WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.

Protest, Norwich Job Centre

Protest, Norwich Job Centre
Fatso Gets Militant!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Trust. I wouldn't trust them with a beanbag.

I’ve just sent off my latest PCX (http://www.pcx.nhs.uk/) blog in which I quote Des Curley’s desperate letter to the Lewisham PCT. His letter is an example of just what the NHS is doing to some of the disabled people in the UK and I think its worth posting in full here. On PCX I say, in my opinion this trust should be prosecuted and call for a National Disability Action Group with the resources to carry out such an action.

Here’s Des’ letter (with his permission):

“Dear Gill,

No,  I have not  received the  response into the investigation of the gym issue  from the Trust or PCT which  I was informed by Stuart Bell had been sent to me in October 2007.

You and Mr Bell were aware that I had made a formal complaint but  ignored this once the circumstances and complication of the disciplinary against the Ladywell gym instructor arose and derailed  local resolution in August late 2007.

Not many people are going to stay within a local resolution process that results in  a Trust staff member and day to day manager of a service attempting to harrass and intimidate both them and his manager into not acting on the concerns formally  raised  at the local resolution meeting.

You are fully aware of what those concerns were and that they were valid, legitimate and reasonable.

You and your Joint Commissioner Ms McKie  were also fully aware that this incident occured and that the Ladywell gym instructor Patrick was written up for insubordination by his manager leaving me in an extremely precarious , indeed morally hazzardous, position ref using the service I had been referred to but he continued to manage . All the same, you advised me to go back to the gym to be managed by this individual on his own again.

In addition to this, but almost mirroring the general lack of accountablility and evasiveness I have experienced from the PCT and trust,   you have just completely ignored my request that you acknowledge and deal with how the PCT has handled this matter since August 2007 as a formal complaint and provide me with a copy of your complaints procedures and a timescale for you operating within.

The request is below Gill, would you please formally acknowledge receipt of it as a formal complaint and comply with it as your own procedures require you to do.

I was materially harmed by my Trust's and the PCT's maladministration and actions here , actions completely at odds with the Trust receiving in excess of £1 million to promote physical health and wellbeing and the stated policy of the widely advertised £18 million 'Moving People' scheme .

I went from a position of being referred to a service to address clinical depression, motivational and stamina issues, lack of structure, weightgain  and cardio concerns to being excluded from a service from August to November because of the professional misconduct of a member of Trust staff , circumstances which, understandably and predictably, plunged me into even deeper into depression and also  saw me put on almost two stones , develop breathing difficulties and end up on  prescribed inhalers.

This is not a very positive outcome is it but it can be paper trailed right back to you.

The  PCT and Trust were aware that I had engaged in physical activities such as regularly cycling and walking prior to being referred for official help and support for the reasons stated above in July 2007.

The Trust was also aware that I had helped set up and played  for a 5 a side out of hours  MH football team in the mid 1990's , that I had set up a dog walking service to help combat depression from the Independence Day Centre in Lewisham and through a MH charity I co-founded helped introduce a dance and movement service ran by a qualified Laban trained instructor into another  local day centre in Southwark.

So, I have a history of responsibly managing my own physical activity levels when able to, yet here, the moment I had to rely on local services for help and support I was catastrophically failed  and embroiled in a 4 month long and ongoing bureacratic wrangle caused by the substandard operation of a service your PCT  commissioned and the Trust's inability to manage its own staff to  professional standards.

To date , you have not even bothered to provide an official apology yet over the same time period I have had to endure these official problems your PCT and the Trust have spent public money promoting the value of physical exercise .

I also regard your actions as stigmatising and discriminatory .

Now would you please acknowledge receipt of my formal complaint and place your dealings with me within recognisable professional boundaries that we both understand and ensure I am provided with the service I was referred to.

Lastly, I have copied in other individuals concerned with the growing gulf between what services claim to provide and what they actually deliver .”


des said...

Thanks for posting this.

I should just add here that the Lewisham PCT failed to meet the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights assessment carried out by the Healthcare Commission and that I have now been informed I cannot talk to anyone involved on the Commissioning side at the PCT because I have made a complaint.

In other words, I am now effectively excluded from meaningful consideration as someone my PCT commissions services for.

The Healthcare Commission is supposed to monitor how complainants are treated. thats clearly not being done here as they also view me as the problem for bringing the matter to them as a disability discrimination issue they have no mechanisms for acknowledging let alone dealing with.

The real irony is the staff member whose professional misconduct at the MH gym and local resolution meeting prevented me from using the gym service has received advice and support from my Trust for the last 4 months.

My formal complaint against him, made once I realised I was being viewed as the problem, has not been formally acknowledged and as far as I am aware no complaints have been made about my conduct, I am just expected to accept I cant use a local service I was referred to because I raised issues about the person running it.

No one has denied that I faced disability discrimination, the system simply has no formal mechanisms to acknowledge it when the allegations are made against them.

I am looking for a good disability lawyer. Any ideas?

mandy lifeboats appeal said...

I wonder how many lawyers are prepared to take on cases bought to them by people with mental illness.

Are there lawyers who actually specialise in disability?

I think there should be but should be doesn't mean there are.

Good luck finding one Des and if I hear of a good disability lawyer will pass details on.


The Tough Tenor (when I could walk)!

In a Mellotone

In a Mellotone
Ah sweet Youffff