Prompted by another social worker's question on facebook, I am reflecting on what sees me through and I find a few sentences recently heard echoing in my mind. There is the former GCHQ translator Katharine Gun. Her experience is presented in the film Official Secrets: She did not stop the war in Irak but says she has no regrets, she would do it again 'because 'truth always matters' . There is Judge Claire Gilham who had to take the case for whistle-blower-protection to the Supreme Court after having raised concerns about local working conditions. She says: 'Ethically I have always known my point was right'. There is the late Pakistani Human Rights lawyer Asma Jahangir who said 'of course you are afraid, of course you cry - but that does not mean you stop'. Of course, only the latter was in a position where her life was at risk. And only Katharine Gun was imprisoned when accused of a breach of the Official Secrets Act. - In my personal reflection what matters is that their courage resonates with me through these sentences. A conscientious decision stands. And that's that. Paradoxically, I wonder: Perhaps it helps to be a bit on the introvert and sensitive side...
In my neighbourhood nobody clapped for the NHS but I have read about it. I have also read one ex-Brit's facebook post: "I live in (named EU country) where they praise their health system by funding it." Ouch. Like so many, I was attracted from the mid 1970s (when I first visited; finally moved to the UK in 1994), by a sense of a quite unique sense of liberalism - be it expressed by a posh man rolling up his trouser legs in his lunch break and lounging in Hyde Park between Hippies and others while reading (insert name of news paper) or the more formal 'we just have to agree to disagree'. Certainly not an expression easy to translate either. I am not going to moan about how social media and other influences have sharpened the edges of often black-or-white discussions. What I am reflecting on, today, in my personal life as elsewhere is this: We all still have the ability to keep an open mind - by holding paradoxes. 'And we need it, Both is true' of course, if taken seriously, is a statement that boggles the mind. Once I have broken through the discomfort of isolation, watching too much telly ... the silence of solitude takes me back to the point where I can hold a paradox: Both is true - some of what comes to mind now: The NHS is fantastic - and crippled through self-obstructing managerialism (not just lack of funding in my view). Brits are unique in their willingness to be charitable and volunteer while also far too willing to vote against their social interests and look away from outdated political (and judicial?) practices. I hope to keep breathing the freedom that can be sensed rather than thought, thinking of some of my previous social work clients who taught me so much about living in the midst of paradox.
BBC Radio 4's consumer program today about the funding for terminaly ill patients. had an informative piece (about 4 mins into the show) You may also find of interest: fb page of the company 'care to be different'.
after the legal case I hd to bring after detriment following whistleblowingthat in the NHS - being unrepresented - was decided for highbrow barristers acting for the NHS, and after Jeremy Hunt made a Public Statement in Parliament in June 2018, stating such treatment of NHS whistlblowers could still happen (
.. As a Senior Social Worker, working in a Mental Health Trust in England for a short-term contract several years ago, I had to blow the whistle internally, in a Safeguarding Meeting: A female patient had disclosed to a nurse sexual abuse by her father. The Nurse told me: "This has been presented to (theConsultant) before - but nothing ever happened."
Before the Safeguarding Meeting, I learned from another Consultant that sexual abuse by her father had "long been a suspicion. At one point (the patient) threw herself down a flight of stairs. This was seen by some as due to the fact that the dad was kissing her more in a boyfriend-girlfriend kind of manner. The allegation was put to him, but denied - and Social Services did not take it any further". (The Social Worker at the time has now passed away, and a local DCI have told me last year they have no further lead to investigate).
The patient had, when I met her, fluctuating mental capacity due to a neurological condition and a resulting learning disability. She was not always deemed to be a reliable witness. She was and remained on a cocktail of psychiatric drugs. I am not medically trained, but I wondered out loud how somebody with her condition and the side effects listed for her drugs could ever come to terms with what had happened in her life. The latter consultant threatened me with a 'Management Response' if I disclosed at the Safeguarding Meeting what he had told me.
I spoke at the Safeguarding Meeeting and - left the Trust a few days later - for other reasons. However, I was issued with a kiss-of death-reference by the Matron who had, not only in my view, contaminated evidence in the Safeguarding Matter. I had also inadvertently become witness to a litigious remark by a manager for the Trust. Management were clearly worried I might have disclosed this to patients' families, so they discredited me to third parties. As a result of the reference, I lost income immediately, suffered further loss to my credit-rating and of oportunities and eventually lost use of my business acount - where I had just began to realise my life's mission with a non-profit company. www.beaconsocialcare.org.uk
towards the end of the recent election campaign I wrote an open letter to Jonathan Ashworth, expressing my regret that he felt apparently able to joke with his Con friend about Labour chances (or otherwise) - while he had not felt able to respond to the information I sent him about my detriment sufferend after a Public Interest Disclosure on Patient Safeguarding in a Mental Health Trust near his constituency. I had been well aware that he could not assist as an MP since I am not a constituent, but I feel as a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Whistleblowing he might have found a way to get them to look at the case...
While I am not an alcoholic, I have learned to cherish some of the sense of humour acquired by many with a sense of freedom after quitting. So this is a story that springs to mind: After Pearl Harbour, early AA friends in the US were asked why they were not upset... Reply: We have had our Pearl Harbour some time ago.
In this spirit, I am inclined to say: Feeling insecure...? That's ok..
With any further concerns, if I can help, I will.
please visit my fb page to get impressions and discuss my work, values, focus and views on public affairs through my public posts:
You may say the statement quoted indicates a breach of the Public Interest Disclosure Act and ask: How can there be along drawn-out legal case following? - The tricks remain: Trying to discredit the whistleblower 'for other reasons', find tricks in the barrister's tool box - mmh, an honest person would have doubts about using... and away you go. Throw into the mix that the individual ends up being unrepresented and the Judge does not investigate the facts or the policies in place. And before you know it - the years go by.
email to the BBC (feedback and All In The Mind): ... just before I switched off the radio this am to avoid getting royally annoyed, I heard a royal correspondent (ca 845 on R4) speak (sort of complimentary) of Prince Harry having been mentally ill and seeking treatment.
I can't comment about any condition PH may or may not have suffered from, but in any case I find the language offensive (not only on his behalf). As far as I am aware he had to get over a psychological trauma. Period. As do many.
And: I am pretty sure the treatment he sought was not compulsory medication while being locked up in a NHS psychiatry ward as it would happen to people without funds and connections if they went off the rails. So it might be worth
- clarifying the terminology and discussing psychological treatment available vs outdated medication-only treatment on the NHS. Thank you.