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.
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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.
Today I have filed a complaint with the European Commission as I see a breach of Art 6.1 HRA and Art 47 FREU - the latter guarantees an effective remedy for injustice suffered, the former a fair trial where needed - including 'equality of arms.
Today, let's start with how it all began:
While a Safeguarding Meeting for a female patient (in a mental health unit where I sas locum social worker at the time) was being prepared (Jan 2011: I was told in the presence of witnesses by a Senior Consultant a) “This (the allegation of sexual abuse of one of the Trust’s patients by her father) has long been a suspicion. At one point (the patient) threw herself down a flight of stairs. This was seen (sic) by some as due to the fact that (the father) was kissing her more in a boyfriend-girlfriend kind of manner. The allegation was put to him but denied and the Social Worker did not take it any further.” b) After I had indicated that this information would have to be part of the Safeguarding Meeting, the I was told, indicating a clear breach of the Public Interest Disclosure Act – PIDA -): “If you disclose (any of this) - there will be a Management Response.”
Published online, I read in the Nowrwich Evening News from Feb 9, 2018 about the suicide of a young man after failing to get mental health services. I only know about the case what I read there. Given that Sir Robert Francis QC's comment from the MidStaffs Enquiry still echoes in my mind, I am shocked but not all that surprised - "A culture has allowed to develop that puts the self-protection of the organisation over patient care..."
While working as a Locum Social Worker in England, I have more than once observed how even reasonably compassionate colleagues when the client did not respond to what was offered them reverted to blaming the client for being attention-seeking or worse. And more than once, after listening to difficult clients' concerns rather than their diagnosis, I have been able to offer simple real-life support for what they needed - assistance for the person to be able to help themselves. (Often they found useful the free online material published by teh Australian Centre for Clinical Interventions - their Consumer Handbooks).
So what shocks me here most is how client and algorithm-trained staff remained locked in a futile vicious circle of expectations. Ultimately, I see at the heart the expectation that the medical model of diagnosing and medicating can solve real-life problems people want to fix (as the father in this case says his late son was very keen to do even!)
It is the culture that needs to change. Psychiatry-survivors such as the Hearing Voces Network are already presenting key aspects of what is needed - taking the real concerns people live with and present seriously. From theere the process starts to see deeply and clearly.
Mostly due to demands on my time from a longstanding social justice/expert witness matter, I find myself not quite in the frame of mind to maintain regular blog entries, it appears. However, if you'd like to read some of my views, why don't you check out my public posts here: https://www.facebook.com/barbara.schaefer.984
- send me a messaga and we may be able to connect that way. Thank you.