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A Heartfelt Apology From Committee Room 5

June 28, 2015

Urgent Press Release

This week, the council were involved in a High Court case (at much expense to hard working local taxpayers) where a small number of embittered disabled people decided (in their wisdom!) to challenge your committed local authority over a commissioning decision. The case has been reported as “1280 Ps vs Newport Pagnellshire County council”. The council did put forward the case that it was not in the best interests of the 1280 litigants for the case to be in the public domain but the Judge (in her wisdom!) held that there might be a smidgen of interest in her findings.

The case centred on the councils’ well intentioned scheme of relocating 1280 learning disabled residents to Gravesend. New South Wales. Every single one of the 1280 people had their own individual person centred plan, so there was never any suggestion, as their barrister claimed (in his wisdom!) of ” warehousing”. The council always acted in each person’s best interests and remains committed to putting these people at the heart of its decision making process. The judge found that 1280 unlawful deprivations of liberty had occurred as well as several human rights violations. Or as the Judge pithily put it: “It might be quicker to list which articles haven’t been breached”. The council accepts these findings, although we want to be absolutely clear that any minor failings were peripheral to the adequate quality care that the Judge found in 7 of the cases.

This council wishes to put on record that the decision to place 1280 people in a sun drenched assessment and treatment unit was never driven by financial motives. We repeat, never, ever, ever was money involved in our care planning. Block booking of beds, reduction in social work caseloads, savings in personal budget’s, commissioners bonuses were never a factor as the Official Solicitor (for some reason!) claimed. Scurrilously. When the council introduced its innovative carrier pigeon scheme to enable contact with families, it never once considered efficiency savings. Likewise, the council’s partnership contract with Gravesend Pharmaceuticals is neither here nor there and the fact that 1278 people are now on an anti psychotic regime is seen by this council as a healthy therapeutic intervention programme for, let’s face it, a bunch of people you wouldn’t want living next door to you.

As the Judge acknowledged it will be impossible to relocate all 1280 people (with challenging behaviour) back to the UK immediately. This is not because the council has dismantled all of its support services but is a best interest decision on behalf of each one of our valuable stakeholders. Whilst the provider has pulled out of the deal we are pleased to announce that we have secured a holding arrangement with the Wombat & Kangaroo Rehabilitation Sanctuary who, as we speak, are converting 1280 cages into welcoming independent living flatlettes. In the meantime, the council will commence work on an equitable 30 year transition back to England plan. I hope that reassures the families who we remain committed to involving in every step of our plans.

We now feel that it is time to put this miniscule blot on our social care history behind us, learn any lessons that need to be learned and drive forward our service in equitable and integrated ways that are the envy of the entire country.


From → Social Care

  1. Sally permalink

    Mark ! Don’t give them ideas!
    Jesus:,” remain committed to”.., “passionate about upholding the highest standards of “…
    Again and again. Which PR idiot believes that a statement of intent replaces what is actually done ? That we will fall for it ? (“Ah, I thought you had cut my child’s support services. I now see you are committed to helping him achieve his potential. My mistake !”)
    They say this with no sense of the absurd. Imagine Dr Crippen: “I remain committed to , indeed passionate about my wife’s well being.”

    Mark you forgot to mention that the Wombat rehab place will be expensive and that the service users, seen here camping in various sandy burrows, will need to either meet the funding criteria (available to all service users who have climbed Everest In the last year) or have all their assests, and the shirts off their backs sold to fund it.

    I remember being in a meeting in which the head of local speech therapy explained that my son’s speech therapy was to be slashed from a weekly session to the “top tier” of speech therapy provision. This was six sessions . A year. Sending a letter of advice counted as a session.
    “I do want to empathise” she said, leaning forward empathically, “that this is NOT about funding”. A single ,involuntary ,shout of “HA !” shot out of me. She is now head of all clinical services and hates my guts as a result of my rudeness that day.

  2. James Barrett permalink

    I have noticed that there are two key phrases to particularly beware. One is ‘remain committed to’, which means ‘we used to do this; we accept that we should do this; we are not actually doing this.’ Another is ‘moving towards’, which means ‘We have never done this; we accept that we should now be doing this; we’re not actually doing this.’

    Perhaps Gravesend NSW will end up subcontracting their facilities for their new residents to those residencies offered by the Australian Government to asylum seekers, in even more sun-drenched Papua New Guinea ?

    These people are always ‘moving forwards’ and ‘learning lessons’ – indeed, whenever there are a set of damning finding and a slew of recommendations it’s always claimed that a number of the recommendations (never a specified and detailed number) are already in place anyway.

    I look forward to the day when the next scandal has an adroit journalist interviewing the patients/families/survivors first and those poor people saying that doubtless there will be the usual Carespeak guff about learning lessons and moving forwards etc. and then the same journalist interviewing the Authority/Institution involved, only for that Authority/Institution to proceed to spout forth exactly the predicted stream of Carespeak.

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