The Steve Norman “come on and take me to court then” story appears in today’s Evening Cancer.
A couple of passages are worth further analysis:
Police, social services and the watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CSCI) investigated earlier this year after five former care workers at Kingsmead Lodge gave statements on practices that they claimed to have seen at the care home.
Interesting use of the past tense – “investigated’ here. Because if the police have “investigated” and the case is now closed, they haven’t informed any of the original complainants about this.
Whether this is a case of good old-fashioned police incompetence or whether the investigation is, in fact, still ongoing is something that will now be looked at.
The claims that social services have “investigated” are equally confusing. No complainants to Bristol City Council have been informed of the outcome of this “investigation” for starters.
Neither has Bristol City Council published any terms of reference for this “investigation” nor have any complainants been interviewed in the course of this “investigation” and democratic oversight of this “investigation” through either scrutiny commissions or the relevant Executive Member is nowhere to be seen.
In fact it’s hard to locate even one characteristic normally associated with an “investigation” into this affair by Bristol social services.
Then there’s the so-called CSCI “investigation”. Now, this really is bollocks. CSCI are a regulator – with a role similar to OFSTED’s in education. They set national standards and inspect care homes on the basis of those standards. They don’t carry out investigations into individual allegations of abuse in care homes. It’s not their job.
Meanwhile on the substance of Norman’s court challenge the council are simply reduced to waffle:
“Bristol, with other local authorities, follows national ‘Fairer Charging’ guidance in charging for all social services provided. Under the guidelines, all residents in care homes are required to make a financial contribution to the cost of their care, depending on their income. This is subject to a means test to determine what a person can afford to pay.”
So what? Who gives a toss what shitty rules you’re following? The question is: are you going to enforce these rules in court in order that Steve Norman can invite the complainants to give evidence and state the nature of their grievances?
It would certainly be interesting to see if the general public, having heard their complaints, will be as complacent as the authorities seem to be about them.