrister representing a member of staff went on the attack, suggesting Sara had been negligent in not explicitly stating that her son had to be watched in the bath. “They said, why didn’t we tell them? And we said, anybody knows that you don’t leave somebody with epilepsy in the bath alone. It would have been like asking a schoolteacher taking children on a trip not to let them loose on a motorway. We were always in and out when he was having a bath, the door was always open.”
One of Connor’s nurses said, ‘I want to say sorry, I let you down totally.’ That was such a relief
Even now the family don’t know how long Connor was left alone. In the 999 call, the nurse initially suggested five minutes, then said she was unsure. Yet even Southern Health’s own recorded observations suggest he had been in there since 8.30am and was checked on at 9am, and then again at 9.15am when he was found unconscious. “On the recording, the nurse says quite clearly, we don’t know how long he’s been in the bath. My view is that he died in the bath, and they didn’t notice. And then they found him under the water,” Richard says.
Sara is trying to remember the positives that emerged from the inquest. “There were two nice things that happened. One of Connor’s two main nurses asked if she could say something to us before she gave evidence. She turned round and said, ‘I just want to say sorry, I let you down totally.’ That was such a relief.”
The other nice thing, she says, was when a staff nurse talked about Connor the boy, rather than Connor the dead service user. “He said Connor had introduced a sense of camaraderie between the patients and they had a bit of a banter of an evening. They really took the piss out of the staff. They were subversive, and they hung out together and watched films.” It meant a lot to her, because until then she had never heard staff talk about the Connor his parents knew and loved.
It was while they were waiting for Connor’s inquest to take place, in 2014, that Richard and Sara started to think about all the other people who might have died in similar situations. They met with David Nicholson, the then chief executive of NHS England. “We said, can you review the deaths that have happened to see how Southern Health has responded to them? I don’t think anybody expected the findings to be what they are.”
Look beyond the stark headline numbers of 2015’s Mazars report and the detail is just as shocking. Of 10,306 deaths of service users between April 2011 and March 2015, 722 were categorised as unexpected; of these only 30% were investigated. Sixty-four per cent of investigations did not involve the family. Most shocking of all, less than 1% of deaths in learning disability services were investigated (compared with 60% of unexpected deaths in adult mental health services). Southern Health came in for severe criticism: “The failure to bring about a sustained improvement in the identification of unexpected death and in the quality and timeliness of reports into those deaths is a failure of leadership and government.”
In December, Sara called for the chief executive of Southern Health, Katrina Percy, to resign. The trust acknowledged the failings documented in the Mazars report: “We fully accept that our processes for reporting and investigating deaths of people with learning disabilities and mental health needs were not always as good as they should have been.” But it also defended its record, stating that, “National data on mortality rates confirms that the Trust is not an outlier” and its “rate of investigations is in line with that of other NHS organisations”. “As if that makes it all right!” Sara says.
Percy made a public apology: “Connor needed our support. We did not keep him safe and his death was preventable.” She added that many changes had been made since Connor died. Percy is still in post.
Look, Richard says, they never set out to cause a commotion. “If there had been a very different approach from day one, if there’d been a culture of saying, let’s sit down and see how we can sort this out, none of this would have happened. We weren’t confrontational from the beginning.”
Sara believes many of the professionals involved have regrets for the wrong reasons. “People have said to me, if Southern Health had just behaved a bit better, none of this would have come out, as if it’s a bit more problematic than it’s worth. I think a lot of people in health and social care still think, ‘I don’t want to lose my job over a bunch of learning disabled people, thank you very much.’ And yet Connor was better than all of us in many ways – his generosity of spirit. No guile, no deceit, no lying, no avarice. He didn’t want anything; he just wanted to be.”
As well as a class action, Sara is looking at the possibility of bringing a corporate manslaughter charge against Southern Health. After Connor’s death, she was told that the trust could not be charged with this because the bar for gross negligence had not been met. Now, lawyers are taking another look. “We’re arguing that it was met, because of the earlier death in the bath.”
In December, Jeremy Hunt promised a study into mortality rates of people with learning disabilities across the NHS, and to publish the number of avoidable deaths within each NHS trust, from this year. But as yet there has been no confirmation that there will even be an investigation into the 700-plus deaths identified by the Mazars report. Charlotte Haworth Hird, a lawyer representing Connor’s family, says: “It is no good simply saying that investigation procedures will be different in future, if indeed they will. There needs to be effective investigation of those deaths that have already happened, and those responsible need to be held to account.”
Three years on, Sara and Richard have called for a much wider public inquiry, into all those avoidable deaths. It’s hard to know where they get the energy from. Sara says she’s a changed person – and not in a way that she likes.
“Rage is quite new to me. I’d have to be pushed into a rage before,” she says. “I was hugely optimistic.”
“But you always had a huge sense of justice,” Richard says, “a bit like Connor. A sense of fairness.”
She nods. Yes, she says, but this is different. “Rage is my daily business now.”
Thank you for such a full account of such a tragic story. So often we get the bare facts of a story but here, so much of Connor is alive and real that it brings the whole scenario to life.
The facts here, as regards conditions etc. within this type of residential set-up, are of the type that we read over and over again without any changes coming about or lessons learnt it seems. It is a total disgrace. We read of residential homes from history and are astounded at the ‘goings on’, yet, here we are in the 21st. century and things are really showing very little change.
I found the character of Connor extremely endearing and true to life, especially as we care for an autistic young adult who also has learning difficulties. (He is a sibling of the son that I normally concern myself about!). Like Connor, He has a very strong sense of right and wrong and the consequences (his version always harsher than the strictest Court in the land!). He is extremely popular with old and young alike and very sociable. Caring for him, though, can be infuriating at times as he makes a joke of everything and expects you to see the funny side at all costs.
Unlike Connor, he doesn’t have any major behavioural issues although he gets extremely cross with any changes to his daily or weekly routines.
I can fully understand Connor’s disappointment at his own life seeming to take a very different path to that of his siblings. We are very lucky that the local social services provides a daycare service and a job opportunity placement (1 day each) for him which makes him feel more like ‘others’.
I am now facing an Appeal Hearing with him concerning his ESA benefit. Having read Richard and Sara’s account has given me extra determination to make sure that his vulnerabilities are fully understood and taken into account when decisions are made.
Like Richard and Sara, we feel that the likes of Connor put the rest of us to shame on many counts – they are satisfied with so little and have such trust in humanity that the least we can do is strive to ensure their safety within society as a whole.
I am so, so sorry for what Richard and Sara had to go through.
Connor, never had a voice.
He was just another statistic to a futile,’ dysfunctional systemic’ problem.
How many professionals carry on with the programmed mentality of:
‘hear, speak and see no evil’ ~ a common way of life for many professionals.
If we all spoke up, we would all be out of a job.
Perhaps necessary change could come about this way because we all bothered to care.
It is a very sad situation, to continue with this ‘barbaric’ mentality.
Why be in a healing profession, if most of your waking lives is about ‘covering up’ the wrong you do?
These parents deserved the truth but somehow I am not quite convinced the TRUTH was revealed.
Connor, deserved the treatment,respect and care, that any other individual would deserve.
Shame on professionals, who do not speak up on behalf of your patients.
Why be in a caring profession, if you don’t care????????
Is your money more important than someone’s life?
Imagine if the tables were turned and this happened to you?
I am so ashamed to be amongst some people who call themselves professionals because they take an ‘oath of duty of care’ and make a joke of it!
When is this culture of ‘see, speak and see’ no evil ever going to change?
If a majority of people are on medication, should we be blaming the meds for their behaviour?
There is a moral as well as ethical issue staring us right in the face and on one seems to give a damn!!!!!!
Seven hundred people and still counting…………………… is one life too many!
A few updates on the “Justice for LB” campaign … more can be found at their website, http://www.JusticeforLB.org or on Sara Ryan’s blog htpps://mydaftlife.com . Twitter fans can climb on board with hashtag #JusticeforLB or follow @JusticeforLB and @sarasiobhan.
A major report was released April 6, just a few days after this article appeared. Southern Health Trust clearly failed their latest followup inspection in January 2016, and the CQC is instructing them to make “urgent improvements” in patient safety. This was followed April 11 by an announcement from NHS England that CQC will review how 12 local trusts learn (or don’t learn) from premature deaths in their care, particularly of learning disabled people.
Then, on Monday afternoon … a leaked 2012 document showed Southern Health Trust was fully aware of all the problems that led to LB’s death in July 2013. A year before he died. This discovery was made by community volunteers … not the intrepid regulators, CQC or otherwise.
“This isn’t just neglect, it’s willful disinterest in the safety of patients. This is corporate manslaughter territory,” according to Justice for LB.
Southern Health Trust CEO Katrina Percy is standing pat in a fashion reminiscent of George Bush: She’s the Decider, it seems, and will keep on “leading” for the good of all. Affected families, including Connor Sparrowhawk’s, want her to resign. Now. They are sick and tired of waiting for CQC to consider doing something.
The more I read about this the more disgust I feel. Makes you wonder who CQC are either trying to please or are scared of with all their dithering. I hope Connor’s parents continue to press for a better system however long it takes. I’m pretty sure they will neither be ‘scared off ‘ nor be ‘eager to please ‘ but will, rather, hold out for justice for Connor and safety for those who are still trusting this flawed system.
Just spotted: an abusive voicemail left for Connor’s parents last Friday, when things hotted up for Southern Health.
What a terrible terrible thing.
Sent from my iPad
Southern Health is my local trust. It’s huge – covering everything from mental health and learning disability services, to diabetes, podiatry, physiotherapy and more – and our local community hospitals. It covers a massive geographical area (for England): from Hampshire to Oxford. It is currently in negotiations to take over GP services in local areas here which are having big recruitment problems.
It’s huge- and beyond description woeful. Bad bad and double bad. I cannot describe just how poor psychiatric/learning disability services are in this area. When Connor’s beyond-words tragic death and the sheer scale of negligent practice, and the eyewatering number of deaths was exposed there was a deal of local outrage. The Trust CEO was widely criticised here for not resigning immediately – but, as Johanna says, she stuck tight and looks to be there for the duration. I don’t know how she sleeps at night.
Meanwhile one Martyn Diaper (memorable name) has popped up as a locum in my surgery down the road. He was piloted in to Southern Health a few years ago, by NHS England, to oversee patient safety (??) …and seems to have piloted himself rapidly back out again, uncomfortably close to me.
I find it really hard to write cogently about Connor’s death, those of all the other patients who died and all those who are currently being supposedly looked after by Southern Health. Many aren’t, for better or worse, because there are no beds, a chronic shortage of staff – and all the rest. It makes me sick to my stomach. Utterly sick.
Thanks Sally! There are lots of angles to this story that strike me as important – but it’s only a canny Brit who can tell us exactly what’s going on.
One is the crisis highlighted by two other local “Southern Health Bereaved Families.” Both lost adult daughters to suicide (Louise Locke, 44, and Angela Smith, 52) due to the Trust’s refusal to offer them either hospital care or adequate counseling and support! Ms. Locke was found hanged at home a day after she visited the hospital begging to be admitted. Meanwhile young learning-disabled adults seem to languish in these ATU’s for months, far from home, while the Trusts push away their families and refuse to provide community resources to help them go home. This two-headed problem of pushing hospital care on some while denying it to others has a common root somewhere. It feels very American.
Another is the creeping privatization of NHS England—especially the murky process by which “Trusts” become “Foundation Trusts.” It’s all about applying “market mechanisms”, winning control over the funds allegedly “saved” and reaping rewards for contracting-out to the private sector, apparently. I get the impression some NHS execs would slit as many throats as need be to achieve the coveted Foundation Trust status – and things get even nastier once they do.
Does anyone understand the details?
In a word Johanna – no! No one has the faintest understanding of the detail of the NHS structure now. It’s lost in a beyond bizarre, labyrinthine, tortuous- mess. Beyond any capacity of mine to begin to explain. underpinning it all is indeed the shadow of surreptitious privatisation.. The reason for Foundation Trusts is sort of lost too except that I believe they were supposed to have more financial autonomy, including borrowing money to build new hospitals, most of which are now broke. Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, the public health and organisational arm, was named in Fierce Pharma last month as one of the 10 most influential people in the pharmaceutical industry in 2016. Draw your own conclusions
My word Sally – and to think that I thought things were bad here in North Wales! How dare Cameron stand up in parliament and criticise the Welsh NHS when things are so bad on his own doorstep. Doesn’t this illustrate one of two things – either he hasn’t a clue what goes on in the real world or we can’t trust a word that comes out of his mouth. Actually, it’s probably a mixture of both as all he seems capable of doing is find fault with others without paying any attention to his own actions. Enough of the politics! I feel so sorry for the state of things in your area Sally – here’s hoping for a glimmer of hope in the near future (although I’ve no idea where from!).
How can any good come out of this if the authorities in question, investigating the matter may possibly be as corrupt as Southern Health Trust?
Good men get the ‘run around’ when they speak up.
As far as I am concerned, they can not get away with this kind of unethical behaviour for long.
It eventually catches up with them, one way or another.
If anyone can tell me how to post a photo (if possible to?) I can show you what Southern Health did to the brand new hospital I went into 15 years ago (for asylum!!) as soon as they took it over in 2012..
This gives an idea about the situation!!
And yes Mary. Couldn’t agree more re Cameron, Osborne and the Man in Charge: Jeremy Hunt, whose surname is frequently mispronounced.
Southern Health have paid compensation, admitted liability and issued the attached ‘mediated statement’ which I take to mean was written by a legal team and approved by both sides. I’m interested in the inclusion of the word ‘unlawful’ in describing the negligence leading to Connor’s death – unlawful = criminal, which to my mind opens the possibility of criminal charges. Meanwhile the teflon coated Ms Percy still hangs on in the teeth of increasing internal turmoil and public antipathy. Meanwhile too – nothing’s changed for everyone in this area needing help or care – the Care Quality Commission notes that the urgent changes they required have not been implemented as of the end of May.