Light over Troubled Waters




“Immortality concept and persisting and surviving through a crisis as a broken lighthouse in the sea with the beacon of light continuing to shine as a metaphor for everlasting life.” ©Lightwise


Is “Broken Lighthouse” a metaphor for Southern Health and did we start to see just a tiny glimmer of light shining through its troubled waters and ever-darkening smokescreen at the AGM on 6 September? 

Let’s start with positive comments from those present [is this a first?].

Dr Mayura Deshpande was like a breath of fresh air at Southern Health at the AGM. Excellent presentation, warm and able to talk normally with empathy…. She is one for the future at Southern Health – hopefully.

I thought Julie Dawes came across as someone who is grounded and she apologised and said that she wanted the Trust to move forwards in a positive way. I think she is open and wants to engage with us going forwards. She is much better than the last Chief Executive!!!” [From bereaved parent].”

Dear Julie [Dawes]

“It was common ground amongst those of us (i.e. parents, families and others), who have been working together in the last three months, that your attitude towards us is refreshingly different.

I can safely say that, in future, when we criticise the Trust, we see you as the solution not the problem. We were also impressed by Dr Mayura Deshpande and believe she could contribute significantly to improvements in the Trust’s adult mental health and learning disability divisions too. You both made is feel welcome, rather than treating us as ‘the enemy'”. [From campaigner].

Dear Mayura [Dr Desphande]

“Thank you very much indeed for the time you spent with us (bereaved families and others) after the meeting. We believe that you could make a positive and significant contribution to the much-needed improvements in adult services too…. Thanks again for your empathy.” [From campaigner].

It is interesting to note also Dr Deshpande is Chair of the Professional Practice and Ethics Committee at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Chair of Southern Health’s Clinical Ethics Committee.

And writing following an earlier public meeting.

“[Julie Dawes] told me she had held a very sobering conversation with the board and we should see changes in behaviour at the next meeting. I was encouraged. This is the first call we have ever taken from SHFT senior management and is a refreshing change. I think she is really trying and should be given time to prove herself and to deliver.” [From bereaved parent].

Conversely, reverting to the meeting on 6 September 2016 and comments received about the conduct of certain other Southern Health Directors:   

 “So appalled at tonight’s meeting that I missed my turn off tonight and drove to Farnham.” [From campaigner].

“What a farce!” [Bereaved family member].

So there’s a small ray of sunshine but will the current Chairman allow Julie and Mayura to do anything meaningful under his reign?

For anyone who missed the BBC’s excellent documentary ‘Broken Trust’ on 7 September 2016, it is available for 28 days (from broadcast date) on  I-player here →. Comments on the programme and more on the AGM to follow when time allows.


2 thoughts on “Light over Troubled Waters

  1. Pingback: Troubled Waters | Campaign for Reform At Southern Health

  2. Pingback: Learning opportunities | Campaign for Reform At Southern Health

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