A few years ago, a friend, Gail, recommended her friend’s blog – My Daft Life. The blog started – as most blogs do – as a way of recording random ramblings of a mum – Sara. The focus shifted to ‘transition’ as her son (LB – Laughing Boy) came to the end of his school life and stood on the edge of a huge gap in adult services.
The focus then changed again, it became about the experience of negotiating mental health/learning disability services, as the lack of both meant that LB was admitted to inpatient care.
By this point, regular readers felt as if they knew the family, they felt the exasperation when services messed up, they related to the “If only” frustrations when services didn’t communicate and the absolute disbelief when the absence of common sense became the norm. We also smiled when Sara shared some of LB’s classic lines.
The focus then changed again. LB (Connor Sparrowhawk) was 18 years old when he drowned in the bath in an NHS specialist facility (Slade House Assessment and Treatment Centre run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust) on 4 July last year. He had learning disabilities and epilepsy and should never have been left alone to bathe unsupervised. An independent report has found his death was preventable.
Two months after Connor died in the unit, an unannounced Care Quality Commission inspection found it to be inadequate in all 10 measures of assessment – lessons appear not to have been learned.
You can meet Connor (affectionately referred to as LB in his mum’s blog. LB = Laughing Boy) in a Youtube video his family have put together.
In September last year, Sara wrote about “Accepting the Unacceptable“- it is a post everyone needs to read. I can remember reading the post on a train travelling up to Sheffield and having to retire to the bathroom to sob.
Bringing Us Together is family driven and we would publicly like to offer our support to LB’s family and supporters. We will stand with you and we will not accept the unacceptable.
If you are on Twitter, please follow @justiceforLB, use the hashtag #justiceforlb and if you are on Facebook, you can find their page here.
Bringing Us Together is based on a foundation of “best interests” of families. The death of LB and the actions that have followed are not in the “best interest” of families. We need Justice for LB. Please show your support and don’t let the unacceptable become acceptable.
A Minute on Monday?
We had many plans for our newsletter today but we feel it would be inappropriate to add anything else. We will be back on Monday with our “A minute on Monday?” post giving you the chance to help other parents and practitioners with their unanswered questions. We will also be covering some aspects of the Mental Capacity Act for families.
Mum to three great kids, each with a different SEN.
Transplanted from the NW to the SE.
Co-founder and Director of Bringing Us Together