A feisty band and Chai Patel and Southern Cross

Two appearances -in-word by Chai Patel over the last few days – and both seem fairly innocuous at first reading. 

A piece from Community Care on Friday 29 July 2011 begins:

Operators taking over Southern Cross homes face a long battle to earn the trust of residents and relatives, ex-Priory Group boss Dr Chai Patel has admitted as he prepares to take over one-third of the homes.

Patel told Community Care the firm he will head up to run the homes faces a “long journey” as “reputations are breached in a second and take years to build up”.

He’s referring to the reputation of Southern Cross there.  Perhaps he should remember his own reputation and the way it was sullied by the experiences of residents of Lynde House care home.

An article in the Express on Sunday 31 July 2011 refers back to the year 2000/1 when residents of Lynde House  care home were neglected and mistreated, when Lynde House was owned by Westminster Healthcare, with ….. Chai Patel as its then Chief Executive.  Patel sold Westminster Healthcare soon after the scandal emerged.  Patel was apparently interviewed on Friday 29 July 2011 and  the former government adviser on elderly care, vowed that he would protect pensioners from the kind of ­maltreatment suffered at Lynde House, in Twickenham, Middlesex.

The Express quotes him as saying “The residents felt they could get recourse only by going public which has tarnished my reputation… I have never tolerated poor care and never would ­tolerate poor care.” 

You can’t get away with that one, Chai Patel – otherwise people may be hoodwinked or even deceived by such protest!

Did Patel never bother to read the Report of the Lynde House investigation, dated May 2002 and published on 2 August 2002 – 9 years ago almost to the day? 

If the Chief Executive shoulders no ultimate responsibility for the standards of care provided – or rather the sub-standard care a.k.a. neglect provided – the Chief Executive should not share excessively in the profits made either. 

Let’s look also at 1 October 2002, when the London Evening Standard printed a neat summary of Patel’s career path.  Including these words from Vince Cable talking about the feisty woman who had the courage to stand up to Chai Patel: 

“Without Gillian Ward and her brave group of relatives, none of this would have come to light,” says MP Vincent Cable. “They have done us a major public service. The climate of denial they faced was ferocious.”  “When I first raised the issue with Chai Patel, he totally poohpoohed it. All he had to do was to care enough to acknowledge their complaints, deal with them and apologise. But he chose to deny it and that led to it becoming a national public campaign.” 

I do hope that the residents and relatives of all current Southern Cross care homes don’t have to face the same kind of ferocious denial. I also hope that in his new role, Chai Patel will accept responsibility for the care provided in his name and under his banner.

Where does the buck stop?  If it doesn’t stop with the Chief Executive of a private care provider, then the buck will be in perpetual motion. 

And here’s Gillian Ward again – also known as Deddie Davies.  Still supporting those in care. 

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Filed under care, care homes, justice, personal responsibility, professional responsibility

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