Category Archives: Care UK

The liars who pretend to care in the UK

Will the liars who pretend to care be able to hold their heads high?  Meaning that if – or even when – they have fatcat liars to tell lies on their behalf, what chance does the decently honest person have against the might of their lies?  Especially if the ‘system’ in place is geared to work against the decently honest persons telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The liars are not required to speak much.  They have a pre-written script to follow, worked out by their fatcat liars-on-behalf.  Half-liars both of them = one almighty fat liar.  Both full liars = 2 almighty fat liars.  Multiply that by 3 or 4 or 5 or 6, and you have a system that stinks.  But it’s the way that care in the UK has decided to go.  Down the drain.

Will they be able to sleep at night, or even by day?  Hopefully not.  Forever and a day and a night; forever and all days and all nights.  Hopefully not.

Will the person who tells the truth be able to sleep at night, or even by day?  Probably not, but only because they may be destroyed by the lies they are not allowed to challenge.  They are now voiceless against the lies, not sure of what they are dealing with, not sure of how on earth this could have come about.

But knowing still, that they have done all they could possibly  do to present the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  All single-handedly; all honestly; all openly; all transparently.

Does the truth no longer count?  Do lies count more in our sadly sickeningly careless world?

Who cares?  I do.


Filed under accountability, Care UK, nursing

Why I despise the so-called system of care for vulnerable people

I’ve been fairly controlled over recent weeks, months or even years.  I suppose I’ve been waiting and hoping for a chink of light to emerge, for a culture change to emerge, for a way forward to emerge in the so-called system of care that we have allowed to be in place.

However, I am reaching screaming point.  Hardly surprising.  When someone is destroyed because of absent systems of protection, and when it then takes almost 5 years to work your way through to a full understanding of why the so-callled system of care for vulnerable people fails to provide decent care so very often – that’s when you reach screaming point.

Time and time again, the CQC comes up with yet another report as it did today, with a report into the ‘care’ afforded to people with learning disabilities.  Or rather the lack of  care.  I’ve read it all, but there’s not much hope for real change.

Week and month after week and month, our government comes up with …… not one single plan to improve things.

Year after year, the same old same old same old gets published in the press, reported on radio, featured on TV.

Still nothing changes, so I need to scream now.  It won’t change anything – but it may just help me to scream.

[Next section of this particular blog post: Deleted temporarily pending the return of sense to the world of care.]

Therewith, I will leave this one for today.  But not for long.

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Filed under abuse, accountability, care, care homes, Care UK, dementia care, Islington, justice, liability, Local Authority, neglect, nursing, personal responsibility, professional responsibility, suffering

To care or not to care?

Imagine the 83-year old person in the following story was your own relative.

The article is here : Islington Gazette – dated 10 February 2012 – a few extracts below:

‘The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) Conduct and Competence Panel is investigating five nurses’ care and treatment of an 83-year-old woman who died after spending around 10 days 
at Lennox House Nursing Home in Durham Road, Islington.

The panel heard this week that the elderly woman was taken to Accident and Emergency at Whittington Hospital in a diabetic coma on December 8, 2007. She died on December 27.

It is alleged that several serious signs of deterioration in the two days leading up to her hospital admission weren’t acted on.

These included agitation and a tendency to lay on the floor – symptoms which retired nurse Sue Bradell-Smith, who carried out the investigation of Lennox House in 2008, said were abnormal and would have made her “very worried”.

Other allegations include a failure to monitor the patient’s condition and diabetes, failing to create a pain management plan and feeding the patient fluids orally although her swallowing difficulties were known.

According to the home’s records, by the evening of December 8 she was suffering with continuous muscle spasms and had dysphasia, an inability to speak – yet it is claimed that the emergency services weren’t called straight away.

NMC’s solicitor John Lucarotti said the treatment provided fell far below what is expected of a nurse.’

How would you feel if you are now being required to understand alleged facts that are totally new to you – almost four-and-a-half years after the death of your relative?

You are now being given to understand that the care home manager was in the building all day long, right through from 8.30 am to 8 pm in the evening – but couldn’t be bothered to get off her backside to attend to one 83- year old in desperate need of care and attention.

You are now being given to understand that a nurse came to see the manager and told her that the 83-year old was not well.  Still the manager did nothing.

You are now being given to understand that nobody involved considers that the care they provided was poor.

You are now being given to understand that the manager didn’t react or even care much when the nurse told her the 83-year old was in spasm, unable to speak, unable to swallow.

Can you imagine how you would be feeling now?



Filed under abuse, accountability, Care UK, dementia care, Islington, liability, neglect, personal responsibility, professional responsibility

Panorama and Care in the UK

I wasn’t sure whether I could watch tonight’s Panorama programme – not wanting to see yet another TV programme about abuse and neglect in a care home, yet at the same time knowing that I had to watch because of my own experience of care in the UK.  If only because I too had a relative who was neglected in a care home.

Having watched the programme, I begin to understand why Care UK told me that the ‘records’ concerning the employment-status and suitability-status of 5 care workers from the Philippines working at Lennox House care home in London/Islington/Holloway had all been lost – because the laptop containing those records had been stolen.

Pull the other one!!!!  Care UK – pull the other one.  I’ve got another leg left because you’ve only stripped me of one leg so far.  You also stripped me of my life, Care UK.  You stole my life along with the other life that you stole, that of a very able 83 year old with dementia who was place into your care because you claimed to care.  But Care UK didn’t care enough to care.


Filed under abuse, accountability, care, care homes, Care UK, dementia, dementia care

NMC hearings schedules – aka close to Care in the UK

I omitted to post this :  NMC Hearings Schedule – 6th to 17th February 2012 – at Euston House, London.

All in the best interests of Care in the UK.

More later, but click here for the charges.  Same as above link – but I wouldn’t want anyone to miss it.

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Filed under abuse, care, care homes, Care UK, dementia, dementia care, Islington, justice, liability, Local Authority, nursing, personal responsibility, professional responsibility, suffering

Fine words butter no parsnips in residential care

Andrew Lansley has come up with the revolutionary concept that there will be a code of conduct and minimum training standards for all care workers operating in the field of adult social care.  Or is it perhaps a slow evolution of care?

He said, allegedly: “Good local supervision offers support every day. Distant national regulation can often only react after the event.  Employers must always take responsibility and be accountable for the staff they employ. But, we recognise that more can be done to support employers in this and a code of conduct and clear minimum training standards will provide important clarity in this area.  These measures will help employers to better consider the skills profile of potential employees and ensure that patients and service users get the care and support they need.”

Somewhat late in the day, for some of us, so forgive me for shouting ABOUT TIME TOO!!

But, it’s the response from Care UK and its  Managing Director of Residential Care, Toby Siddall, that has caused me great discomfort :

 “Directors at Care UK see codes of conduct as only part of the solution.   Matters of technical competence and behaviour are already an important part of the employment contract for Care UK employees. Whether or not a member of a care home team treats people with dignity is about the leadership, training and recruitment of people with the right personal values – not about a line in a contract.”

Well, well, well!!!  Perhaps, Mr Siddall, you would care to explain just how long it is that ‘matters of technical competence and behaviour’ have been an important part of the employment contract for Care UK employees.  Since when?  Tell me the date! 

They certainly weren’t in place in Care UK and at Lennox House care home at the end of 2007 and in 2008, when Lennox House was ‘investigated’ twice within 8 months   and not allowed to accept new residents for a year while a whole host of measures enabled Care UK to  drag itself from the gutter to an acceptable standard of care provision. 

As for treating people with dignity – that was absent too when those residents were left dead in their beds for days, as the Islington Tribune reported. 

Of course, the Reports of three (or more?) investigations are all held behind closed doors – far away from daylight, so as to protect the best interests of Care UK.  The best interests of the Leadership of Care UK including Mike Parish, Chief Executive, and the then MD of Residential Care Tony Hosking, and the Managers and Deputy Managers of the whole not-fit-for-purpose care providers, of those in Islington who commissioned and allowed Lennox House to function when it was not fit for purpose, the then CSCI (now CQC) to name but a few.  Their best interests are forever preserved by the hiding of those reports.   

 If leadership can be held responsible, as Care UK now seems to understand, how come heads never roll when people die as a result of sloppy leadership and sub-standard care? 

Unless and until it is a requirement for all those Reports, and others too of similar investigations, to be published and available in the public domain so that everyone can see what went on behind closed doors – nothing will ever change.

Or could it be that too many Directorships spoil the concentration?  9  for Toby Siddall alone.  And for Michael Robert Parish …….


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Care UK & private equity & The Guardian

Every now and then you come across something that just takes your breath away.  Even though you may have been a Grauniad (sic!) reader since the age of 16, when you were first required to tell your English teacher which newspapers you had read each single day of the school  week.  Yes, I am old enough to know all about that – thanks to Miss Edwards!

This piece by Kirsty Scott in the Guardian has done just that.  It has rendered me breathless and speechless, almost.  Is this a journalist writing as only a journalist should be required to do – as a free spirit (*ish!!) remembering the need to earn a living and to pay the family bills, yet at the same time not selling her/his soul.  Not governed by anything other than the real free spirit of journalism.

Or is this someone acting as a paid promoter for Care UK?  Promoting private equity to boot!!!

I would dearly love to open the closed eyes of anyone who falls for this kind of promo.

Care UK killed my own relative within 10 days of arrival in a Care UK care home.

How did Care UK manage (for want of a better word) to do that?

Because Care UK had absolutely no systems in place to provide the kind of caring care that one 83 year old required – let alone the other residents, some of whom were younger and in far less need of care, and some were older in greater need of care.

I’m only talking about 3 years ago too, so don’t get the wrong impression of my anger at Kirsty Scott’s article.

Without permission, Kirsty Scott,  I bin your report.  I am not impressed.

As for the Guardian’s Social Care section  …. …. ……. it has been binned also.


Filed under abuse, care, care homes, Care UK, dementia care

…. Care home providers & their conveniently selective memory ….

There’s spin – and there’s spin.  There’s careful choice of words – and there’s very careful choice of words.  There’s spreading the message you want people to hear – and there’s spreading the message you know that others will repeat and spread for you.

This piece by Mike Parish, Chief Executive of Care UK, appeared on Care UK’s website on 1st June 2011, the day after transmission of the BBC Panorama programme ‘Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed’ showing the torture of people living at Castlebeck’s long-stay hospital/assessment/treatment hospital Winterbourne View.   The day that Southern Cross was sinking further into the pits.  Parish expresses his disappointment and frustration “at the recent unfavourable media coverage of the care sector”.

The same article has appeared elsewhere  since then – spreading the message, just as Parish intended it to be spread.

Parish says “It’s undeniable that the news relating to Southern Cross’ financial difficulties and the disgraceful events at a Castlebeck home are deeply distressing.  However, these are not at all typical of care providers whether public, private or charitable, who generally provide outstanding quality of care.”  All care homes should always provide outstanding care – not just ‘generally’.

He goes on “We are entrusted wtih the ultimate responsibility of caring for vulnerable people ….”   It is indeed a matter of life and death.  Or does Parish mean the moral responsibility, for which of course there would need to be a sense of morality present in each and every employee of Care UK, including those workers being paid less-than-the-minimum-wage, not even a living wage by Care UK.  Are they also required to demonstrate their sense of moral responsibility?

“….. Investing in the skills of our staff and in our quality controls makes a difference to our customers and to our staff.”  It’s good to know that quality controls might be emerging in Care UK.

“…. Care UK’s quality ratings, as assessed independently by the Care Quality Commission, places it at the top end of the industry, with virtually all its services being rated good or excellent.”  I’m not sure why Mr Parish should show such pride in the CQC, right at the time when the CQC is desperately in trouble for many reasons.  Or perhaps it suits Mr Parish that the CQC can no longer be seen as fit for purpose, starved of staff and resources, abandoning inspections, and relying on the likes of Care UK to assess itself.

“….. We’ve maintained double digit annual growth rates for over two decades ….”  Great news – but only if Parish can put his hand on his heart and swear that he has never never never (triple negative!) cut corners to save a few (million) bob, on any aspect of care in any one of his care homes, starving the staff of the training and monitoring and even basic equipment (such as capillary blood glucose monitoring strips), let alone the knowledge of how to communicate effectively with the local GP.

“…. We can only achieve this by maintaining the quality of our care and thereby the trust and confidence of our service users ….”  See triple negative above!!

Parish has a very selective memory, or is it selective memory loss?  Has he chosen to forget another BBC Panorama programme from 9th April 2009 – Britain’s Homecare Scandal – where  “After thousands of complaints and over 900 missed calls Hertfordshire Council got rid of Care UK, just 10 months after they had been awarded the contract”.   Many other contracts have also been lost by Care UK.

Has he also pressed the delete button on events at Care UK’s Lennox House in Islington, July/August 2008, and earlier too,  the care home where the then-manager was suspended and allowed to resign after the bodies of two residents were left in their beds for days?  As reported here in the Daily Mail  –  other reports are also available, such as this one from the Islington Tribune.

Or even the fact that the same Lennox House – which opened as a brand new flagship care home in the summer of 2007 – was subject to enforcement action and a massive ‘action/improvement plan’ and not allowed to accept new residents until May 2009, thanks to that wonderfully independent CSCI.   That was nothing to do with the residents’ bodies being left in their beds for days. Things were always seen to have gone very wrong in December 2007, just months after Lennox House opened.    CSCI/CQC reports available on the CQC website:

  • here in particular pages 6-8, 30-32;
  • here  in particular pages 6, 8, 13-15, 26-27;
  • here in particular pages 7-8, 13-15, 25, 27-28

In other words,  Care UK’s Lennox House was not fit for purpose when it opened and received residents.   Had it been, it would not have taken two years for it to demonstrate that it “continues to improve”, as noted by the CQC inspectors, and for it to drag itself up from a rating of  ‘adequate’.

I’ve never been enamoured of the CSCI/CQC for personal reasons and because of my family’s experience of care home care.  Their inspection reports have always taken 3 or more months to appear, rendering them even more meaningless than the toothless tick-box exercise they appear to have always been.  As some of us have had to find out, the hard way, a care home can go from ‘flagship’ to ‘wreck’ in the blink of an eye, or even from good to bad to absolutely disgraceful, to use a word from Mr Parish’s comments above.  Not that the CSCI noticed – until it had no choice but to be aware.

Mike Parish may also have chosen to forget this very recent revelation dated 6 May 2011:  ‘An elderly woman from Worcester Park, was left in severe pain from injuries caused by care home negligence while staying at Appleby House, a care home operated by Care UK, a leading independent provider of health and social care services. The company has now paid the woman’s family compensation as she has since died.’  ….. ‘

Mrs Cunningham’s daughter Janice commented: “I think this incident highlights the casual way the elderly are treated in some residential care homes. I believe Epsom General Hospital shouldn’t have discharged my mother to such a poor home.

It is terrible my mother had to endure the pain of the pressure sores.  People need to be vigilant when it comes to the care a home is providing and not believe all you are told by the homes’ employees. It pays to investigate yourself.

The above is taken from the website of Russell Jones & Walker  the firm of solicitors who represented the very best interests of Josephine Cunningham and her daughter.

There’s no smoke without fire could be a message for Mike Parish to remember.

Today’s Today programme featured a good interview with Christopher Fisher, Chairman of Southern Cross.   It’s worth a listen to hear what John Humphry’s describes as ‘semantics’, and what I’ve called above ‘very careful choice of words’.   Fisher squirms, as to be expected, accepts his full share of responsibility, still defends his ‘business model’, but can’t bring himself to say sorry for his actions over recent years.  He claims to have improved the standards of care over recent years – well, he’s also got a very conveniently selective memory, bearing in  mind that almost 30 per cent of Southern Cross’s care homes have breached minimum standards and have been served ‘improvement notices’ by the CQC.  He says that there were ‘issues in dealing’ with those standards of care, claiming to have invested heavily to improve training and support to employees.  He talks of ‘people occupying beds’.  Those people are not just occupying beds – the care homes have become their only home, where they expect to be assisted to live life to the full.   They didn’t realise they were meant to be contributing to your profit margins, whether or not you chose to sell off care homes, lease them back, and then all sell off your shares to make big profits to the tune of £millions.

For goodness sake!  The mealy-mouthed words of a weasel.

Nobody can blame all of the above on ‘unfavourable media coverage’ – not even Mike Parish.

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Filed under care, care homes, Care UK, dementia care, personal responsibility, professional responsibility, whistleblower

Shoesmith, Balls & bucks

And so it came to pass that judgment was handed down yesterday in the case of  Sharon Shoesmith v. OFSTED and Others. Shoesmith has achieved a strange victory and in doing so has only managed to highlight the fuzzy and muddled standards that operate in the world of care and local authorities.

I’ve just listened to an interview with Shoesmith on today’s  BBC Radio 4 Today programme where she had the brass neck to say that she’s not into the ‘blame game’ using the words “I don’t do blame”.  She also said that ‘you can’t stop the death of children’.

So she’s presumably not into the ‘personal responsibility’ game either, and she presumably doesn’t ‘do personal responsibility’.  Yes, she did mention the word responsibility, but almost in passing as if it meant nothing at all, which it may well mean to Shoesmith – nothing at all.

Well, I’ve got news for you Sharon Shoesmith: that is what management is all about, and you should stop playing with words and accept that you failed miserably as a senior manager.  Senior management must be prepared to take responsibility and be held accountable for the procedures that they allow to operate in their own ’empire’ and when those procedures are found to be sadly, tragically lacking, the buck stops with you.   After all, that is the reason you were employed in the first place in this role in Haringey, because of the miserable failings of the department in the case of Victoria Climbie a few years earlier.   You were placed in a newly created post of Director of Children’s Services to ensure that procedures were ‘watertight’ – but you failed.  You can’t have it both ways – or can you?

In December 2008 Shoesmith was sacked from her position as Director of Children’s Services in Haringey, following the damning OFSTED report into the procedures in place in her department at the time of the tragic death of Baby Peter Connelly in 2007, at the tender age of 17 months.  Those found guilty of involvement in the death of Baby Peter are in prison, serving sentences for their crime of causing or allowing his death, and if my memory serves me well, Baby Peter’s mother pleaded guilty of the charges brought against her.  A dysfunctional family in need of support and care – and that was supposedly being provided by Haringey, under the control of Shoesmith.

Doctors involved in the case were referred to the GMC for investigation and were suspended and/or had their positions terminated.  Social workers were dismissed.   I can’t remember how many, nor whether they appealed and were cleansed, so I’m not naming anyone here.  It’s all available for anyone who needs to know.  Doctors, nurses and social workers have a professional code of conduct with standards that they are required to work to.  That code of conduct calls upon them to accept personal responsibility for their actions, for their demeanour, for their lack of actions too.  They can be held accountable.

But Sharon Shoesmith – alongside others in similar positions of seniority and ‘decision making’ in Adult Social Services, as well as Children’s Social Services – is not required to accept personal responsibility for her actions because there is no professional body that is likely to investigate, examine and pronounce on her failings.  She remained in her job, despite calls for her resignation from many.  She said she wanted to remain in post in order to support her staff.

Ed Balls made a statement on 1 December 2008, in his then capacity as Secretary of State.  That statement published in full here gave a fairly balanced reasoning for his decision to direct Haringey Council to appoint John Coughlan as Director of Children’s Services, and to remove Sharon Shoesmith then Director of Children’s Services from her post with immediate effect.  Since then, she has been unable to find work, but today says that she wants to continue with her career with children in some capacity of other.

Her first interview after being removed from post, was with The Guardian on 6 February 2009.

It would have been acceptable for Shoesmith to have been allowed a chance to give her opinions, before being removed from post.  I don’t argue with that.  But I don’t think she was unfairly dismissed.

Procedures may not have been followed in detail by Ed Balls – but she is surely used to procedures being ignored.  Or did she never read the OFSTED  report?  But the ‘outcome’ should and hopefully would have been the same: she should and would have been sacked.  This is where the double standards of the world of care and local authorities  come into the story, and where there is sweet nothing that the average person can do about those double standards.

I don’t know Shoesmith but I do know Haringey.  I have never had anything to do with any local authority Children’s Social Services but I have had dealings with a neighbouring London borough’s Adult Social Services.  My own relative died as a result of neglect in a care home.  The care home provider allowed the Manager, the Deputy Manager and some of the staff to ‘resign’ from their positions – rather than having to face disciplinary procedures.  The local authority allowed that to happen, as did the CQC.  The Director of the mental health care of older people team managed to arrange for an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the admission to hospital and death of my relative.  But he carefully avoided any investigation into the involvement of his own team, his own social workers who had been seconded from the local authority.  He also carefully avoided any investigation into his own involvement in the care of my relative – which would have been most revealing.  Not to mention investigation into the bundles of ‘legal advice’ that he had to seek, just in order for him to reply to my ‘letters of concern’.  While my relative was in his care, before arrival of my relative in the care home, during the hospitalisation of my relative, and then after the death of my relative.  And then months and months and months after the demise and destruction of my relative in care.

The local authority carefully avoided any investigation into the failings of their own departments – from Adult Social Services, through to care home provisioning and regulating.  The CQC carefully avoided any investigation into the failings of their own care home inspectors.

And yet the care home was prevented from admitting new residents for a full year while it was dragged up from the bottom of the barrel to provide the kind of care it should have been providing from the beginning.  Systems were introduced that should all have been present – and seen to be present – when the care home provider, the local authority, adult social services, adult housing, the CQC/CSCI allowed it to open and receive residents who were already known to be ‘at risk’ because of the very reasons they were all in need of residential and/or nursing care.  Staff recruitment, staff training, staff monitoring, staff supervision were all introduced, as were the very basics of care.

Which begs the question: who was responsible for allowing such a pathetic care home to  operate?  The Director of Adult Social Services – the equivalent of Sharon Shoesmith; the Commissioning Department within the local authority; the MD and Directors of the private care provider providing the service to the local authority and residents of that local authority; the CQC/CSCI regulatory body which carried out an inspection weeks before my relative arrived there, but then carefully and conveniently took a back seat from then on.

My MP and the MP for the borough where my relative lived didn’t give too much of a thought to the whole tragic system of care for the elderly in place either.

My relative was not a baby aged 17 months. 

My relative was aged 83. 

Now there’s the difference.

The buck has to stop with you Sharon Shoesmith.  I hope you will find a way to forget all about the bucks you will now receive as a result of what you describe as  Ed Balls having been “staggeringly irresponsible” and his actions having  left children’s social care in “complete disarray”.  Nonsense!

Sharon Shoesmith has to be made accountable and seen to be accountable, so I hope she will find a way to remove her smugness, her arrogance, and her continuing ability to try to blame others – even though she claims not to ‘do blame’.  That’s what responsibility is all about.

From yesterday’s judgment in relation to the OFSTED review and report:

“The Review will need to undertake an urgent and thorough inspection of the quality of practice and management of all services which contribute to the effective safeguarding of children in the local area. It will be important to ensure rigorous scrutiny of the quality of practice and decision-making by front-line workers and their managers and of the effectiveness of management practice and performance management systems in all relevant agencies …” .

I  invite everyone to substitute safeguarding of adults in place of safeguarding of children in the above.

A further quote from yesterday’s judgment:

“The inspection has identified a number of serious concerns in relation to safeguarding of children and young people in Haringey. The contribution of local services to improving outcomes … is inadequate and needs urgent and sustained attention.”

Again, substitute adults and ‘a neighbouring borough‘ in the above and you will see where I am heading.  Why else would the local authority in my own case, and following on from their conveniently ‘targeted’ investigation, have felt the need to scrutinise closely the systems in place in its other care homes for adults at risk?

The ‘ten main findings’ in the OFSTED report – unchallenged by the latest judgment – could also be written in similar vein to encompass the failings of ‘a neighbouring borough’ and its systems in the case of my own relative.

“has got no grip and relied on No. 2 who couldn’t hack it” – same here, except that the reliance was on Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 …. plus a few more, both within and without the local authority’s Adult Social Services department.

Procedural fairness?  Now, don’t get me started on that because the local authority’s understanding of ‘fairness’ differs vastly from my own.  As for procedures, the local authority has a powerful knack (not even witnessed in the knackers’ yards of old) that nudges procedural fairness into a silk purse to be cherished and opened only by the local authority.

I then noticed a reference to being party to “an orchestrated litany of lies”’ – my  feathers are now being seriously ruffled, because the parties to the ‘orchestrated litany of lies’ (and what I have always referred to as being economical with the truth, polite person that I be!) or rather facts that were withheld from the investigating team, a whole load of relevant and damning information which – had they been decent enough to reveal to the investigators – would have shown them in a very bad light.  In fact they’d have been in the darkness of a dungeon by now.

A fundamental breach of trust and confidence?  Without a shadow of a doubt.

Common law requirements of fairness?  As above.


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Filed under care, care homes, Care UK, Islington, personal responsibility

Absolute privilege in the world of politics v. absolutely no privilege in the world of care

The concept of absolute privilege is not something that I’ve ever contemplated seriously before this afternoon. It’s been known for more than a few years that MPs have a comfortably convenient place for them all to ‘protect themselves, in their own best interests’.  It’s called the House of Commons.

Today’s non-world-shattering news is  all about the privacy of an individual to keep their own ‘affairs of life’ private and personal and away from the public gaze, and the public magnifying glass.  I can’t claim to be interested in this particular individual’s personal circumstances, personal life, personal affairs; I can declare that I’m not interested at all in whatever  may have caused the need for an injunction, super though that injunction may have been in legal terms.

But I do care about the double standards that are operating here.

An elected MP  that I’ve never heard of before – sorry,  MP, but you haven’t made your mark in my world – can  overturn something that has been observed and not flouted by our reliably (un?) reliable media.  All it took was for this particular MP – a representative of the people – to open his mouth and speak two words.  Then the rest of the reliably (un?) reliable media can duplicate those two words.  Not that we didn’t know those two words anyway!

At the same time as this ‘Who Done What With Whom?’  trivial pursuit has been going on, the world of care continues to puzzle me by its own absolute privilege.  But with a difference.

A local authority and a care provider can call upon the equivalent of a ‘super injunction’ to prevent me from being able to know the precise circumstances of the neglect and subsequent death of a relative who was at risk.  She was most certainly at risk in their care.  Not that we knew that then, when we agreed to her coming under their ‘caring’ wing.  But their need to protect themselves and their own best interests appears to be paramount.

The person they failed had no rights; her best interests were demolished within days.  As her close  relative, as her named personal representative after her death, her executor, I have no rights either to achieve justice on her behalf.

Justice?  Hush my mouth, for using a word that may before long vanish from our dictionary.

I have tried so very hard to restrain myself, so that I don’t name and shame each and every one of those involved, from the care home staff (names all known to me), the care provider, the care home, the care home manager(s) and their regional supervisors, the GPs involved, the local authority and its many responsible departments, the CQC inspectors who failed to notice ‘absent systems of protection’, the adult protection coordinator who failed, the social worker who failed, the whole team of mental health care of older people who all failed, ….. …. …. and so on.

All because I have wanted to achieve a decent outcome.  According to the laws of our land.  But the latest blow that has been landed on my shoulders – via one of the regulatory bodies involved – is beyond explanation or even understanding.  And yet, I am still – stupidly, perhaps – hesitating to name and shame the whole bunch of them.  Almost 4 years after her death in so-called care,  almost 3 years after I placed onto the ‘responsible regulatory body’ what they call ‘a complaint’, I am being treated still with contempt.  The Case Officer involved could not even bother to inform me about the latest hurdle that I now have to jump.

So,  I’ve played by the rules.  But they still can’t

I’ve been throttled, strangled, constrained by  concepts that come close to ‘super injunction’ and ‘absolute privilege’ but perhaps in a converse way.

Is a bonking footballer worthy of more care than a supremely decent 83-year old person in need of care?

Am I the fool?

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Filed under abuse, care, care homes, Care UK, growing older