Geraldine Johnston began by announcing that she would halt the meeting if no progress were made.
The meeting had been arranged in order to resolve the issues which we had raised in our complaint. However the entire meeting was hijacked for the purpose of transferring Hari's care to the adult hospital. None of the ideas they proposed for Hari's care in that environment were convincing. It is still clear that the risks to Hari, in that environment, cannot be overcome.
I attempted to move the meeting forward, in order to discuss the issue of the undiagnosed problem but the discussion was immediately brought back to the transfer of care. It seems that this very real need for diagnosis was not on their agenda and nor were any of the remaining issues of the complaint.
There was, however, one other item on the agenda.
That item consisted of the threat of Social Services and Adult Protection, if we did not agree to their demands.
We found Anne Berry's attitude on this subject to be intimidating and bullying.
She insisted that she would have to involve the Adult Protection team, whilst claiming that she had asked them to 'hold off' for a week until after this meeting.
'Hold off' from what?
She asked ridiculous questions in accusing tones, like "Who looks after her when you're asleep?"
AHA! So now I'm not allowed to sleep!
Obviously my need to sleep occasionally constitutes deliberate neglect!
She did say that I was the best person to look after Hari - but added in a completely unacceptable tone; "For the moment."
How's that for a veiled threat?
She also claimed that the Healthcare Commission had asked her to refer us to Social Services /Adult Protection. (This claim was repeated in the letter I subsequently received from Geraldine Johnston. )
She also claimed that she was only aware of Hari's existence as the Healthcare Commission had alerted her to the matter. However, entries in Hari's notes confirm that Anne Berry knew about Hari as early as January 31st 2008 and received further correspondence about Hari in April 2008. So these entries prove this claim to be untrue as Anne Berry was clearly aware of Hari's existence before our complaint was sent to the Healthcare Commission.
So, as an 'observer', Anne Berry proved to be quite vociferous; constantly interrupting and at times preventing me from speaking.
More on Anne Berry later!
The meeting was brought to an abrupt halt by Geraldine Johnston.
I was explaining to Liz Crowne that nobody was listening to our concerns about the undiagnosed health problem. I pointed out that, in the past, we had experienced similar problems. I reminded her that we had been forced to wait fourteen years for a diagnosis of Hari's lack of growth, stressing that I had always insisted that there must be a medical reason but that nobody had been prepared to listen.
At this point Geraldine Johnston interrupted and halted the meeting.
I am not entirely sure why she did this.
Was it because, as divisional manager, she found the continued refusal to diagnose the undiagnosed embarrassing?
Was it because what I was saying was too accurate?
Was it because she wanted to ignore the fact that the health trust is directly responsible for the late diagnosis of Hari's lack of growth, and its subsequent effects?
Whatever the answer, Geraldine Johnston had halted the meeting and there was no opportunity for further discussion.