Tag Archives: Mental Health Care of Older People

Care Circus is back in town next week

Well, here we go again.

Next week the Care Circus is back in town.

The latest batch of NMC hearings is about to stir its loins again and get on with the work that it was charged with handling long ago on 1 October 2008.  That was only a few very short months after you died, thanks to the rubbish care that came your way, courtesy of Care UK and Lennox House so-called care home in Islington, London.

It was also a few very short months after I’d asked so many questions of Islington’s Mental Health Care of Older People team, and then Islington’s Social Services, and then the CQC (or CSCI as it was called back at the beginning of 2008), and the Coroner’s Office, and Islington’s Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults Team, and  most of all of Care UK … well, you will know how many questions I asked of them all, each and every one of them.

They don’t like answering questions, do they?  Especially if those demanding but necessary questions are likely to cast a very dim and dark shadow over their (lack of) accomplishments.

Last December 2012, the NMC decided that one nurse involved in your demise should be struck off, from their register of nurses allowed to nurse in the UK.  Another nurse was delivered a 3 year caution order, requiring her to be on her best behaviour.

Next week, 15 to 19 April 2013,  the Circus is back in town.  Fifteen months after the NMC hearings first started, looking in depth at the circumstances surrounding your rapid decline, within 10 days of arrival in that so-called care home, Lennox House, and your admission to hospital in a diabetic coma.  You died 3 weeks later.

The  final 2 cases, still waiting in the wings, are to be dealt with by the NMC next week.

One case  is that of the care home manager, who is mid-way through an interim 9 months suspension order, placed to allow time for her to seek permission for a Judicial Review in the High Court, of the NMC decisions thus far.  The High Court refused permission to seek a Judicial Review.

The clowns will all be wearing their costumes.  Their faces will all be heavily disguised beneath the cake of their make-up.  They will all have their props to support them.  Their scripts will all have been written, re-written and then written again.  Edited, heavily edited, and then edited again.

You weren’t allowed to write a script of  your own, were you?  Let alone edit it.

The script of your final years, months and weeks of your life was snatched from you.  Grabbed by thugs.  The uncaring, unqualified, untrained, unmonitored, unsupervised, unsuitable thugs who were charged with the most basic and fairly simple duty of looking after you.

Next week, they will still be wearing their masks, their costumes  and their heavy make-up.

As they will continue to do year after year.  Uncaring as always.  Unkind in their presentation thus far.  Unwilling to admit that they failed miserably in their duty of care to you, for you and about you.  They didn’t care enough to care.

The chance to wear your dresses, your gentle make-up and to present your smiling face to the world was taken from you.  By the thugs of care.  The thieves of care.  The robbers of care.

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Care in the UK – 5 years on – Part 4

The next days were spent making arrangements for your funeral. 

I began to follow up some of the questions I’d already asked in mid-December 2007 of the Mental Health Care of Older People Team, part of Camden and Islington NHS / Mental Health and Social Care Trust.  Their social worker wrote to me the day before the funeral to inform me that she’d no longer be the allocated worker, but that her Deputy Manager would be coordinating the “on-going enquiry” into the circumstances leading to your admission to hospital. There was to be a comprehensive investigation under their Adult Protection Procedures.  I asked to be allowed to attend all meetings and to receive a copy of the Report of the Investigation.  The Deputy Manager of the MHCOP team said she didn’t envisage any problems with that request; she knew by then that I’d want and need to stay fully involved.

I’d contacted CSCI (now the CQC) on 20 December 2007, while you were still alive,  to tell them of my concerns about your care, or rather lack of it.  It took them a while to find the right department dealing with Lennox House.  CSCI had not been notified of your sudden admission to hospital on 8 December 2007,  so the inspector I spoke to said they would write to the manager of Lennox House and to me.  I heard nothing back from CSCI, so I phoned them again on 21 January 2008,  to be told that CSCI had indeed written to the manager after my phone call and that they’d received a call back from her to say that she would reply in due course. 

But CSCI  received no response from her, so they contacted her again on 21 January 2008.  That’s when I first discovered that the manager told CSCI, that very day,  that she had ‘arranged’ a meeting with me on 31 December 2007 (as I mentioned here) and that all my ‘concerns had been ironed out’ at that so-called meeting.  That is far from the truth.

Your social worker had a few busy days too, round about 20/21.12.2007, and when I received a copy of your notes (much later in February 2008) I was able to know more.  According to the notes, she’d apparently tried to phone me so many times but had never been able to reach me or to leave a message for me.  Strangely enough, many other people had managed to do just that.  I knew nothing of Adult Protection Procedures or the ‘Form AP2’ that was completed then.  Islington’s Adult Protection Coordinator was busy too, but I did manage to speak with her just the once. 

When I received your notes, sent to me on 12 February 2008, I read that the Adult Protection Coordinator had advised your social worker on 2 January 2008 – well before the funeral – that your family had the right “to request an inquest, though MHCOP would not do this”.    (They are the exact words used in the social worker’s notes.)

Why is it, do you think, that absolutely nobody at all cared enough to pass that vital piece of information to your family?  Not one person told us that we had the right “to request an inquest, though MHCOP would not do this”.  

MHCOP (Mental Health Care of Older People) were well aware that there were serious concerns about the lack of care provided to you by Care UK’s so-called care home Lennox House. 

But nobody cared enough about you or your family to tell us that we had that basic human right.  There were a few other things noted that they could have transmitted to your family too, but nobody cared enough to tell us.  In the best interests of whom was that decision made to withhold vital information from us?

According to the notes, MCHOP were faffing around trying to work out whether there was anybody available in MHCOP with the ‘capacity to conduct an investigation’.  Not wishing to be facetious, but I do wonder whether they meant the ‘mental capacity’ or the ‘physical capacity’ to conduct an investigation.  In the event, an Independent Nurse Consultant was commissioned by MHCOP to carry out the investigation and to write a Report.

The social worker signed off on 8 January 2008 and departed by writing that she would no longer be involved in your case as “the only remaining work is the completion of the POVA enquiry”.  POVA was the Protection of Vulnerable Adults.

You deserved better care.

(To be continued)

 

 

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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