The Oxfordshire Transforming Care Plan for people with learning disabilities and their families. My Life My Choice report on what was discussed at a recent workshop, click here: www.mylifemychoice.org.uk/how-are-we-transforming-care-in-oxfordshire/
Oxfordshire County Council is carrying out a review of daytime support for people aged over 18 in Oxfordshire.
Details of the review are on Oxfordshire County Council’s website:https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/review-daytime-support
The review focuses on understanding the needs of vulnerable people for daytime support and is looking at the wide range of services and support provided; this is not restricted to services that are commissioned or provided by the council. The people you support may be using a range of alternatives to these services to meet their needs, and we want to ensure their views are also included.
People with daytime support needs and carer engagement
Oxfordshire County Council daytime support services and contracted providers of daytime support are running focus groups with people who use their services and carers to explore what daytime support means to them, what they need from this support and their ideas about future provision.
If you would also be willing to run a focus group, please get in touch and we can provide information and advice/support to help you to do this.
We will also be running three workshops, for carers, people who are unable to take part in a focus group and people who use daytime support not funded or provided by the council. They are also aimed at other organisations who may want to contribute to the review, including from volunteer and faith and community groups. This includes up to two representatives from your organisation.
Attached are posters to promote these workshops.
We are looking for around 15 volunteers to join our Daytime Support Review Working Group. Our aim is for this to be made up of people with a wide range of daytime support needs and their carers. This group will meet in June and July to help us to shape what daytime support might look like in the future. Please let people know about this opportunity and encourage them to get in touch with us if they would like to be part of this group.
People who are unable to attend a focus group or workshop and who would like to be involved can contact the review team by email, telephone or fill in our online form. We will make sure everybody has an opportunity to have their say as part of the formal consultation later this year.
To get in touch with the team about these opportunities, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01865 323624.
More information about the review is available at: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/daytimesupport. We will keep this page updated as the review progresses.
Families tired of hearing that “lessons have been learned”
Response to The Mazars Report into Southern Health NHS Trust by Oxfordshire Family Support Network
Firstly and most importantly, we wish to say that our thoughts are with all those families whose relatives have died unexpectedly and in unexplained circumstances whilst in the care of Southern Health NHS Trust. The impact of the Mazars report on these families should not be underestimated and this report will have no doubt added to their grief, as it must raise so many questions about their loved ones and how they died. We also fully support the recommendations of the report.
Our comments on the report as follows:
- We are deeply shocked to learn that only 1% of all deaths (expected and unexpected) of people using learning disability services, provided by Southern Health were investigated. The report also raises many other serious questions.
- We have great concerns about the large percentage of families who still do not fully understand why their relatives died.
- We are angry at the total lack of regard for their feelings and lack of family involvement. How can families have any confidence that their relatives’ deaths were not of a result of neglect or were indeed preventable as was the case with Connor Sparrowhawk?
- We recognise that many families who currently use Southern Health services will also be seeking reassurances that their relatives are safe and this will be a deeply worrying time for them.
- This report focused on Southern Health NHS Trust. It is a deep concern that there may be the same issues in other trusts. It is clear that the data simply is not there for anyone to be confident to know what has really been happening to people with learning disabilities.
- We welcome the fact that the Mazars report recognises that deaths occurred in community-based settings as well as in hospitals. However, the scope of the report was limited, in that it did not look at the clinical history of individuals before they died. Nor did it look at other contributory factors such as the quality of support they received, staffing levels, funding, housing etc. We feel strongly that this needs to be addressed in future investigations or enquiries.
We think the following should happen:
- There needs to be real clarity about who should be responsible for investigating any death.
- Given the number of agencies often involved in an individual’s life, those responsible for these investigations need to have a clear and full picture of that person’s life and what led to their death. We know that there often a number of interacting factors and these need to be looked at in order to prevent such things happening again. For example, the CIPOLD report demonstrated that many unexpected deaths frequently showed that factors such as epilepsy and problems with swallowing placed people at greater risk of premature death.
- Families need very clear information about who they should contact if they have concerns about their relatives’ care and need to be actively listened to and involved as a right.
- Where there has been an unexpected death, wherever this took place, families should have access to independent advocacy, support, funded legal advice and legal representation. They should also be fully involved in the independent investigation as a right.
- We need clarity about who investigates and who decides the death of a person warrants an investigation. It is not enough that investigations are an internal decision and conducted internally. There needs be external scrutiny of a trust’s decisions to investigate any unexpected death. This scrutiny should involve people with learning disabilities and their families.
- If someone dies in police custody, or in prison, there is an automatic right to an independent investigation through the Independent Police Complaints Commission. We recommend that the same right to an independent investigation should be given to people with a learning disability where a death is unexpected.
- Whilst we welcome the steps The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt is taking to involve the CQC in investigating Southern Health services further, we request that individual cases are looked into so that relatives of those who died unexpectedly know exactly why and how they died.
Finally, we question the competence of the current Board of Southern Health NHS Trust and its CEO. They have consistently failed to make improvements in the past, while frequently stating that they have changed their processes and policies. We have no confidence in their ability to make the required changes in their practice and culture to keep people safe. Families are tired of phrases like “lessons learned”- they are meaningless unless real change is implemented quickly. Therefore, we call upon Monitor to put Southern Health NHS Trust into special measures as a matter of urgency. The public need the reassurance that the services they or their relatives use at the Trust are safe NOW!
*Notes to the Editor
Oxfordshire Family Support Network (OxFSN) is a registered charity run by and for family carers of people with learning disabilities – both children and adults.
We were set up in 2007 by family carers who wanted to use their experience to help others in the same situation, based on our belief that family carers are experts by experience.
We are managed by a board of trustees, the majority of whom are family carers of people with learning disabilities.
The Dignity in Care Campaign (supported by the National Dignity Council) aims to put dignity and respect at the heart of UK care services. For further information see the:
Oxfordshire Family Support Network (OxFSN) – works with the families of people with learning disabilities – and supports the ‘Enough is Enough‘ campaign:
An unprecedented alliance of voluntary sector organisations and care providers is today launching a campaign calling on Oxfordshire County Council to reconsider its 95 Budget Options currently out for consultation.
The coalition, which includes leading voluntary sector services, information and advice services, and registered care providers, is a coalition, which is voicing concerns about proposals to save a further £50m from Oxfordshire County Council’s budgets on top of year-on-year cuts.
In 95 days’ time from today, Oxfordshire County Council’s Full Cabinet will meet to decide whether the 95 Budget Options totalling £52.6m, will be voted through. Before then, a reduction in the Local Government Settlement will be determined. Both decisions, if made as expected, will risk causing serious harm to the wellbeing of Oxfordshire’s vulnerable residents.
The Enough is Enough alliance says that the 95 Budget Options will affect local vulnerable and elderly people in a cumulative and wide-ranging way; from the wider impact of the removal of funding for subsidised buses to the specific halting of funding for exceptionally high-quality and effective voluntary sector service providers, without whom it is simply not possible to provide social care locally.
A vulnerable person may be someone who has a life-long condition from birth, or one which has crept up over a period of months or years, or a life-changing accident which makes yesterday so much different to today or tomorrow. It could be you or me. All of these issues have a ripple effect breaking on family, friends and our Oxfordshire communities.
We say Enough is Enough. The Budget Options are unacceptable and economically perverse. If applied they will be hugely damaging to the long-term health of NHS provision and cause a crisis in social care and our communities. We will publish updates through to 26 January when Cabinet make their decision and to 16 February, 95 days from today, when Full Cabinet has the final vote on these proposals.
We encourage and urge, residents of Oxfordshire to register your comments and concerns through the Council’s Consultation. ”
Follow the links to read and comment on Oxfordshire County Council’s proposed budget cuts to:
***Press release*** information see: Enough is Enough media contacts
Local residents may like to use these sample letter templates to write to their local MP and/or local Councillor.
Click to download: