The obvious way forward after Hari's eviction was to write formal complaint to the health trust.
We considered all the relevant points carefully and submitted our complaint to the Chief Executive of the trust, Graham Rich.
In April 2008 we received his reply.
Now the purpose of most complaints is to bring to the attention of those in charge, the failings of their organisation - in the hope that they will realise their errors and initiate corrective procedures, enabling an improved service to be offered to all.
Well that's the theory anyway!
In practice this is rarely the result.
The response from the health trust was, as expected, based on the 'oh dear - we couldn't possibly have done anything wrong' theme. The major part of the five page response consisted of a synopsis of Hari's more recent medical history, plus a summary of the events surrounding the January admission and eviction. This was littered with inaccuracies - too numerous to mention here! There was no attempt to resolve the issues we had raised but more importantly, there was no offer to arrange investigation and diagnosis of Hari's ongoing health problem.
Noticeably there was further mention of theMental Capacity Act; clearly this act is central to the plan!
Interestingly enough, prior to the Mental Capacity Act coming into force, there seemed to be no real hurry with regards to transferring Hari's care out of paediatrics. We had been led to believe that whilst her endocrine care could transfer to an adult clinic gradually, her inpatient care, when needed, would remain within paediatrics. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force in October 2007 and almost immediately we received an unexpected phone call from a specialist nurse at the children's hospital. She was asking us to view a ward in the adult hospital at the next outpatient appointment, with regard to transferring Hari's inpatient care - how strange is that?
I've said it before and I'll say it again!The Mental Capacity Act does NOT apply to Hari as she does not lack capacity under the terms of the act. Any attempt to use the MCA in regard to Hari is clearly an abuse of the act itself!
The letter, naturally, contained yet another false allegation against me. Graham Rich asserted that I was verbally hostile to the ward staff on the evening of Hari's discharge. I am happy to refute this allegation and cite, in my support, an entry in Hari's notes, written by a nurse, which confirms that I was joking with her!
There is also reference to me being 'unable to accept the Acute Team's management plan or the advice of the Paediatric Dieticians.
'Now then - what part of 'the nutritional feeds result in the worsening of symptoms and pain' did he not understand?
Pity the poor dieticians - without a diagnosis for this problem they cannot be expected to advise accurately; the information available to them prevents them from making appropriate recommendations.
Don't pity the acute team! They were the ones refusing to investigate and diagnose the problem. So they were the ones preventing the dieticians from obtaining the relevant information. Relevant information which they needed in order to advise accurately and appropriately - taking account of ALL Hari's needs.
So there had been no real attempt, in the response, to resolve any of the issues; Hari remained without appropriate, adequate or safe health care and she still had no prospect of a diagnosis.
Of course we could have asked for a meeting or a further written response but after considering our options carefully, we realised that the only sensible way forward was to refer the complaint on to the Healthcare Commission.
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