It is with some considerable personal pleasure that I have just read in the East Anglian Daily Times that POLITICIANS have hit out over secrecy surrounding an Essex care home which was shut down amid abuse allegations.
If any politicians would like to ‘hit out’ over the secrecy surrounding Lennox House care home in Islington, they only have to ask me, and I will provide as much detail as has so far been available in the public domain – and I can provide far far more than has ever been made available in the public domain, if that’s what would help you, Politicians, to achieve honest, decent, caring systems of care for our honest, decent, caring vulnerable elderly citizens. The rest is still shrouded in secrecy.
They have slammed a decision to bar the public from a meeting next week where lessons learned from the saga at Greenways Care Home, Colchester, will be discussed.
Well, in Islington family were barred from meetings too – let alone the public.
Why does this all interest me enormously? Because my own relative was the person who suffered neglect, which is a form of abuse, in that Islington care home, Lennox House. Nobody from our family was allowed to attend any one of the ‘meetings’ held. We have never been allowed to see the full report either.
But the care home management, the care home provider, the healthcare professionals, the social care professionals were all invited to attend those meetings. The care home management, the care home provider, the healthcare professionals and the social care professionals were all provided with a copy of the full report of the investigation carried out into the neglect of my relative. So that they could all comment on it and have any ‘amendments/alterations’ made before it was finalised. That is one aspect of the whole mess that I will never understand.
The family of the person who was the vicitim of abuse in care, neglect in care, was not allowed that same privilege. No ability to attend meetings; no ability to contribute significantly to the final report; no ability to inisist on changes to that final report – other than simple factual inaccuracies, that is.
Our family member was no longer in a position to ask to attend meetings, to see the report before it was finalised – she died within 3 weeks of suffering that abuse/neglect in care.
The Safeguarding Adults team ‘chose not to inform the police’; they chose not to inform the Coroner either; they chose not to inform family that they had the right to ask the Coroner to conduct an inquest.
And yet, the whole situation was considered sufficiently serious for the then CSCI to impose ‘enforcement action’ and to refuse new admissions for a year to Lennox House. The CSCI inspection reports are all still available on the CQC website.
The perpetrators are the ones to have been protected. The care home provider that couldn’t provide care has been protected.
What was that policy called? I remember –
No secrets: guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse
Our relative wasn’t protected. She was dead before anybody thought about massive ‘action plans’ and ‘enforcement action’, all of which the Care Provider willingly complied with of course, and all of which will have been of benefit to the other residents and future residents. Too late for our relative.
My thanks to Vern Pitt at Community Care for bringing to my attention the fact that politicians seem to have opened their eyes. Long may they stay open.
Open up please also the hearings/meetings/serious case reviews/adult protection procedures to public scrutiny. Otherwise we will never believe that you really care. And then we too can see whether lessons have been learned.