Rushed off feet yesterday dealing with fallout from Tuesday’s meeting – emails flying about all over the place.
However, by circa 11.15 hrs, we had confirmation that the two emails below were on the desk (or screen!) of the Assistant Director, Mental Health at the Department of Health and a link to the ‘Shambles’ article will be in the Department’s in-box this morning.
But the story so far:
1st email to Department of Health:
“I believe I suggested last week that Ministerial intervention is required. Please just read the following three articles – and then perhaps we should talk on the phone with a view to a meeting with [redacted] and her immediate superior (in London) – not just with me but a small number of other ‘victims.’
The first whistle-blower turned up – but only because she resigned [from Southern Health] last week: she had spoken out internally and severely criticised for doing so – I believe by Percy direct. She described it like working for the North Korean Dictatorship: staff morale is at rock bottom.
It is reported also that the staff governors were nearly (if not actually) in tears at a recent meeting with other governors: simply because they feel powerless and (I suspect) in fear of reprisals themselves.
Some of the stories were harrowing. One mother showed me a letter from Percy, which implicitly apportioned some of the blame on her. It ended something like – “It is a pity that Southern Health and you could not have done more to help your son.” Someone arrived (unexpectedly) who had lost a parent in the Mid Staffs scandal and was in tears: she agreed with what I have been telling you for years – the Francis Report and the Statement of Common Purpose should be torn up.
In fact because the meeting could not be held as a formal Council [of Governors]meeting, it became an informal opportunity for the four strong governors, [who] learnt far more than they would ever have learnt at a formal meeting, where the patient groups’ contribution would have been severely restricted.
In addition ITV and BBC were able to film the whole meeting and there was damming comment on BBC South and Meridian News. There were more reporters from the printed media than even attended the extraordinary meetings in January.
The ‘fab four’ governors are probably worrying about reprisals against them now.
It is evident that whoever selected Tim Smart as Interim Chairman was extremely ill-advised. He has managed to make the reputation and image of an already discredited trust even worse – in just two weeks. He says he needs 6 weeks – he has access to sufficient evidence against Percy and Stevens to suspend them right now and then go through a proper disciplinary inquiry. No-one is suggesting summary dismissal – just a proper disciplinary process.”
2nd email to Department of Health: (Written reports relating to the TV news bulletins may be still available by searching the BBC and ITV Meridian web sites.
“View some of yesterday’s strong emotions – including bereaved families and the whistle-blower.
NB South Today stays on BBC I-player for only 24-hours: the programme went out at 18.30hrs yesterday. I suspect that ITV is the same.
And no comments about me please – have already has “pudding face” from wife and “more chins than China from son.”
In addition to earlier links, which I sent, Articles about the meeting are also at:
There was a reporter from Lymington Times too – but it’s web site is only updated when next (weekly) hard copy is published.
And now the latest horror story:
http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/health/under-fire-trust-will-change-after-suicide-tragedy-1-7380550 – 13 May 2016, Dr Lesley Stevens:
“We have also started work to review the risk reporting on our patient records system.”
If I had £5 for every time I’ve seen her saying or writing this in the last 4½ years, I might not be rich – but it would more than pay for my season ticket for Harlequins next season!
Must have been emotional (and not a little cross) myself yesterday: my next email to the Department of Health will include an apology for all the typos in the previous emails – identified (and corrected hopefully) here!