Rest Day

Funny golden retriever labrador puppyÊlying stretched at poolside

Madcap 2019 to date dealing with Southern Health, helping complainants and holding the Board to account, so much so that writing a blog post constitutes a rest day!

So, we thought it should be a lazy day too – simply re-blogging others’ efforts. But before we do, the latest ‘news’ from Southern Health.


SuellaHoC(2) Reduced

14 February 2019: excellent MP, Suella Braverman (née Fernandes) and four fellow Hampshire MPs¹ co-sign a letter to the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, expressing continuing concern about Southern Health. She outlined ways in which she felt the Secretary of State could provide more support. Read more here→.


Southern Health’s reply (available here) is viewed as all talk and no action: Suella’s letter backs fully the main thrust of a paper put to the Board on 1st February 2018 and a Position Statement in November 2018, both by well-informed experts by experience.

Considered opinion by one of these experts is that Southern Health’s Chair and CEO have completely overlooked that Suella addressed the Secretary of State. They address her points as if directed at them as criticism and respond with a very defensive letter. A more positive approach would have been to build on what was said; commit to what they could do with £5m to invest in the areas identified; or indeed suggest where the outcome could be improved by investing it differently. Another opportunity missed!

They simply don’t it as an opportunity, they see it as a threat to their position and authority. Clear arrogance on their part – they know best.

British Association of Social Work Conference 

“Safeguarding and human rights: what do families need from social work? What do we need? Easy peas: thoughtfulness, understanding, knowledge, integrity, action, transparency and honesty.” [Dr Sara Ryan]

And we need a dose of this in NHS mental health and learning disability services too².



The Minister of State for Health & Social Care, Caroline Dinenage MP (named here) is one of the Hampshire MPs, who signed Suella Braverman’s letter to the Secretary of State.


Has Matt Hancock based his new NHS IT plans on “Yes Minister”?

Computer Wiring


Question? What would Sir Humphrey do, having spent over £11.4 billion on the notorious National Programme for IT (NPfIT), described as a major ‘push’ to improve NHS IT systems, only to dismantle it as one of the mostly costly and troubled projects in public sector IT history? [Analysis by University of Cambridge academics here.]

© 2016 Tads India


Answer? Create a new departmental unit (NHSX); require up to £13bn in IT investment over 5 years; employ more civil servants; give different job titles to existing officials; and/or create new job titles at higher pay grades! YES MINISTER!


Somebody using a Mencap supported living service wants to take Mencap to Court using Mencap’s legal support service. Conflict of interest and PR Campaign? Interesting and thought-provoking comment and potential solution here→.

SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)

The SEND Plan assists children and young people’s ability to learn. Typically, it helps those up to the age of 25 with difficulties, including:

  • Behaviour or ability to socialise, such as struggling to make friends, for example those with autism or Aspergers.
  • Reading and writing, for example those with dyslexia.
  • Ability to understand things, for example those with moderate learning difficulties.
  • Concentration levels, for example those with ADHD.

Naturally, children with physical disabilities are included too.

However, the SEND law is alleged to have been poorly understood and inadequately implemented in schools. Unsurprising perhaps when the SEND Code of Practice runs to 292 pages. Apparently, schools often sanitise plans, for example by replacing ’cause for concern’ with ‘barrier to learning’… read more. Just as the NHS uses ‘learning opportunity’ to describe a ‘cock-up’! The old duck-billed platitudes again!


¹ Caroline Dinenage, Sir Desmond Swayne, Maria Miller and Ranil Jayawardena.

² More to come on ‘integrity’ in the NHS.



1 thought on “Rest Day

  1. Pingback: The Secretary of State’s Desk | Campaign for Reform At Southern Health

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