From Little Acorns

One of the strangest things for me about writing a blog (perhaps because I’m still fairly new to it) is that while it almost feels as if I’m writing a letter, you have no idea who you’re sending that letter to.

Someone asked me recently if I have someone in my mind when I’m writing, who the “typical reader” of my blog is and the answer is no. From the feedback I’ve received I’ve realised that they are all sorts of people. Yes, some of them are involved in disability in some way, but a lot aren’t. In fact I find the variety of my reader base fascinating and it keeps me on my toes, stops me from being complacent. It reminds me that I can’t get away with just writing letters to myself!

In spite of this I have never really imagined that anyone with any degree of “power” would be reading my blog. To put it bluntly, I thought they had better things to do. But apparently, someone, somewhere who has the power to make change for the better is reading my blog. I think that is excellent news.

On Friday 21 August I wrote “Holes in the Net” https://justicefornico.org/2015/08/21/a-week-of-blogs-holes-in-the-net/ and on Monday 24 August I received an invitation from the CQC to meet with them. More correctly I received an email from Andrea Sutcliffe’s PA, (Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care) inviting me to meet with Andrea Sutcliffe and the CQC’s Head of Policy Frances Smethurst.

“Well, blow me down, I didn’t see that one coming” is what I thought (feel free to slightly adjust that statement so it uses language more typical to me if you prefer).

Andrea Sutcliffe is a very busy woman. Unsurprisingly. She therefore can’t meet me until October and the only date we all had free was 29 October, so that’s when we’ll be meeting. I’m really pleased to have this opportunity to see her and talk with her, though I suspect my real role in the meeting will be to listen and learn.

I don’t think for one moment that they’re going to turn round to me and say “because of your blog we’ve decided to completely change our policy and from now on we’ll be inspecting every supported living home”. The reality is that this will be at best, the first in a series of meetings as she tries to get to grips with this terrible gap in the law. Right now no-one is going to want to make any kind of changes to what the CQC can do and where they can inspect if it’s going to cost more money (which I suspect it would), but I’m still hoping that we’ll be able to have a acknowledging this need for change and talk together about some viable possibilities for how it could happen.

Worst case scenario is that this is just a PR exercise designed to keep me quiet and them looking as if they are the good guys. But really, I don’t think it is this at all.

So I’m going to go to see them. I’m going to listen to what they have to say and I’ll take lots of notes. I’m sure I have a very great deal to learn. As I have to now presume that someone at the CQC will be reading this, they’ll know in advance now exactly what I’m hoping for from this meeting!

I don’t want to hope for too much, but I know that between now and the end of October, there will be supported living homes in which very bad things are happening and people in them desperately in need of help. So ultimately that’s why I’m going.

As they say, “mighty oaks from little acorns grow”.

Nico's Photos_0011

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9 thoughts on “From Little Acorns

  1. Well done, thats quite an achievement. I could give them quite a few things to reflect on myself – I envy you Rosi, but in a nice way of course.! x

    • Seeing as it’s going to be quite a while before I see them, why don’t you send me your own thoughts/things you’d like to say etc to me in a DM? Then I can include them. The more I know the better job I’ll make of this.

  2. Well done, but well deserved. CQC need to take notes, listen and learn as well remember. Lovely photo of Nico, did he ever not smile? Sadly, my gorgeous boy’s smiles are fewer and far between now xxxxx

    • Sorry to have to say this Magi, but one of the reasons I post photos from Nico’s years before he entered the supported living home (where he died) are so that they are all happy photos. Not so many happy photos in the last 18 months. It’s very hard to see that isn’t it?

  3. really well done, everyone needs to plant an acorn or two in any way they are able and support change. I sincerely hope anyone you speak with is entirely honest with you and informs you whether hardcopy exists of them commenting about your concerns previously, it is devastating to speak ‘for the first time’ only to discover the other party has commented extensively and in company with other agencies before. I choose to believe this is an entirely transparent and much needed invitation, I have no doubt you will make the meeting count.

    • Thank you! They are making no promises of any kind to me and neither and I to them. I’m just going to turn up and do my best to share with them why this is important and why supported living homes need now to fall under the CQC’s investigation process. You can’t imagine anywhere else which wouldn’t be checked up on, can you?

      • I am incredulous of the inspections they do carry out. I believe whole heartedly that every supported living home should be inspected and independently inspected at intervals as well. I cannot accept the bizarre tick box standard met they arrive at by reviewing information from a central database that means no inspection of a certain standard need take place ! Not for me thank you. Inspect every standard every time and often.

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