Stock-taking

Last week, The Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal published its ‘DETERMINATION: Facts’ relating to Dr Valerie Murphy – Connor Sparrowhawk’s Consultant Psychiatrist at Southern Health the time of his passing in 2013: Read Murphy-FACTS here.

And a graphic description of the experience of the key Tribunal witness, Connor’s Mum, Dr Sara Ryan here – posts dated 7th to 18th August, 2017 – with perhaps more to come.

Coincidentally, Southern Health’s ‘Team Brief June 1917’ came to CRASH’s attention last week, and its new substantive Chair, Lynne Hunt took up her  post on 3 July – so an ideal time for taking stock of improvements in the last four years. Here are some extracts.

June Team Brief 2

 

June Team Brief 1 - reduced

So, four years’ after Connor’s passing and despite all the highly critical reports, Southern Health remains unsafe for patients – especially vulnerable children, who are at risk of “Significant harm.” It is worth restating:

“Children are at risk caused by inadequate staffing level and IT support systems, which may result in significant harm in the MASH – Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub environment.”

June Team Brief 3It is difficult to escape the conclusion that operational and financial problems caused by outsourcing 29 beds have their roots even before 2013, when Southern Health used distinctly dodgy statistics to justify closing Woodhaven Hospital. The Trust’s methods were described as “slippery” and Katrina Percy and Dr Lesley Stevens named specifically. Read the parliamentary debate here – Dr Julian Lewis – Hansard 18.04.12.

June Team Brief 4

Encouraging that only 15% of staff had completed their appraisal, compared to 34% at the same time last year! And why does Southern Health only “invite” staff to book an appraisal – I’m sure poorly-performing staff will jump at the chance to be criticised on their record. In the ‘real world’ all staff are told when and where to attend an appraisal.

Sick Bag 2

 

And finally – pass the sick bag.

 

 

June Team Brief 5

 

“We are sad to bid a fond farewell to Lesley Stevens …. “

 

 

Read the full Team Brief here→

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Call to Action

Call to Action V3COMMENT ON SOUTHERN HEALTH’S NEW COMPLAINTS POLICY

Recently, we wrote two blog posts with references to Southern Health’s Complaints Process – The Scales of Justice and Kangaroo Court. At the Trust’s request, CRASH submitted a review of Southern Health’s procedures, in particular on inconsistencies with official reports and guidance: download here: Complaints Investigation Report.

We received the draft of Southern Health’s ‘new’ complaints policy with just two working days to comment! There are two draft procedures and a feedback form: available here→ Policy Review Form; SH NCP10; and SH NCP 11v3.

Surprised nurse v1

Surprise, surprise

The Trust had completely ignored CRASH’s report.

And all the official reports and guidance therein. 

 

CRASH responded immediately [abbreviated]:

“I will circulate your email and attachments [to the Forum] but it is unreasonable to expect any of us to respond by the end of the month.

“In any event, I can tell from point 10 ‘Supporting References’ that the review is inadequate. Setting aside that you received my comments relatively recently, you have not referenced the Dale Report, the Francis Report or the Shipman Inquiry.

“The [John] Dale Report is specific to Southern Health and its complaints process, authored by the Chair of the NHS Complaints Manager’s Forum, dated 30 January 2017 since when it has been in the Trust’s possession – yet, despite the credibility of the author, you appear not to have used his report in reviewing the policy.

“Within the Dale Report [is] reference also to relevant sections of the Francis Report and, from there, the Shipman Inquiry. You could have taken these into account without my paper.

“I cannot comprehend why the Trust has arranged six 3-hour workshops as part of a website review but none whatsoever on complaint processes. The latter (if compliant with the law of natural justice, relevant guidance and authoritative reports) will have a far greater impact on patient safety than an improved web site.

“I hope you and your colleagues ‘take this on board’: I would recommend that you extend the deadline for feedback until the end of August.

As a result, the Trust extended the deadline by a generous week. In a phone conversation, they claimed also that staff did not have the opportunity to see and challenge an investigation report, yet the draft states unequivocally:

The response will first need to be returned to service. It will need to be reviewed, and agreed by the investigating officer, commissioning manager and any staff named in the complaint and/or who have contributed to the investigation.

So, at the time of writing, the Trust still has no intention of giving complainants the same opportunity as staff – a fundamental part of a fair process, the law of natural justice and Article 6 of ECHR. It was a specific recommendation too of The [John] Dale Report, which has been in the Trust’s possession for circa. six months.

Despite the deadline, CRASH still urges service users and families to let Southern Health have their comments on the draft policy by email: click here. More pressure (even after the deadline) might make them think twice – though don’t hold your breath!

Here is some (abbreviated) feedback from others:

“Reading through the documents made me remember why I gave up playing golf. It has an extremely “user – unfriendly” set of rules and regulations!” [Carer]

“I am sure [Ombudsman] would want to know why none of the recommendations have been included in a new policy. What a waste of money … it all goes to show what a waste of time this has all been.” [Bereaved family in Dale Report]”

“I will not be giving feedback for reasons that perfecting a useless system is a waste of time – it has little to do with improving quality and satisfying customers.” [Carer]

And here is CRASH’s subsequent response:

ngngGH to SH - Complaints Policy 001 V2

Having outlined Southern Health’s continuing failure to listen, respond and improve, it appears that this is being orchestrated by the ‘old guard’ amongst Trust officials, who are innately resistant to change. 

Myanma_A_16975_2 v1

 

CRASH remains hopeful that the new Board of Directors will separate the wheat from the chaff.’

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