Tag Archives: Baby Peter

Baby P and another knuckle in my experience of care

These words from Outside Left are causing me to remember that I have knuckles:

Slowly but surely, the true picture is emerging of widespread failure involving many people in different services.

I didn’t have a Baby P, but I had the equivalent of Baby P.  She had a longer life than Baby P, but an equally horrible death.  Baby P was only a baby; she was an 83-year old.  Baby P was neglected within his own family and by those who were charged with looking after his life; my 83-year old was never neglected within her own family, but was seriously neglected by those who were charged with looking after her life.

It’s almost 3 years on now since she was found to have suffered “sub-standard care” also known as neglect in a care home, and which resulted in her death.  A care home that was not fit for purpose.  But who cares?  Who cared about her?  I did, and I do.

There was indeed widespread failure involving many people in different services, in my own personal experience of ‘care’ aka ‘neglect’.  I’ll try to list a few of them:

  1. The Local Authority;
  2. the Mental Health Care of Older People Team;
  3. the Social Worker working for the first time ever on behalf of older people with dementia – a locum social worker who knew nothing of the locality or of dementia.  If only she had told us that then, we might have worked out a way to help her too, but we didn’t know it then;
  4. the next Social Worker  seconded to that same  MHCOP team from the Local Authority, but who seemed to have been ‘shackled’ sufficiently to render her in total awe of her job-providers and her experience-gaining-secondment from Australia (!);
  5. the extra-care sheltered housing, contracted by the Local Authority and recommended as ‘suitably suitable’ by the first Social Worker;
  6. the domiciliary care agency owning and providing domiciliary care to that same extra-care sheltered housing complex, which was run in the best interests of the agency staff working there and where the main focus was on independent dying, not independent living;
  7. the Assessment Ward of the Mental Health Unit via the NHS/PCT/Trust/Partnership …. changed its name so many times;
  8. the Local Authority’s Adult Social Services/Housing department with particular responsibility for housing those in need of care;
  9. the Local Authority’s commissioning department who are supposed to commission and contract safe residential care services;
  10. the CQC / CSCI departments charged with regulating, inspecting, reporting on and ensuring the safe regulation of residential care  homes with nursing and ensuring that they are/were all above board and safely guaranteed competent to receive vulnerable elderly people with dementia;
  11. the care home, who had no systems of protection in place;
  12. the care home provider with a 25-year contract to provide safe services to vulnerable elderly people with dementia;
  13. the Adult Protection Coordinator who could and should have helped us through the months that followed ….   …. ….
  14. All of the above agencies who had not realised that there were no systems of protection in place.

I can’t begin to tell you all how it feels to list the above, and I have to make a huge effort so as to avoid a further few ‘agencies’ involved.

I’m feeling almost weak at the knees remembering and trying to create a coherently readable list of all the agencies involved.

But they all failed.  From start to finish.  Each and every one of them failed.  Failed to protect and preserve life.

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

Baby Peter doctor ‘missed unique opportunity’

The GP who saw Baby Peter missed a “unique opportunity” to send him to hospital just eight days before his death, a hearing has been told.

Peter’s mother, her boyfriend, Steven Barker, and his brother, Jason Owen, were jailed in May last year for causing or allowing his death.

Dr Ikwueke is the second doctor to face GMC allegations over Peter’s care.

Consultant paediatrician Sabah Al-Zayyat is accused of failing to spot that he was suffering abuse two days before his death.

She was due to face a GMC disciplinary panel in February but did not turn up.

The hearing was adjourned until a later date after she was said to be “suicidal”.

The above is reported via BBC News.

…… …. ….. …..

I’ve mentioned little Baby P, Baby Peter before, and I’ve also mentioned GPs and the GMC.  But what I may not have mentioned is the almost-equivalent situation of a GP missing a ‘unique’ opportunity.  My 83-year old was unable to breathe, unable to swallow, unable to move, unable to call for help.  Eventually, but about 3 days too late, the care home was asked to call a doctor immediately, when another relative visited, by pure chance, at the care home.

Two hours later, the staff managed to call a GP, who arrived another hour later, and diagnosed a suspected UTI (urinary tract infection).  The GP issued a prescription for Trimethoprim.  The GP departed, having spent a grand total of approximately 12 minutes in the building, from signing in to signing out.

The GP failed to ask the care home nurses about the past medical history of a patient she had never met before, never seen before.  As a result the GP failed to discover that the person she was now visiting was a Diabetic.  If that GP had bothered to ask questions about the medications being given to a patient they had never met before, then that GP would have realised that the patient was on the brink of a diabetic coma.

My relative may have lived.

But she was admitted to hospital less than 24 hours later, in a diabetic coma.  And she died there, 3 weeks later.

The GMC?  I have complained, and I am still considering my options.  But it strikes me that the GMC is protecting the GP.  I am not allowed to view the ‘supporting evidence’ submitted to the GMC as a result of my complaint.  And yet, the documentation that the GMC has already allowed me to see indicates the extent to which the GMC has been misled, hoodwinked.  Call it whatever you will.

Justice will never be justice-seen-to-be-done as long as systems of protection are in place to protect the guilty.  Or at least, those who are prepared to ‘bend the truth’.  In their own ‘best interests’, of course, rather than in the best interests of their patients and their family.

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Filed under care, dementia care, justice, law, liability

Child abuse reports are to be published

Full reports of official investigations into recent notorious cases of crimes against children are to be published, ministers have confirmed.

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said the serious case reviews into the deaths of Baby Peter and Khyra Ishaq would be released in full.

In an interview with Children and Young People Now, Mr Loughton said: “When you read some of these reviews it becomes clear that a lot of fault can be laid at the door of other agencies.

“Yet it is always social workers who take the brunt of the criticism.

“Actually, this is a way of helping to restore some of the lost confidence in social workers.”

I have only just picked this story up, via BBC News.   But I am personally delighted to read that child abuse reports are to be published.  I have no problem with the removing of the names of those abused. Just get it all out in the open, so as to open the eyes of those who refuse to see.  Maybe I would question the need to use the word ‘notorious’, if only because abuse is abuse.

There are many more reports that should be published in full, also.  Investigations carried out under the banner of ‘Adult Protection Procedures’, or ‘Safeguarding Adults’, for example. This is often abuse of elderly vulnerable people.  It is also often criminal.

As long as it’s all kept ‘behind closed doors’, nothing will change.  Social Workers may well continue to bear the brunt of criticism  – even though there are many other agencies involved.  But, if it’s all kept ‘secret’, in spite of the NO SECRETS policy that was hailed loud and clear a while ago, nothing will change.  And vulnerable elderly people will continue to be abused.

Until the Baby Peter case, I knew nothing of ‘serious case reviews’.  I  have since learned that there are far fewer serious case reviews conducted where elderly people are the subject of neglect or abuse.  The one is voluntary; the other is obligatory.  Why should elderly people be treated differently by the law-makers and by the protectors?

Yes, I am speaking largely now about those elderly vulnerable adults in residential care.  Abuse takes many forms – which is something that not a lot of people realise, to paraphrase a well hackneyed phrase, albeit a true one.

As a so-called society, we show far too often that we care less about the abuse and neglect of Older People than we care about children.  That has got to change.

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