Little People

Sketch of working little people with scale

This week, what a family member described as a, “not-so independent investigation” into Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust demonstrated that complainants (‘the little people’), however well-qualified, are crushed by what some refer to as a totalitarian state

Again, there is no recording of the hearing in the public domain so we must be careful in what we report. However, journalists use shorthand so we can rely more on media reports. 

Question Mark 2Firstly, there were positive undertakings from Mr Nigel Pascoe QC, Chair of the Hearing and Paula Hull, the Trust’s Director of Nursing & Allied Health Professionals.

Now we have to see if they will be honoured.

 

Witness Intimidation: 

Mr Pascoe issued a warning over attempts to intimidate witnesses giving evidence:

Watching in Aggression - Retro Cartoon Office old Boss Man Vecto

“Any attempts by any person, anywhere, to dissuade a witness from giving evidence, in criminal or civil proceedings, may amount to an attempt to pervert the course of justice.¹”

And added that the Panel would, “Not hesitate to act” on attempts to intimidate witnesses.

 

In our opinion, a charge of Misconduct in Public Office² might allow more flexibility because the offence is confined to public office holders and is committed when the office holder acts (or fails to act) in a way that constitutes a breach of the duties of that office.

Dissatisfied Complainants:

Paula Hull issued what amounted to an open invitation to all dissatisfied complaints to contact her to discuss their outstanding concerns.

Laughing with tears and pointing emoticon

Ironically, she also stressed that Terms of Reference (“TORs”) for investigations must be agreed with complainants. Exactly what NHS Improvement failed to do in respect of the Pascoe investigation!

 

Fact-checking – Triangle of Care:

In the Stage 1 Report, we identified a mis-statement about the Triangle of Care, detailed here. Yet, this week a Southern Health witness repeated the same terminological inexactitude that the Triangle of Care was launched in 2018, despite the Trust’s admission in November 2019 that this was wrong. The excuse was that it was a “genuine mistake“. That’s now three, “Genuine mistakes.” This is fact – we don’t need a recording.

Alarmingly, CRASH wrote to Mr Pascoe on 28 January 2021 attaching emails from the Triangle of Care, copyright owner. Yet still, the Panel did not challenge the witness. 

Balance of Evidence: 

In three days scheduled for ‘Complaints Handling’, 10.5 hours were allowed for witnesses from Southern Health and their supporters, West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group but only 2.5 hours for service users. Res Ipsa Loquitur.

Equally, the procedures for the Hearing specified that, if 3rd parties names are used in statements, they will be anonymised or redacted and not referred to during the public hearing. Any breach would lead to a warning by the Chair and potentially the Panel might refuse to hear further evidence. Yet, Dr Susie Carmen produced unredacted evidence, which she could not show to the public – and the Panel went along with her.  

Thumbs down

Yet again, one rule for service users and carers and another role for Trust witnesses. As evidence had to be submitted in advance, why did the Panel not instruct Dr Carmen to redact it?

 

Service User Witness

Thumbs logo - green

All credit to carer, Sue Heselton – a bereaved mother not included in the family group. We could hear the distress in her voice. She started by endorsing Mr Matt White’s suggestions last week and went on to make the following observations (from contemporaneous notes):

 

  • People are still very unhappy not just in the past: she knows unhappy patients now.
  • The Trust should make it easier to complain avoiding the need to repeat complaints.
  • She has been blocked from making complaints and the Trust insists that she uses a generic address. It stops people being heard.
  • Investigations need to be independent, not be controlled by SH.
  • Investigators need legal training, have a good understanding, and be confident enough to ask for anything.
  • She claimed to have watched ward staff persuading inpatients not to make a complaint with such statements as, “Oh you don’t want to make a complaint, so you dear?”
  • Staff need kindness and compassion.
  • Southern Health is a top heavy organisation!

Witnesses:

We commented earlier that, despite witnesses attesting they would tell the truth, there was no means of checking if they were doing so. However, this time the Panel DID know about the discrepancy relating to the Triangle of Care (above) but failed to challenge it.

Do as I say

Again, witnesses made various assertions, which were not evidence based. None appeared to have a grasp of their brief and some gave the impression they didn’t want to be there. We heard some hypocrtical statements – effectively summed up as a large dose of, “Do as I Say (Not as I Do)“³

Put another way, I believe that progress made by Southern Health is not how they sought to characterise it. For example:

 

Dr David Hicks, Non-Executive Director of the Trust claimed that its complaints handling system was, “Very inclusive“, and “Very patient centred.” Dr Hicks described Mr Pascoe’s [Stage 1] report as, “Harrowing reading“, and said the, “Memory” of the patients was a, “Strong implement (sic) to improve things.Read more here→

Dr Hicks, if memories were so harrowing and a strong incentive to improve, why did you:

  1. Not hold the Trust’s Board to account after the then-Chief Executive Officer brutally ended co-operation with the families in December 2018?
  2. Not ensure the current CEO re-engaged with them?
  3. Take an exclusive and non-complainant centred approach when commissioning an investigation yourself?  

Paula Hull, made assertions that CRASH does not recognise from personal experience. Some of our questions remain unanswered after almost 10 years, despite a reminder being recorded at a post-2016 Board Meeting.

She emphasised the importance of TORs for investigations being agreed with complainants. CRASH knows that the Trust is prone not to do so – especially if the complaint relates to senior leaders. She also claimed that, when complainants disagree, they can add comments to investigation reports. That’s news to CRASH too.

Dr Susie Carmen, Consultant Psychiatrist said there had since been a, “Genuine culture shift from the top of the organisation” and asserted that it was normally new and junior consultants, who don’t get things right on family involvement. The families of Ellie Brabant, Joey Duarte, Luke Keen would disagree. Another bereaved family member disagreed too:

“It is indefensible that she blames the lack of liaison with families on new psychiatrists who may not know the guidance properly, especially given her educational role at the Trust. The fact is that psychiatrists should know what their responsibilities are and what the guidance states before they commence their work with vulnerable people and their families – we shuold not be scape-goats for these failings whatever their cause.” 

And by no means could Ellie, Joey or Luke’s Consultants could be considered junior.

Truth Commission – as well as the families’ pleas for a genuinely independent inquiry, perhaps a Truth Commission is required too.

In Memoriam.

Jo Deering 1 

Jo Deering, a much-loved lady lost too early, and whose family still await justice after almost 10 years.    

 

© Dr Maureen Rickman

 

 

Footnotes:

¹ Crown Prosecution Service, Charging Standards for Public Justice Offences.

² Ditto – Misconduct in Public Office

³ Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisyby Peter Schweizer  

Basil Fawlty?

Time to Fact Check Dispel Rumors Find Truth Clock 3d Illustration

We planned to fact-check Mr Nigel Pascoe QC’s Stage 1 report, having found a glaring error. However, it has become more important to fact-check the process for Stage 2, which is fast becoming Fawlty-esque. So, we will update the story with news links; correct the error in the Stage 1 report; and finally fact-check the procedures for Stage 2.

‘Nursing Times’CNO replaced as senior responsible officer in Southern Health inquiry

Another courageous report on Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May – now standing down as Senior Responsible Officer (“SRO”) for Stage 2. Did thIs follow the robust criticism in the ‘Nursing Times’ first report? Surely not!  Free access to the Nursing Times here→

‘Daily Echo’ – ‘Bereaved families ‘lost trust’ in NHS

Valerie Walsh – a Southern Heath employee compares her treatment for mental health with her stay in an acute hosital. Her Tweets from 17 September to 3 October 2020 are telling. We met Val in 2016, just after she resigned from Southern Health to protect health – yet she still had the dedication to rejoin. Read more here→ and here→.

Pascoe Stage 1 Report – Fact Check – The Triangle of Care

On p.175 of the Report, Southern Heatlh NHS Foundation Trust claims:

“Triangle of Care, a national initiative, launched in 2010 by the Carers Trust for mental health and inpatient services was re-launched in Adult Mental Health services (2018).”

This is wrong: CRASH questioned the Trust’s use of the Triangle of Care logo in November 2019. On 17 November 2019, a senior official from Carers’ Trust replied:

“I have looked into the issue you raised and I can confirm that Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust have applied to become a member of the Triangle of Care community.  They are currently undertaking level 1 which is focused on inpatient services. They have until mid-July  2020 to complete this phase which will then be reviewed by a team who have gone through the process and are outside of the South West to ensure independence.  The review team will include a carer. If they are successful they can go to level 2 which focuses on community and crisis services.

“I have also been in touch with the Trust and asked them to take out the two stars from the Triangle of Care logo which they have done. They have apologised and assured me this was a genuine mistake by the person who put it on the website because they had insufficient knowledge of the scheme.”

So the Trust told the Panel that the scheme had been re-launched in 2018 but one year later the Trust had not been approved; was misusing the logo; and had up to another 6 months to complete the approval process. I believe that the ‘re-‘ in ‘re-launch’ is misleading per se

It is interesting to note the Trust’s excuse that it was a, “Genuine mistake.” In November 2019, Mr Pascoe’s Stage 1 Report was still in draft form. There cannot be two, “Genuine mistakes” so Trust Board Members could have rectified this ‘mistake’. 

Stage 2 – Fact Check  

It is evident that even the procedures for Stage 2 have not been fact-checked. For example:

1. When a potential witness asked the new SRO Aidan Fowler for a copy of the Mental Health Act 2005, which was quoted in the papers, he supplied a link to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The Mental Health Act 2005 does not exist. Might this error result from his ‘trade’ – a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon? At least, if stress from this process causes anyone to suffer severe haemorrhoids and constipation, perhaps he can help!  

2. In ‘The Daily Echo’ on 12 February, Medical Director Dr Karl Marlowe is quoted: 

“We encourage anybody who wants to share their experience to contact the Panel directly.”

Funny that – the deadline was 10a.m. on 11 February!

3.  Originally, those meeting the 11 February deadline were to be informed on 12 February if the Panel required a full written with statement and evidence. Then, witnesses would have until 17 February (two working) days to submit it. However, on 12 February, we learned that the deadline had been extended until 4pm on 22 February!

Great, you might think! However, how many potential witnesses didn’t register originally knowing believing they would have only two working days to submit full statements and evidence. The fragrant Ruth ‘Stay Home This Easter’ May was aware of concerns about unrealistic timescales months ago.

4. There is a mystery over the status of the new SRO, Aidan Fowler, too. Whilst using NHS notepaper for this purpose: 

“Since March 2020 he has been on secondment to the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty” [source: gov.uk]

Of course, Professor Whitty is currently committed to COVID-19, aided by his three Deputy Chief Medical Officers, two of whom we have seen at Number 10 Briefings – the ever-impressive Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, along with Dr Jenny Harries. Whilst Aidan Fowler, who clearly is engaged in Covid work too – even writing articles for the press and being named on Professor Whitty’s profile.

nhs-england-for-website

Who should be more concerned?

The public for the risk of distracting a Deputy CMO from Covid or the bereaved families for the risk of Covid distracting the SRO?

More on Mr Basil Aidan Fowler to come.

  

Lockdown Well-Being

YogaImage via Unsplash

Guest Post By: Stephanie Haywood – My Life Boost

How to Stay Healthy During the COVID-19

While you’re doing your part to stay inside and limit social contact during the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t take long for cabin fever to start setting in. Starting a home workout regimen is one of the best ways to give your day structure and stay fit and healthy. You can also meet your health goals by cooking delicious meals at home and making time for self-care. Read on to learn about some helpful resources.

Appealing young lady in light blue outfit sitting in tragic postureMaking and Using a Home Workout Space

Even though you’re at home, there are still tons of workout possibilities. Whatever your choice of workouts, make sure to build out your home gym according to your needs.

Further useful guidance at:

 

 

  1. The Best Home Gym Accessories
  2. 6 Warmup Exercises to Help Boost Your Workout
  3. The High-Intensity Cardio Workout You Can Do in Your Living Room
  4. Planning Your At-Home Dumbbell Weight Training Program
  5. 8 Cool Down Exercises That Can Make Your Workout More Effective

Practicing Self-Care at Home

Along with establishing a fitness routine, self-care is essential during the pandemic. Look to eat nutritious meals and find new ways to relax. Further useful guidance at:

  1. A Short Self-Care Yoga Practice for Busy Days
  2. 3 Reasons Why Cooking Can Be a Form of Self-Care
  3. 7 No-Fuss, Self-Care Foods You Can Make to Cozy Up
  4. The Best Meal Delivery Services
  5. House Cleansing: A Checklist for Clearing Bad Energy from Your Home
  6. 15 DIY Self-Care Ideas Using Essential Oils
  7. How to Make Your Bubble Bath the Most Relaxing
  8. 7 Foods That Help Fight Depression and Anxiety

Yoga Silhouette Background

Even when your yoga studio or gym is closed and you can’t do your normal routines out in the community, you can still prioritize your health and wellness at home. By setting yourself up for home fitness and carving out time for self-care, you can make it through COVID-19 in better spirits and stay healthy.

 

Stephanie Haywood – My Life Boost

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: How to safely return to exercise after COVID-19

Problems can appear when people push too hard on a body that’s trying to recover from illness: it warrants extra caution so that patients don’t hurt themselves as they’re eager to resume a healthy, active lifestyle. If in doubt please seek medical advice.

Doctors have warned that, even after a mild case of coronavirus, many COVID-19 survivors trying to get back to their exercise routine will discover a body that’s changed long after their initial symptoms have come and gone. Read more here→

Substantial Meal?

 

scotch-egg-runny-yolk-cut-half-wooden-board-52568825

Three month’s since our last post – so much has been happening at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust that the moment we were ready to write a new one, something else cropped up. So, for a change, we’re going to poke some fun at the government.

This week alone, we’ve heard lots of stories about, “Substantial meals.”

Environment Secretary George Eustice said a Scotch egg, “Would probably count.”

Yesterday, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove said:

“As far as I am concerned it’s probably a starter, but the broader, more serious point we need to establish is there are reasonable rules which are there to keep us all safe.

“It’s a definition in law that has existed for years now, if I wanted to take my 16-year-old son or 17-year-old daughter out to the pub, I can buy them an alcoholic drink provided it’s with a substantial meal. “Well it’s [a substantial meal] been defined in law for years now. The law was passed long before I became an MP.”

“My own preference when it comes to a substantial meal might be more than a scotch egg, but that’s because I am a hearty trencherman, “The serious point is the pubs have known for years now what a substantial meal is… I think you are being unfair on the hospitality sector.”

Mr Gove was right to say that a substantial meal had been defined in law before he became an MP in 2005. I wonder why the government’s legal army didn’t brief Ministers properly. Perhaps Sir Humphrey Appleton QC thinks he’s too important to read the Law Society Gazette, which ran an article on the subject as recently as 13 October 2020! 

The definition is to be found, not in formal legislation, but in common law.

The story behind Timmis v Millman (1965) 109 SJ 31 goes that two men were in a hotel bar at 11.30pm consuming alcohol outside permitted hours (but within the supper hour extension of the time). Lord Chief Justice, Lord Parker found that the sandwiches the pair were eating:

“Were so substantial, and assisted by the pickles and beetroot so as to justify that it was a table meal and not a mere snack from the bar”.

This followed the case of Soloman v Green (1955) 119 JP 289, where sandwiches and sausages on sticks were found to amount to a meal.

Read more on the website of Trinity Chambers, where specialist barrister Charles Holland, who first tweeted about on the subject, is a tenant:

So it seems that a Scotch egg alone is NOT a substantive meal but it might be if accompanied by a decent sandwich and a few extras.

ploughman's lunch on a white plate, top view

 

This is what we call a substantial meal!

Toast, cheddar cheese, apple, scotch eggs, sliced head cheese, tomatoes, spinach, hot mustard, pickled onion – a traditional ploughman’s lunch.

 

I’m not sure if this is any clearer but this is the law unless/until another case comes to Court – if anyone is foolish enough to incur substantial legal expenses! Of course, there could be many fools in Government – and they’d be using our money not their own!

Girl with bunny ears with ostrich egg on a colored background.

 

And finally, although we don’t want to make a meal of it (sorry), is a Scotch egg made from an Ostrich egg¹ a substantial meal?

 

 

 

Dido1 001

 

Or the egg of the Dodo bird?²

 

Private Eye

 

Footnotes:

¹ Ostrich eggs are the largest of all eggs – on average they are 15.9 in. long, 5.1 in. wide, and weigh 3.1 lb, over 20 times the weight of a chicken’s egg

² The size and shape of Dodo eggs are unknown.

Covid-19

airplane taking off icon

 

Although this blog relates to mental health, Coronavirus (Covid-19) affects us all.

Whilst we profess no medical expertise, there is a wealth of information available. Therefore, we quote reliable sources in an attempt to clarify certain issues. This World Health Organisation chart compares the symptoms of Coronavirus, Cold & Flu.

89791403_10157190557311593_4340322756236148736_nNB: symptoms vary between individuals, so the WHO’s ‘rough guide’ is no substitute for a full examination and diagnosis by a medical professional.

Realities

  1.  Don’t be confused by use of ‘coronavirus’ and ‘COVID-19’. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
  2. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, although it can be more severe for others.
  3. Wash your hands frequently; regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Read more ‘common sense’ precautions here.

Two people bowing and greeting each other before business meeting4. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.

5. With advisories about personal contact, is the Thai Wai not the most civilised greeting?

 

Myths

  1. Antibiotics work against viruses. NO – they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. They should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
  2.  COVID-19 is more deadly than SARS. NOSARS was more deadly but much less infectious. There have been no outbreaks of SARS in the world since 2003.
  3. I must wear a facemask. NO if you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill, you are wasting a mask. Disposable face masks can only be used once.
  4. It is simple to use a facemask. NO there are recognised protocols for when to use a facemask; how to put on, use, take off and dispose of masks. Click here for details.

There are more myth-busters here→.

“Don’t panic” [Corporal Jones, Dad’s Army]

We now turn to consequences, which bring out the worst in human behaviour.

blue-3

 

At a supermarket yesterday, we thought W.W. III had started!  And there is no logic to the items being stock-piled. Vast empty shelves for loo-rolls (despite diarrhoea being only a rare symptom) but plentiful tissues (critical to safeguarding others from getting sick) .

 

 

20314344 - dog with a bag of cold water on his head

 

Golden Labrador pups must be having a world of fun in some households until they get sick. (Other brands are available!) 

 

 

“The pits of the world! Vultures! Trash!” [John Mcenroe]

We have seen women flighting over loo-rolls in a Sydney supermarket but here are two true stories of people in UK, who really are ‘reaching for the bottom’ [pun intended].

Smiling male doctor and nurse with guns isolated on white

One of our nieces is a senior hospital nurse: visitors/patients are stealing full hand-gel dispensers .

She talks of having an armed-guard when next receiving a delivery.

 

 

Very_Angry_Emoji

Our supermarket has two boxes for customers to gift items to foodbanks and vulnerable people generally. A kind-hearted person left some loo-rolls – only for another customer to nick them!

 

 

Girl Plumb Dirty Toilet

 

NO WORDS – and no punishment – she’d nick the loo-rolls!

 

 

 

¹ There has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong.

Truly deplorable and unacceptable saga

These are the words of Nigel Pascoe QC in the Pascoe Report on Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which is available here→.

Legs of a snowboarder stuck in snow

An upside down, head in the sand snow management structure is illustrated here too.

Our previous post is relevant to the Pascoe Report too. Crucially, Mr Pascoe concludes:

“The long and complex process of the review of this Final Report has brought home to me just how wide the gulf still is between the family members and the Trust. I have sought to express a fair and balanced independent view, whilst continuing to receive sharply opposed submissions. The reality is that deep distrust remains. It is no part of this Report to assess the degree of reputational damage that this Trust has sustained by their actions and failures towards these families. But I retain the hope that an independent limited Public Investigation at least has the potential to change the narrative of a very troubled story.”

In short, Mr Pascoe recommends a two-stage Public Investigation – the first into the death of one patient and the second effectively an investigation into the Trust’s current performance in limited respects. 

Unfortunately, it appears Southern Health’s CEO, Dr Nick Broughton still does not get it (or does not want to get it). He continues to offend bereaved families by implying that, as these are historical cases, he bears no responsibility for the anxiety and stress caused, i.e. a ‘not me guv’ approach.

This was demonstrated when, at the instigation of a bereaved mother, the Portsmouth News changed its article on the Pascoe Report to add to the mother’s comments. 

“Dr Broughton had a real opportunity to resolve our cases but for whatever reason chose another route. His distancing himself from the Trust’s failures to investigate is offensive.”

CRASH’s opinion about Dr Broughton’s sanctimonious and insensitive comments on BBC South Today and in the social and printed media is:

“The bereaved families and I are already concerned by Dr Broughton’s attempt to distance himself on the grounds that the original incidents were historical. He showed no recognition that he could have resolved the issues in the last two years without the need for NHS England to commission Mr Pascoe, no doubt at great cost to the taxpayer.

“The Bereaved Family Group was set up originally by the excellent second Interim Chair, Alan Yates. Rather than conclude the process, Dr Broughton chose to put the bereaved families through two more years of unnecessary distress – and of course Mr Pascoe’s work is still ongoing, whilst Dr Broughton goes on to pastures new.”

Reverting to the CQC Report, it has become evident that one claim is fatally flawed – and, worse still, the CQC knew it was fatally flawed:

“The leadership team had engaged proactively with a number of families who had previously not received the appropriate level of care, consideration and investigation into their loved one’s deaths or poor experience of care (under a previous leadership regime).

“Each family worked with a senior member of the trust’s leadership team…. In late 2018, the trust sought the assistance of NHS Improvement to help address the outstanding concerns of five families….”

13163377 - piglets at trough eatingThis is hogwash: Alistair Campbell would be proud it! It is (at best) a half-truth or (at worst) a terminological inexactitude and (more worryingly) the CQC knows it. 

 

Firstly, it implies the Trust willingly, “Sought assistance” from NHSI. In truth, they only did so at the behest of the bereaved families because relationships had broken down.

More seriously, a meeting in December 2018 was a conspiracy between the Trust, NHS England and the CQC to silence the families, not help them. A bereaved father writes:

“Understanding the barriers to progress to be wider health system issues we [his wife, another bereaved father and a supporter] were instrumental in establishing a meeting between Dr Broughton and Ms Hunt of the Trust, Dr Lelliott [CQC] and Professor Kendall of NHSE in December 2018. The stated purpose of the meeting was to explore what these barriers were and attempt to find ways around them. In effect we were committing to continuing to work with the board in our own time and at our expense in order to gain assurance that lessons were being learned and real improvements in service made.

“Sadly, the meeting did not go to plan. We were treated with utter contempt by Professor Kendall and Dr Lelliott and essentially told to go away and mind our own business. Ms Hunt did appeal to us to act as critical friends of the Trust, an offer I personally accepted on the spot, only to be rudely rejected by Dr Broughton. That is where my direct engagement with the Trust ceased [bold added].”

The father submitted evidence to the recent CQC inspection, including a reminder of this event. Yet the CQC still had the audacity to publish, what it knew was false statement.

Duck looking for food in a lake

It shows an upside-down management structure too: the CEO over-rides decisions of the Chair! The Chair cannot control her CEO. This does not characterise what the CQC claims to be a well-led regime.

 

So Dr Broughton continues to add to this, “Very troubled story” – but then he’s already jumped ship. The timeline suggests he first saw a draft of the Pascoe Report in or before November 2019. At the same time, he would have known about the CQC’s over-flattering report. He leaves in May – six months later (possibly a contractual notice period).Nick B

So – November 2019, a good time to apply for another job, Nick!

Surely not.

 

Mouth one way, belly ‘nother way

Uluru

Old Australian Aboriginal description of a hypocrite:

Mouth one way, belly ‘nother way.

SH Notice2

 

 

 

Which brings us to a sign spotted at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s HQ recently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This from a Trust:

  • Whose Chair is accused of intimidating a patient’s representative at a Council of Governors meeting to the extent that the patient felt too intimidated to stay to ask an important question relating to his ‘care’. Read more→
  • Whose CEO is accused inter alia, of damaging patients’ health and discrimination under section 1 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended).

SH Notice1

 

How can Southern Health staff be expected change the way they think and act about mental health if their Chair and CEO set such a great example!

 

Dormitory Wards

 

Another of Southern Health’s dark secrets was revealed recently. It is 14th in a list of English mental health Trusts with highest number of dormitory wards and beds. Details→¹

Lunatic Asylums come to mind!

 

And, in respect of out of area placements (“OAPs”), where families have to travel afar to visit their loved ones, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust was exposed recently as 7th on the list of mental health Trust having the highest number of inappropriate OAP’s². Whilst these are ‘inappropriate’, the definition of an OAP is:

“The patient is being admitted to an inpatient unit with another provider.”  

This reflects the fact that, whereas inappropriate OAPs affect patients and their families, all OAPs have financial implications. Southern Health admitted: 

“The £1.1m deficit remains broadly the same as the previous month and
continues to be attributed mainly to out of area placements.”

It appears that Southern Health is massaging OAP figures by excluding contracted beds with Solent NHS Trust (6) and The Priory Southampton (10) from OAP figures because, “These beds are within our catchment area…” What part of HM Government’s ‘Out of area placements decision tree‘ does Southern Health directors not understand.

Whilst it is great for patents and families to have OAPs within Southern Health’s catchment area (especially those lucky enough to be admitted to The Priory), the affect on the Trust’s deficit remains. 

To adapt a well-known adage attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, in our opinion:

“Southern Health is an organised hypocrisy.”

And, for balance, patients can be guilty of hypocrisy too. I suspect the person who returned £250.00+ of medication to a local pharmacist claims the NHS is underfunded.

Wasted Scrips

 

In 2017-18, there were 11,619 community pharmacists in England.³

11, 619 x £250 = £2.9 million 

 

 

And that’s just one patient at one pharmacy. Apparently, a significant percentage arises from patients’ ticking every box on a Repeat Prescription form rather than tick just the items they need – and GPs do not cross-check diligently

A report by the Department of Health estimates that unused medicines cost the NHS around £300 million every year, with an estimated £110 million worth of medicine returned to pharmacies, £90 million worth of unused prescriptions being stored in homes and £50 million worth of medicines disposed of by Care Homes. 

Footnotes:

¹ Source: Health Service Journal

² An inappropriate OAP: when a patient is treated out of their local area. [Media Office, NHS England and NHS Improvement – 26 June 2019]

³ https://www.statista.com/statistics/418071/community-pharmacies-in-england/