Sunday, 7 September 2008

That complaint

I had the "final final" letter from BLPT this week.

The Healthcare commission decreed that they should "highlight any changes in practice to improve service delivery and communicate those". I emailed the Trust indicating the areas of my complaint where they had admitted things were not acceptable and asked them to let me know how procedures had been changed to prevent similar things happening to other users.

The letter declared,
"we will not be responding to the issues raised in your emal as we feel these have already been adequately addressed."

But I should be happy. Because the Trust has "a project plan". Yes, a real plan. With "specific actions and timescales". This will "ensure that charges are implemented." In the CPA documentation (which they have to rewrite as a result of the new guidance on CPA) "we have included an area on the crisis plan which will say who the service user should contact in the event of a crisis or when their CPN is on leave."
Except that wasn't the problem for me.
The problem was that I contacted the appropriate person, the person I have been told to contact, and they told me they couldn't help.

To summarise their letter:
Paragraph 1: We're writing to you because the HCC have told us we've got to. But we haven't really got anything helpful to tell you.
Paragraph 2: We're not going to answer your questions. After all, we've always tried to avoid doing so in the past, so why should we change now?
Paragraph 3: The HCC told us we should tell you what we have changed as a result of your complaint.
Paragraph 4: We haven't changed anything. We've got a plan which will change a few words though. And maybe that plan will be written down and passed on to staff in October. So that's good.
Paragraph 5: Now go away and leave us alone.

I just came across Debacle's post on what seems to be similar letter-writing style by her mental health trust. Do read it. As she says, "This last NHS letter is the latest in a long, long line of fob-offs, excuses, obfuscations, callous disregard".
Couldn't have put it better myself.


marcella said...

I had an interesting experience at a carers' meeting. A fellow carer (who I've known for a while in other spheres of life) told me that before she became a full time carer as her life and career span out of control the in-tray piled up, so whenever she doesn't get a reply to a query she always thinks "the person on the other end is having a nervous breakdown". Seems like our Trust is having a collective one. Is yours?

CalumCarr said...

I know exactly the type of letter you refer to. In Deb's post which you refer to she links to one of my posts here. In this post under NHS Bureaucrats is a small but terrible example of how they appear to answer a question but then, as if by magic, you realise they haven't. BASTARDS!!!!

Deb Acle said...

It helps to precis their 'prose', doesn't it?

Then you see the sheer distorted, contorted spin and nonsense.

I emailed one of these PCT types earlier this year to ask if there was a special mangling English course or module at NHS U that they have to take.

There was no response to that.

But, hey! I've just had an idea for another tack...Oh Yesssssss!

Disillusioned said...

Either that, Marcella, or too many leaving the sinking ship.. there's quite a turnover at the top.
Calum, yes. They are experts at not answering questions. A bit like politicians really.
Deb, I now deliberately leave letters for a day or two and then go back to them. Your idea of precising the prose was very helpful.
It just frustrates me that they keep getting away with it. I mean, it was the HCC who told them to do something - and they go and ignore that too. Mind you, I'm not too convinced of the objectivity of the HCC either.

Deb Acle said...


The fact that they keep getting away with this - with many thousands of patients (or would be patients), strongly suggests that they have the full yet covert support of the gvt.

You have to get expert in interpreting the bureaudoublespeak and then in writing it in very plain, one syllable words. Only then does the lie become obvious.

These people are public servants. It should not have to be this way.

Disillusioned said...

I agree, deb. In my case, all I wanted them to do was to say sorry and to say how they would prevent this happening again. Getting them to say sorry even for some things nearly destroyed me, and I don't think that preventing it from happening again even features on their agenda - it's all about getting Foundation trust status.

Deb Acle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb Acle said...

Good grief, Disillusioned!

"08 September 2008 22:20"

Did I just write that?! Or did you...

(The HC is reported to be disbanding. Like most other gvt 'watchdogs' it rolls over for GoodBoy Treats when any Minister cocks a leg over them.)