Deloitterers

 

Conspirators

 

Guy Fawkes and his accomplices: conspirators of the Gunpowder plot on Bonfire Night.

 

In 2013/14, Southern Health engaged Deloitte LLP for a (presumably independent): 

“Review of quality and governance at the Trust.”

Here is the story of email exchanges in just one hour of their diligent review, which occurred on 22 January 2014: note how cosily they address each other by first name. 

08.13 hrs: Dr Jay Bevington of Deloitte writes to Katrina ‘Teflon’ Percy and Sue ‘Hello Sailor’ Harriman asking them to approve a draft email response to a CCG and the Department of Health.

Delotte 4 2016-02-28 001

At 08.34 hrs Katrina replies asking Jay to remove a sentence because we:

          “Wouldn’t want the CCG and DH to believe there is any more to investigate.”

Wonder why?

At 09.13 hrs, Jay engages with two other Deloitte officials, Senior Partner (Rebecca George) and John Murray and at 09.50 hrs Sue joins the conspiracy to mislead a CCG and The Department of Health.

Deloiite - SHNFT 1 2016-02-28 001

 

9347929_s

 

Bevington’s email also contains a number of falsehoods.

For example:

 

 

  1. To claim Southern Health worked with the patient to select an independent investigator is utter rubbish: they promised in writing a senior NHS Consultant from another area (working outside normal hours) but imposed a person with no medical or legal expertise and the PHSO denied he was one of its assistant investigators too.
  2. Monitor and the CQC do not investigate individual complaints so were not involved in any investigations. Monitor met to say that they couldn’t do anything and the CCQ did not meet at all until August 2015.
  3. The GMC was investigating but were obstructed by SHNFT’s failure to provide complete and accurate data. They found fault in a Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Courtney but could not put him before a Tribunal owing to lack of corroboratory evidence, thanks to Southern Health, who have spent another 13-15 months trying to obstruct an application for a Rule 12 Review, which has a 2-year time limit.
  4. There never has been an investigation by the NMC.
  5. The ICO gave good advice and made several attempts to ‘persuade’ Southern Health to comply, without success. The Department of Health and National Audit Office also intervened to the same end – and were both rebutted by SHNFT too.

It will not surprise readers to know that Bevington has NHS blood running through his veins. Inter alia, he trained as a Clinical Psychologist and is on the Team Coaching Register at the NHS Leadership Academy – did he coach Percy in her [lack of] leadership skills.

It would be entirely improper to suggest that the massive fees they receive from SHNFT – £582,467.57 in just four months (between 30 April and 31 August 2015)¹ – could possibly influence Deloitte’s alleged independence. Surely not?

It is unknown if the £582,467.57 included the cost of Deloitte reviewing Southern Health’s quality and governance, which probably ended in 2014. Nevertheless in little more than a year later, Mazars found:

 “A failure of leadership and of governance.”

Clearly Deloitterers offer excellent value for money! Indeed, using the Mazars Review as evidence, Southern Health should asked for its money back!

¹ Southern Health response to FOI request 1092.
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Public Questions – Evaded

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Here is how Southern Health treats patients and family members when they ask questions at public board meetings.

As dunces, dimwits and idiots.

 

 

There were three questions at the Board Meeting on 26 February 2016 in addition to that posed by Mrs Younghusband, reported at https://mydaftlife.wordpress.com/.

Draft p 21 2016-02-18 001aQuestion 1

Non-answer but funny how they can get the wording of the question exactly right when they are not going to answer it.

Conclusion:

Either there is no-one on the Board with an ICD-10 or DSM-IV condition or they are too worried about the stigma attached to mental illness, even though their patients evidently have to ‘go public’ to obtain any form of justice.

Question 2:

Non-answer and they do not even publish the list of alleged un-investigated incidents: see https://999crash.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/questions-questions/.

Conclusion:

Southern Health does not think that patients have the right to know if they are likely to be at risk of HIV, Hepatitis and degrading treatment etc. and what has been done to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

The Chairman will involve Mr Hill in reviewing the handling of his complaint – the complaint on these items was not handled in the first place – it was avoided: there is nothing to review.

Question 3:

Draft 22 2016-02-18 001b

 

Minutes incorrect:

Question asked:

“Does the Chairman have a zero-tolerance policy towards breaches of the law and dishonesty. When there is prima facie evidence of such conduct, which arguably is corrupt, will he suspend any officials pending a full disciplinary inquiry”

Where has the word ‘policy’, used in the Minutes, come from?

Actual answer given:

i)   The Chairman answered: unequivocally, “YES” to breaches of the law.”

ii)  The Chairman said that we had different ideas on what constituted dishonesty. 

Mr Hill responded that he considered dishonesty to include not just dishonesty per se but when professionals (by their professed expertise) should know they are being dishonest, i.e. the knew or should have known test for negligence established in Bolam.¹”

Where did the word, “Wilful” in the Minutes come from?

Just like common law principles that have been in existence since the Magna Carta, the common law principle of, ‘Ignorance of the law is no defence’ is unknown at Southern Health.  

If stopped for speeding, try, “But I didn’t do it deliberately officer.” Up go the chances of the police issuing a ticket – or even upgrading the charge to driving without due care and attention.

Even McNair J’s ordinary man on the top of a Clapham omnibus¹ would know this but apparently Southern Health officials do not – as least, if it benefits them.

¹ Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee [1957] 2 All ER 118.

Offer to Hampshire County Council

OPEN LETTER                                                                                        17 February 2016

By email only: roy.perry@hants.gov.uk

Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of the Council, Hampshire County Council

Dear Councillor Perry

Hampshire County Council (“HCC”) and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (SHNFT”)

Cllr Alan Dowden suggested that I write to you personally about the Hampshire Adult & Social Care Select Committee (“HASC”) meeting on 9 February 2016, held specifically to discuss SHNFT and the Mazars Review. Unfortunately, I was due to make a deposition to the committee but had to send apologies as a result of family illness.

I was staggered at reading the resulting headline and introductory paragraph in ‘The Daily Echo’: 

“Embattled Southern Health chief executive survives vote of no confidence at county council.”

“THE leader of a controversial Hampshire health trust received a surprise boost amid a storm that her organisation failed to investigate the deaths of hundreds of people with mental health problems and learning difficulties.”

I know many patients and family groups in Hampshire (and elsewhere), who will feel thoroughly disgusted and let down by HCC Councillors. Why should we be paying part of our Council Tax for HCC to safeguard residents when clearly HCC is not safeguarding them adequately?

I resolved to investigate what occurred at the meeting and spoke to HASC members Cllrs Huxstep, Harrison, Harvey, Choudhary, Burgess and Dowden. I also spoke to Cllr Joy, who is not on HASC but was present as an observer: he is an SHNFT Governor, appointed by HCC. All bar one spoke to me courteously and at length: Cllr Burgess was rude.

Their stories about the meeting varied to a significant degree – even amongst those with the same party affiliation, so it is difficult to draw conclusions. However, Cllr Burgess told me the vote was the Chairman’s decision: when I pointed out it was a vote not a decision, which should not be political), she hung up – was I too close to the truth? However, I can conclude fairly safely:

  1. Katrina Percy received desperately-needed good press: some Councillors claimed The Echo report is misleading – but the Council’s media officer, Jane Vidler has not (to the best of my knowledge and belief) exercised the Council’s right to reply.
  2. HASC gave SHNFT 6-months to improve. This is absurd: the Council’s contract with SHNFT for the provision of joint mental health services is due for renewal on 1 April 2016.
  3. Some Councillors alleged voting went mainly along political lines – why is this issue political? If so, for the second time in four years, SHNFT manipulated a Council meeting successfully to achieve its own ends and Tory Councillors have acted in a way that is inconsistent with the views of Hampshire’s Tory MPs. I attach Hansard [18 Apr 2012: Column 79WH], which details the previous incident  and names Katrina Percy and Dr Lesley Stevens specifically. Clearly, to paraphrase Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP, their “Slippery” conduct has succeeded with the Council again.
  4. HASC is not conforming to HCC’s Joint Mental Health Commissioning Strategy [2012-17].

With respect, the Council has been wilfully blind to what was going on at SHNFT and continues to ‘turn a blind eye’. Not only did HCC officials refuse to help when I fell foul of SHNFT’s bad practises in 2011 but it appears HCC leaked adverse and defamatory information about me to Southampton City Council in blatant breach of The Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”).

The Council should assist its taxpayers in improving services – not busying itself acting against their interests to maintain poor services. (Thanks to Cllr Joy, your corporate complaints unit is now considering the Data Protection and defamation issues).

I can prove beyond all reasonable doubt that SHNFT perverted and/or attempted to pervert the course of inquiries by Regulators, Ombudsmen and even their own investigations in my case by:

  1. Destroying and/or withholding prima facie proof of professional misconduct by a social worker (who I believe now works for HCC) and two doctors.
  2. Failing to comply with five Acts of Parliament relating to data – the DPA (subject access request and breaches of the 4th and 7th Principles), The Medical Act 1983, The Health Service Commissioners Act 1993 and (indirectly) The Local Government Act 1974. These four Acts require disclosure of data respectively within 40 calendar days, 14 working days, and, for the Ombudsmen, as long as the High Court would order. The GMC and I received pitifully small bundles of grossly inaccurate and incomplete data in September 2013 and the Ombudsmen received larger but still incomplete and inaccurate bundles. Such conduct also represents a violation of The Human Rights Act 1998 – Articles 6 and 8 of The European Convention on Human Rights, which respectively give the Rights to a fair hearing and to personal data held by the State to be accurate.
  3. Since The Care Act 2014 came into force, SHNFT has already been in breach of sections 81 (duty of candour) and 92 to 94 (providing false and misleading information).
  4. In breaching these Acts, SHNFT defied advice from the Information Commissioner’s Office, Department of Health (who SHNFT misled in writing), the National Audit Office and others. SHNFT finally fulfilled my Subject Access Request last Friday – after nearly 900 days – so I will not know if my data are complete and accurate until I have time to analyse them. I will be very surprised if my data are DPA-compliant, even allowing for two destroyed documents. 
  5. At a meeting on 3 February 2014, the CEO of SCC and Acting CEO of SHNFT lied to NHS England, The Department of Health, Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group, my private Consultant and me about the existence of two documents and lied again (in writing) having been asked to review their position: they later admitted to destroying this vital evidence.
  6. I attach a list of incidents that, by subterfuge and broken promises, remain un-investigated by SHNFT 4½ years later. They include some pretty disgusting incidents, of which I could have easily fallen victim, had it not been for the fact that I was not mentally ill anyway.

Other patients and families of the deceased all report similar incidents and events to those I have outlined in this letter in attempting to obtain justice for themselves or their loved ones.

I have carried out extensive research on other cases at SHNFT. Mazars and (as background for Connor Sparrowhawk’s Inquest) the Coroner’s Office both requested copies. There are similarities between my experience and Connor’s: if SHNFT (perhaps even HCC) had learnt from my experience (rather than covering it up), Connor might still be alive – equally, I might have died.

Although Mazars considered only the period of 2011-15, there were a number of serious incidents associated with Katrina Percy’s preceding employers. For example:

  1. On 27 May 2008, HCC’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee discussed serious incidents at Fordingbridge Hospital in 2007. Katrina Percy was Director of Care Services.
  2. During 2007-10, I have identified at least five apparently unnecessary deaths – Victoria Nye, Michelle Connor, Conal Browning, Antony Lamont, Christopher Barrett and (indirectly) John McCarthy, murdered by a friend, whose section SHNFT discharged too early. I have identified at least one ‘very near-miss’ in the same period.

It is untenable for HCC to continue to lend support to Katrina Percy and those in her cabal, such as Dr Stevens. Mazars has identified a complete failure of leadership and governance over a four-year period but my research demonstrates that she has failed to take advantage of (what the NHS terms euphemistically ‘learning opportunities’, i.e. cock-ups) over a period of at least 9 years.

Incidentally, the live twitter feed of the Connor Sparrowhawk Inquest reported:

“Coroner considers late disclosure concerning and will be writing to @Southern_NHSFT to seek an explanation: shd have been shared months ago.”

“LS [Dr Lesley Stevens]: The buck stops somewhere and we’ve heard no-one is clear where the bucks stops.”

So SHNFT’s Medical Director and Caldicott Guardian does not know where the bucks stops if there is a failure in medical care and information governance! I and (I suspect) the majority of Councillors know where the buck stops in these matters – with Katrina Percy and Dr Lesley Stevens – so why does HCC continue to be seen to support them?

I cannot believe HASC would have passed the motion about Ms Percy if fully apprised of the facts.

Also, it is evident that HCC does not fully grasp the overall weakness of SHNFT’s non-executive directors (“NEDs”) and Governors: there are notable exceptions but they are in the minority. The Governors are required to hold NEDs individually and collectively to account for performance of the Board and to represent the interests of the Members of our Trust as a whole and the interests of the public. Two examples show how the Governors fail in these duties.

  1. The Lead Governor covered-up an allegation of misconduct by a NED and fled a meeting like a frightened rabbit because a BBC TV crew was filming it. In my opinion, he is in an untenable conflict of interest situation too.
  2. One NED has been (metaphorically) in bed with Katrina Percy since 2009: clearly, at best, he has been asleep on the job. Also, there is a potential scandal at another public body, of which he is senior NED, involving suppressing a critical report and a referral to the National Audit Office. I believe he is in an undeclared conflict of interest situation at SHNFT too.

There is no obvious solution to this because SHNFT can veto membership of the Trust. It thereby controls who can stand for election as a public Governor. As a result, the weak Governors are always likely to outnumber those who are capable of taking robust action.

Having related my experience and research to Cllr Dowden, he suggested I meet you personally as Leader of the Council, along with Cllr Huxstep (Chairman of HASC), Cllr Joy (HCC’s Appointed Governor of SHNFT) and Cllr Harrison (protocol: I live in his constituency).  

Once you have reviewed all my evidence and research, you may decide that HASC should convene a second public meeting so that HSC can reconsider its position. 

Clearly with the Council’s current contract with SHNFT expiring on 31 March 2016, there is a degree of urgency in this. Therefore, I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Yours sincerely

Contact author of letter by email at crash@marchwood.free-online.co.uk

C.C.  Cllr Andrew Joy (andrew.joy@hants.gov.uk), Cllr Roger Huxstep (roger.huxstep@hants.gov.uk), Cllr David Harrison (david.harrison@hants.gov.uk), Cllr Alan Dowden (alan.dowden@hants.gov.uk) – for information,  Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP – for information, Suella Fernandes MP (suella.fernandes.mp@parliament.uk) – for information and others as consistent with an Open Letter.

At sixes and sevens

11856530_sa

We showed how Southern Health violated five Acts of Parliament in attempting to pervert the course of inquiries by Regulators and Ombudsmen – six if one includes two Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights (The Human Rights Act 1998) at: https://999crash.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/cover-up/.

On the same basis, it could now be six or seven. Under The Care Act 2014:

Section 81 imposes a statutory duty of candour.

Section 92 makes it an offence for a public body or person who supplies health services or adult social care in England to provide false and misleading information.

Sub-sections 92(8) and 92(9) imply that these offences applied under earlier legislation but that would need a solicitor’s knowledge to interpret properly.

Section 93 details the penalties – it is a criminal offence.

Section 94 details ‘Offences by bodies.’ This applies when it is proved that the offence is committed by, or with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to neglect on the part of a director, manager or [company] secretary of the body or a person purporting to act in such a capacity.

Hampshire County Chaos

Hampshire Adult & Social Care (or careless?) sub-committee (“HASC”) held a meeting on 9th February 206 specifically to discuss the Mazars Review and Southern Health. Unfortunately, your scribe could not attend through family illness.

However, a startling headline appeared on theDaily Echowebsite:

Embattled Southern Health chief executive survives vote of no confidence at county council.

“THE leader of a controversial Hampshire health trust received a surprise boost amid a storm that her organisation failed to investigate the deaths of hundreds of people with mental health problems and learning difficulties.”

And a picture of a smug-looking Katrina Percy too, which I don’t intend to impose on readers again.

So later in the week, we set out to find out what had occurred and spoke to subcommittee members Councillors Huxstep, Harrison, Harvey, Choudhary, Burgess  and Dowden. I also spoke to Cllr Joy, who is not on HASC but was present as an observer: he is a Southern Health Governor too.

All bar one Councillor was willing to hold reasonable conversations but their stories about the meeting varied to a significant degree – even amongst those with the same party affiliation – so, until HASC publishes minutes and/or the wording of the motions, on which HASC voted, it is impossible to comment. However, I can conclude fairly safely that:

  1. Katrina Percy received desperately-needed good press: some Councillors claim the Echo report is misleading – but the Council’s media officer for Adult Social Care / Health & Wellbeing (Public Health) , Jane Vidler  has yet to do anything about it.
  2. HASC gave Southern Health 6-months to improve – ANOTHER 6 MONTHS! To make this decision even more absurd, the Council’s contract with Southern Health for the provision of joint services is due for renewal on 1 April 2016 – and that’s not an April fool’s joke.
  3. Some Councillors alleged voting went mainly along political lines – why is this issue political? If so, for the second time in four years, local Tory Councillors seem adopt the opposite policy to the national party as represented by Conservative Members of Parliament (ref. Hansard).
  4. HASC is not following certain aspects of its own Joint Mental Health Commissioning Strategy [2012-2107].

Alan Dowdendb

Cllr Alan Dowden

‘Star’ of my research’  – leaving aside those who were already supporting me.

©¹ 

 

Thought I should request a meeting with Council Leader, Cllr Perry; Chairman of HASC Cllr Huxstep; Cllr Joy (a Southern Health Governor too); and Cllr Harrison, in whose constituency your scribe is based. Cllr Roy Perry’s  daughter, Caroline Nokes is MP for Romsey and Southampton North.  

I will write and publish an Open Letter suggesting this meeting.

rita burgessaCllr Rita Burgess

‘Villain of my research’

 

©¹ 

Claimed it was Chairman’s decision to pass the motion. When I pointed out it was a vote not a decision, she hung up.

Pity anyone in Basingstoke South West constituency with a mental health condition or learning disability. At least the other Councillors’ were willing to defend their position courteously – whether or not we agreed.

CORRESPONDENCE

If readers wish to address them, a full list of Councillors on HASC with links to their profiles, which includes details of their constituencies, personal telephone numbers and email addresses, is available at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/committee.htm?id=136 .

31721a_jpg

 

Caroline Nokes MP contributed her own criticisms to the parliamentary debate instigated by Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP and reported in Hansard 18 Apr 2012 : Column 79WH:

©²

 

“Far from emphasising convenience, my constituents’ concern has been regarding the quality of provision.” The questions they have posed have been eminently sensible. Why is it proposed to deprive acutely ill patients of the benefit of 24 modern en-suite beds that were opened only eight years ago? Why would the trust choose to keep the facility that is not as good, that does not afford the same level of privacy and dignity and that has no en-suite facilities at all?

I would like to highlight the comments made to me by just two constituents who have contacted me. The first wrote:

“My wife has been an inpatient at both Woodhaven and Melbury Lodge. Melbury Lodge isn’t anywhere near the standard of Woodhaven. Woodhaven is very pleasant, with a lovely atmosphere. Melbury Lodgeby comparison is very intimidating with a lock down high security approach. This may be appropriate for some of their patients but for the majority it’s just scary.”

The second constituent provided me with a very detailed account of his mental health issues, a suicide attempt in 2008, and his own stay at Woodhaven under section. He wrote:

“Having been an inpatient at Woodhaven I would emphasise the privacy. Having a breakdown surrounded by others who do not respect your privacy is very difficult. When I was in acute crisis I desperately needed short term care and support, it would be a disaster for local service users if those high quality short term beds were lost in favour of a less good facility, or worst case scenario, no bed at all.”

I have absolutely no doubt that the facility at Woodhaven is of an extremely high standard; we know that from the comments made by consultant psychiatrists.”

Caroline: I disagree completely that Woodhaven was of “extremely high standard” before the changes. May I suggest respectfully also that comments by Consultants about their employer’s premises should be interpreted with great caution?

Modern en-suite beds” is a misnomer, when patients have to put towels on the floor or hang them over a dusty door top whilst in the shower. Indeed, staff used the words “Bed space” in their notes – far more accurate.

Would you kindly visit https://999crash.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/questions-questions/ to see how Woodhaven patients were treated in 2011 – those incidents went completely un-investigated – and to see how Southern Health perverts the course of inquiries by Regulators and Ombudsmen at

https://999crash.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/cover-up/.

Will you visit The Priory in Marchwood with me to see what “Modern en-suite beds” really look like a mental health hospital in a group that takes an extremely large number of NHS-funded patients.

©¹ Hampshire County Council
©² Parliament

Monitor – monitoring or neglecting?

Antonyms for monitoring: ignore, neglect, forget (Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group

s216_Jim-Mackey-chief-executive-1

 

Jim Mackey, Chief Executive of Monitor

 

©

Monitor was the first Regulator or Commissioner to respond to my open emails of 10 January and 24 January 2016. On 27 January, Tom Grimes of Monitor emailed:

“Thank you for your email. Sorry we have not yet responded to your email of 10 January. I am in discussions with CQC and NHS England and hope to be responding shortly.”

Are the CQC, NHS England and Monitor not capable of responding individually? It is innately suspicious that they need to collude over explaining their own lack of action.

It is perverse of them to liaise in their own interests (and that of the NHS) but conversely refuse to liaise when it is in patients’ interests to do so. Commissioners and Regulators regularly refuse to act and refer complainants to another organisation without even a supporting letter.

It makes a mockery ofThe Statement of Common Purpose, pages numbered 9 and 10 in Patients First & Foremost, published by The Department of Health in March 2013. The CQC, Monitor and NHS England all signed up to a number of undertakings: three undertakings are sufficient to demonstrate my point:

“Patients come first in everything we do. We fully involve patients, staff, families, carers communities, and professionals inside and outside the NHS. We put the needs of patients and communities before organisational boundaries. We speak up when things go wrong.”

“We will put patients first, not the interests of our organisations or the system. We will listen to patients, striving to ensure the quality of care that we would want for ourselves, our own families and our friends.”

“We will work together, collaborating on behalf of patients, combining and coordinating our strengths on their behalf, sharing what we know and taking collective responsibility for the quality of care that people experience. Together, we will be unfailing in rooting out poor care and unflinching in promoting what is excellent.”

The Secretary of State for Health should tear up ‘The Statement of Common Purpose’ and start all over again. The CQC, Monitor, NHS England (and other signatories) do not put patients first or fully involve them; organisational boundaries are akin to a re-enforced Berlin Wall; and they refuse to speak up if things go wrong – they just refer patients elsewhere without even a supporting letter.

Eventually, Monitor did respond on its own: here are some extracts of Tom’s letter with comments:

“We have now decided to issue our own response, which has been seen by Jim Mackey’s office, but in accordance with our earlier communications, is from me as your single point of contact at Monitor.”

At Monitor, I addressed my open emails primarily to John Mackey,  CEO – , yet apparently only his “office” saw it. In the commercial sector, if a customer writes to the CEO, the CEO replies in person: British Airways and Tesco are good examples. Clearly, they do not investigate complaints personally – or even draft the response – but at least they show interest by replying under their personal signature.

Is Mr MacKey too important to respond in person after such a 25-year career as an NHS Director? To paraphrase ‘The Statement of Common Purpose’, he is supposed to put patients first in everything he does.

“In your email you ask why the regulators are not engaging with ex-patients and family groups affected by the report produced by Mazars.”

That’s evasive: I asked, why they didn’t send observers to Board and Council of Governors meetings – especially as the two meetings in question were Extraordinary Meetings relating to the Mazars Review.

“The trust has also agreed to work with an Improvement Director, appointed by Monitor, who will use their expertise to support and challenge the trust as it fixes its problems.”

Well that’s alright then but where is this Improvement Director? Even now, Monitor is unable to provide information about the recruitment process, much less a name and proposed start date.

“The Improvement Director will attend the trust’s board meetings, but Monitor does not usually attend these meetings as we have other means of oversight of the trust. Specifically, we meet members of the trust board for formal progress review meetings every 4-6 weeks at which we hold them to account for progress against our regulatory requirements. However, Monitor did attend the governors’ meeting on 26 January 2016 at their request.”

Monitor admits it does not attend meetings as observers, even Extraordinary Meetings called for the specific purpose of discussing the Mazars Review, unless formally invited by the Trust to do so. Even on 26 January, he/she kept a low profile in mixing with patients and family members prior to the meeting.

“I am aware the trust is engaging with patients and families affected by the Mazars review.”

I suspect Dr Sara Ryan (and many others) will not agree.

 “We also appreciate that current and previous service users and their families want to know what is happening with the trust from a regulatory perspective and have their views heard. We work closely with local Healthwatch groups, which have a key role in representing the views of patients in their area and attend regular Quality Surveillance Groups meetings, with us, CQC and NHS England. Local Healthwatch have also attended the risk summits relating to Southern Health specifically. This gives us some useful insight into patient opinion regarding the trust.”

 Again, all are representatives funded by the taxpayer with service users excluded.

“As with other foundation trusts, where we receive concerns from service users and carers about a trust, we use that information, where relevant, to inform our regulatory approach.”

“If any of the families affected by the Mazars report wish to share their views they can do so using the following contact details: enquiries@monitor.gov.uk or 0203 747 0900.”

This is misleading: 0203 747 0900 is just Monitor’s general enquiries line: it is nothing special.

“In your email you have provided details of what you say are un-investigated incidents that occurred while you were an inpatient in 2011. However, as you are aware, we are not in a position to resolve individual matters, which are for the trust to consider and look at under its complaints procedure if it considers it appropriate.”

Ha, ha – so the incidents are for Southern Health to investigate: they refused.

“The issues you raise do not raise governance concerns for us that indicate a breach or potential breach of the trust’s licence that would warrant investigation by us over and above that which we are already taking action.”

“They are potentially relevant to the CQC in its capacity as the quality and safety regulator, but at your request we have not shared this email with them and I know you have been in contact with the CQC very recently.”

Up goes the Berlin Wall again! Monitor admits to not sharing evidence of serious un-investigated incidents with the CQC. Is this the same Monitor that undertook inter alia to work together with other bodies to collaborate on behalf of patients, share what they know and take collective responsibility for the quality of care that people experience? Surely not!

It is a fact also that Regulators take complaints more seriously if they come from other Regulators or employers – this includes Monitor and the General Medical Council. 

At https://999crash.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/questions-questions/ decide if you believe these are incidents of which Monitor should be aware.

One of the incidents is an allegation of unlawful conduct but Tom goes on to contradict himself:

You have also alleged that you have evidence of breaches of the law by trust directors. As I have explained, if you have any genuinely new information that we have not yet seen that is relevant to our role, please send it to us and we will consider it.”  

Tom conveniently overlooks that un-investigated incident (1) is an alleged breach of the law.

This is a standard response to written complaints. Monitor knows very well I am not prepared to waste more time putting anything else in writing unless they show they are serious – by meeting. I can then talk them through the evidence and give them copies. However, Tom goes on to write: 

“However, we do not currently think that a meeting with you is necessary.

I suspect the hidden meaning is they don’t want a meeting in case it actually means they have to do something.

In fact Tom and a colleague did meet me once. On 17 October 2013, they spent half-a-day (or more) travelling to Southampton – just to tell me they could not do anything – thereby wasting my time and taxpayers’ money too.

But when a patient has evidence of something on which they could apparently take action, they refuse to meet. Enough now of Monitor – more may follow at a later date.

© Monitor/Department of Health.

More pickles!

25258861a_sJust to make things really inconvenient, Bevan Brittan has sent me a letter by email, which is secured so tightly, it cannot even be printed!

Update 5 February 2016 – did not want a third posting on pickles, but they’ve now an sent an email letter to the Department of Health, which the department could not even open – much less print. 

 

Moreover my email came from mailto:AutoNoReply@bevanbrittan.com and there was no reference or anything else to indicate which Partner wrote it. At this point, I looked for an image of a chicken (or 5) but couldn’t be bothered to waste my time

Basically, they thought I should be writing through the Chairman – entirely contrary to protocol once solicitors are instructed. Also the Chairman knew I was going to do it anyway!

Here is the email reply:

“To: ruth.atkinson-wilks@bevanbrittan.com; will.pickles@bevanbrittan.com; peter.rogers@bevanbrittan.com; duncan.weir@bevanbrittan.com; bethan.evans@bevanbrittan.com

CC: Chair [Southern Health]; Department of Health [Name redacted]

 Dear All 

Your letter is wholly wrong and inappropriate. Don’t you dare patronise me about the law or solicitors’ protocol.

  1. You refer to the Chairman’s email of 27 January 2016: he wrote that before I became aware that the Trust had instructed solicitors. Moreover, he asked me not to contact other SHNFT staff and officers. He does not bar me from addressing the Trust’s solicitors.
  2. Once solicitors’ are instructed on a matter, protocol determines (as you well know) that the other party corresponds with those solicitors not with the client. It is wholly improper of you to suggest otherwise.
  3. The Chairman knows I had (or was about to – can’t remember the timing) write to you: he had no objections because he is keen to get the matter resolved and it was a way of me obtaining details of those to whom you have written in the hope of hurrying them along. He was out of the office for most of yesterday so couldn’t do it himself.
  4. What’s more, one of you is so cowardly that your email came through an anonymous address; there is no indication on the email or letter of the Partner that wrote it and it even is locked so I cannot print it for my file. Incidentally, I’m always suspicious of solicitors who use 0370/0870 telephone numbers anyway and now I have found one who uses anonymous email address too. It is a bit rich (when representing SHNFT) to imply that I would ‘doctor’ a letter but you can still send a printable and secure pdf file (as you well know) by scanning the letter first.

Please send me a printable pdf file by return email.

I am copying this to Mike Petter and to The Department of Health.

What a pickle!”

What a Pickle

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COVER UP!

 

 

 

This is an example of how Southern Health protects its interests and those of its medical professionals by obstructing varying avenues for complainants, who thereby do not obtain justice and closure.

In or before September 2013, Southern Health received requests for a patient’s data under The Data Protection Act 1998 (subject access request), The Medical Act 1983 (for the General Medical Council), The Health Service Commissioners Act 1993 (for the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman). At a similar time, Southampton City Council received a request under The Local Government Act 1974 (for The Local Government Ombudsman), much of which are jointly controlled by Southern Health.

These Acts require disclosure of data respectively within 40 calendar days, 14 working days, and, for the Ombudsmen, as long as the High Court would order. The data subject and the GMC received pitifully small bundles of grossly inaccurate and incomplete data and the Ombudsmen received larger but still incomplete and inaccurate bundles. 

Arguably, such conduct also represents a violation of The Human Rights Act 1998 – Articles 6 and 8 of The European Convention on Human Rights, which require respectively a fair hearing and personal data held by the State to be accurate.

Despite interventions by the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Department of Health, the National Audit Office and others, complete and accurate data remains unavailable even now – after at least 880 days!

Then, on 1 February 2016, third parties received a letter from Southern Health’s solicitors:

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 Look at the last two paragraphs – “Strict Deadlines” and most impertinent of all:

          “The Trust has certain responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998.”

I have suggested to Mr Pickles and Ms Ruth Atkinson-Wilks that they should start giving proper advice to their own clients – not issuing urgent strictures to third parties who have supported the patient from the outset.

But then, think of Bevan Brittan’s fees: as Mario Puzo said in ‘The Godfather’:

          “A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.”

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There goes Southern Health again – wasting taxpayers’ money – this time on solicitors to cover their backs when they were perfectly capable of doing the job themselves during the last 2 years, 4 months.

 

The Caldicott Guardian of Southern Health (responsible for information governance) – no less than Dr Lesley Stevens! Where have we heard that name before? Connor Sparrowhawk’s Inquest – where, according to a live twitter feed:

“Coroner considers late disclosure concerning and will be writing to @Southern_NHSFT to seek an explanation: shd have been shared months ago.”

“LS [Dr Lesley Stevens]: The buck stops somewhere and we’ve heard no-one is clear where the bucks stops.”

So Southern Health’s Medical Director does not know where the bucks stops when there is a failure in medical care! Unbelievable!

Not bad work – if you can get it – for £110-115K per annum (based on her predecessor’s salary in the 2014-15 Annual Report & Accounts).

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What a Pickle!

 

Questions, questions…?

 

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Three questions posed to the Board on 26 January 2016 – all (except partly question 3) to be answered in the Minutes or at next Board Meeting on 23 February 2016. The questions are abbreviated but the colour-coded chart, ‘Un-investigated Incidents’ (Question 2) is as circulated to Board members at the meeting.

QUESTION 1?

“The Trust claims to promote Equality and Diversity: mindful of the Trust’s specialisms, is there a Board Director who has suffered or is suffering an illness (including if in remission) coming within classifications of Mental & Behavioural Disorders set out in World Health Organisation ICD-10 or American Psychiatric Association DSM-IV? YES/NO.”

QUESTION 2?

I referred at the previous meeting to near-misses. Please refer to the colour-coded document. Katrina Percy recently said, “We are constantly striving to find ways to do things better.”

Why has she engaged proactively in dirty tricks to avoid investigating incidents that range from unlawful to potentially harmful to degrading to discriminatory to unprofessional (and non-therapeutic) to ‘jobsworth’ conduct designed to agitate patients?

It appears to me that she is constantly striving to bury such incidents.

UN-INVESTIGATED INCIDENTS:

Unlawful conduct.

  1. Patient denied the ability to apply for discharge by deliberate obfuscation, for example (amongst other things) falsely claiming not to have a copy of The Mental Health Act; refusing to print the MHA from the opsi.gov website; and refusing to supply detention paperwork – all for 3½ days. The Trust is obligated to make sure patients are aware of their legal and human rights. How can they do this without giving patients relevant documentation? Clinicians should be available at all times to discharge patients. I quote Patient Information (S2):

“You can do this [request discharge] at any time.”

Potentially harmful conduct: (2) to (5) are relevant to the Connor Sparrowhawk case.

  1. Hospital had no medical reports on patient’s seizure and suspected stroke/tia for 3½ days after the seizure and suspected stroke/tia – in fact, until 1½ hours before discharge.
  2. Psychiatric hospital running out of diazepam – potentially needed for seizure patients too.
  3. Defiance of NICE Guidelines for seizure patients.
  4. No risk assessment of seizure/suspected stroke patients.
  5. Defiance of NICE Guidelines and the FAST principle on treatment of suspected stroke/tia patients.
  6. Patient reported neck injury (potential whiplash from forcible restraint) and asked to see doctor. When patient saw doctor chatting up nurses in the office, Doctor shouted to patient, “Well, it’s still working isn’t it.” Finally examined by different doctor after 3½ days.
  7. Male patient given another patient’s razor – HIV, hepatitis etc!
  8. Lack of towel rail in (private) bathroom – patients must leave towels on floor or hung over dusty top of door – infection control! Yet patient information contains an MRSA warning including by, “Contact with dirty surfaces.”
  9. On-call Consultant trying to change a patient’s medication in a perverse manner, which would have the opposite effect to that intended and also would have obstructed the patient’s ability to apply for discharge – all without a face-to-face review.

Degrading treatment.

  1. ‘Safe’ patients not allowed to receive visitors in own room.
  2. Nurse discussing a young lady’s birth control – the lady in nightdress and dressing gown – over a meal with a male patient present.
  3. Allowing male/female patients to wander around public areas in nightclothes – even during the day. It is best practice and therapeutic to make them get up and dressed in their rooms before entering public areas. It is embarrassing for other patients and visitors too.

Discrimination.

  1. Doctor using, “Slightly dishevelled in appearance. Sweaty and without shoes” as symptomatic of mental illness. Did she expect a patient who’d had a grand mal seizure (with incontinence) 10 hours previously; had been taken to A & E by ambulance without shoes; had been kept hanging around in for 10 hours without knowing what was going on, without food and an opportunity to wash; and was restrained dangerously by the police because no one had carry out a risk assessment – to be dressed for a black-tie dinner?
  2. Sarcastic comments to patients who can afford private care, for example: “X was reminded this was NHS not private” – in response just to lack of towel rail – which has infection control issues too. In the health sector, discrimination includes discrimination for non-protected characteristics, such as perceived class and wealth grounds, as well as those protected by statute.

Unprofessional and un-therapeutic:

  1. Doctors, nursing and administrators all sitting aloof at same table at mealtimes not mixing with patients.
  2. Mixing patients with mild (if any) mental illness with those with severe (and frightening to others) mental illness, inconsistent with requirement for a calm and restful environment.

‘Jobsworth’ conduct – designed to annoy.

  1. Jobsworth, for example application of PAT testing and other rules.
  2. ‘Safe’ patients not allowed to keep personal items such as razors and cables in their own rooms –which contain lockable boxes.

This is not necessarily an exhaustive list.

The reaction to this question was telling: Katrina Percy’s face was a picture and a Director/Doctor retorted, “Where did you get all that from?” Unfortunately, the questioner told the truth but “That’s for me to know and you to find out” would have been better.

They’d better get the answer right – otherwise more trouble!

QUESTION 3

Does the Chairman have a zero-tolerance policy towards breaches of the law and dishonesty? When there is prima facie evidence of such conduct, which arguably is corrupt, will he suspend any officials pending a full disciplinary inquiry?

ANSWER to Q3

The Chairman answered, “YES” to breaches of the law but hedged his bets on dishonesty: our views on dishonesty differ. I include not just deliberate dishonesty but dishonesty when professionals (by their professed knowledge) should know they are being dishonest, i.e. the ‘Know or should have known’ test for negligence.