About caminandoypensando

Camino del Flamenco have been running Flamenco dance and guitar classes, workshops, events and shows in Oxfordshire since 2002. We have currently have weekly classes for children and adults in Didcot (South Oxfordshire) and adult classes in Banbury (North Oxfordshire). Our children's classes have run awards for excellence and are extremely popular. We teach workshops in schools and colleges around the UK - as well as lots of other venues, including festivals. We produce a bi-monthly Spanish Night at The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury, featuring a full length Flamenco show with companies from Spain. Our next full theatre show is at the Cornerstone theatre, Didcot on Saturday 28 June. We design, make and sell a range of Flamenco wear for children and Flamenco skirts for women and we also sell a wide range of Flamenco merchandise, which is made for us in Spain. We also run Flamenco dance and guitar holidays based in Andalucia, Spain.

Open letter to Southern Health

When I was very young my mother told me the story of how a new man became President of the United States.  On the first day he placed a sign on his desk for everyone to see.  It read “the buck stops here”.

She said that in America there was an expression called “passing the buck”.  This means that when there is a problem or a difficult decision to be made, people might try to pass that problem or decision onto someone else till it just went around and around and never got solved.

My mother explained that by putting the sign on his desk saying “the buck stops here” the new President was saying “whatever the problem is, whatever the difficult decision is – in the end I will be the one who makes it”.

I have never forgotten this story.  I must have been very young; perhaps 6 or 7 years old and I salute her powers of storytelling as it has stayed with me so strongly for all these years.

I have been thinking about this story a lot recently.  That and the other maxim “with great power comes great responsibility”.  So I feel obligated to write this and to draw to your attention the fact that the time has come for the buck to stop and for you to shoulder your great responsibility.

The details of our case and how we have been treated by Katrina Percy have been specifically detailed in the Mazars report.  I mention this because I don’t want you to think I’m attempting to present myself and my viewpoint in an unbiased way.  I can’t write more about our case as we’re in the middle of our independent investigation.  However what has happened specifically to us is not the reason for me writing this.  I write now only as a deeply concerned member of the general public.

Everyone, even the most senior of people, are entitled to make a few mistakes.  At all levels it is a truth that “it’s not the mistakes you make, but how you learn from them”.  However, and let us be quite clear on this,  Katrina Percy (your CEO) and your board of governors have not just made “a few mistakes”.

The Mazars report on Southern Health tells us that over 1,000 people died on your watch.  You disputed those figures and managed to get that number lowered to 722 people who died unexpectedly in your care.

722 people.  That’s a lot of people.  That’s the size of my village.

That 6 months on Katrina Percy is still your CEO and your board of governors is now in such public disarray is so shocking.  Instead of dealing robustly with the situation and the terrible findings of the Mazars report you have passed the buck around and around.  Then came the Care Quality Commissions damming report into Southern Health.   The watchwords of your profession – compassion, candour and transparency, have been forgotten in the scramble for your to pass the buck as many times as possible.

Not only have you made yourselves appear heartless but you have managed to make yourselves a laughing stock too.

To use the favourite phrase of Southern Health, “lessons have been learned” but the only people who seem to have learned these lessons are the general public, watching and reading about the farcical antics of your board of governors and the shocking smugness, calculating pseudo ethics and denial of your CEO, Ms Percy.

We have learned that you are more concerned with passing the buck than dealing with the situation or remembering why the buck is meant to stop.

If you want Southern Health not to become a byword for unsafe care and Dickensianly heartless management style – you need to stop this now.  There is absolutely no way in which you can continue as a viable organisation going forward while Katrina Percy is still your CEO and without the board of governors acting in a cohesive and responsible manner.

We, the general public don’t care if you don’t consider yourselves personally responsible for the staggering number of deaths in your care – deaths which are 7 times greater than those people lost in the Hillsborough disaster.  If you think for one moment that you’re going to come out of this all shiny, new and spotless, then you should take a moment to reflect on what has happened and what will be happening to all those in positions of responsibility who attempted to cover up and subvert the quest for justice by the Hillsborough families.

Whether you think yourselves responsible for the multiple deaths or not, by the fact that you took the job and your took the salary – YOU ARE.  The buck stops with you.

If Southern Health are going to survive and go forward you need to see yourselves as we, the general public see you.  Take a reality pill and then take responsibility.  How many of the families of the 700 are having independent investigations right now and how many more will be having them?  How many of these cases will come back to your doors again and again? How many of these cases will see you in court?

Everyone in the top positions of power and responsibility when the 700 people died should now be asked to leave, specifically for their part in the deaths and in the subsequent cover up.  Some of them have already resigned but those who haven’t must now be sacked.  This clearly includes Katrina Percy.  When they are gone then you may be able to salvage what remains and actually learn from your mistakes.  If they stay that will be impossible and you will become untenable as an organisation and as care-givers.

I appeal to you to be the people you want to be.  Have pride in yourself and in your profession and do the right thing.  You have run out of dark corners to hide in and the world is watching you.

Time to step up and stop the buck Southern Health.








Other Men’s Flowers

“I have gathered a posy of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”

At risk of starting to have a poetry theme to this blog, I wanted to share with you what other people have written about #justiceforNico, in effect to gather together a posy of other people’s flowers which have one thing in common – one thread that binds them – which is the strong commitment to letting everyone know what has happened to us.

It’s no secret that I didn’t go public with our story for quite a while – to be honest I didn’t know where to go or how to achieve this and was dealing with some desperate times and desperately sad issues which left me little time to be able to even think about writing. The support given to me through these dark times by a few very special people I will never forget – but “going public” did not happen as we were far too busy and concerned with negotiating our way through a strange new Alice in Wonderland type of legal world.

Here in this “posy of other men’s flowers” are selections of what other people have said. Giving permission for these blogs to be written, talking to the writers about what had happened to us and reading these blogs was a catalyst in my life. A true Pandora’s Box has been opened and it can now never be closed. Every word I write now, even these very words here, are wholly due to these words written first by others.

My banner was raised by people other than myself, because I did not have the strength to list it up and for this I will always be profoundly grateful. Not least because amongst those people who raised my battle standard are some who are still reeling from their own tremendous and crushing loss.

Sometimes the words “thank you” seems to fall very short of what is needed, but my thanks is all I have to offer to all of you and the sentiment comes straight from my heart.

Sara Ryan (My Daft Life): http://mydaftlife.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/the-days-afterwards-sharing-experiences/

Gail Hanrahan (A Bit Missing): http://abitmissing.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/the-dust-in-the-corner-justice-for-nico/

Justice for LB (#107 days): http://107daysofaction.wordpress.com/how-to-get-involved/

Sara Ryan (My Daft Life): http://mydaftlife.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/phony-fake-and-clueless/

Also yesterday, after we spoke someone (and I don’t know their name or really anything about them except that they are clearly an exceptional person wrote this blog: http://whobyf1re.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/slovenshite-ad-infinitum/

“I have gathered a posy of other men's flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”

“I have gathered a posy of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”