Yet more grim news from #JusticeforLB. Tim Smart, the ‘Interim Chair’ parachuted in by NHSI to sort out Southern Health, is doing a fair old impression of someone bucking for a change of name to Tim (Possibly-)Nice-but-Dim, as he seizes the first opportunity to fail to engage with the public. Deeply disappointing.
Meanwhile, Mark Neary is struggling (again) with bureaucratic stupidity at all levels of government, in his quest to ensure that Steven can do perfectly ordinary things like go swimming. He’s also struggling with ‘experts by non-experience‘ who insist, in quite spectacular displays of non-person-centredness and ignorance of non-directiveness and in the face of all the evidence, that he ‘should’ be having a good experience of Personal Budgets (PBs) and Direct Payments. He isn’t.
It reminds me of an argument I had with my tutor about political philosophies. We were reading a series of novels that included Le Rouge et Le Noir, La Faute de l’Abbé Mouret and L’Espoir and got into a big stushie about secularism, anticlericalism, and Communism (amongst other things). The tutor argued that Communism was a secular political philosophy. I argued that it was an anticlerical religion because it had articles of faith, such as the required belief in the historical inevitability of dictatorship of the proletariat; a millenarian postulate, if ever there was one. We eventually agreed that any system would work, provided everyone in it was of perfect good-will; but that since people are without exception imperfect, no system could work flawlessly. We also agreed that in practical terms, neither theocracy nor Soviet Communism were very appealing.
And the same applies to Foundation Trusts and Personal Budgets and other things like Education, Health and Care Plans. They are not necessarily either good or bad things in and of themselves, but like all theoretical constructs, are, in the real world, just (and only) as good as their implementation. In turn, implementation is generally as good as the people responsible for it. It’s no good saying that the service structure is excellent if the services themselves are execrable and delivered or run by the malicious, the hidebound or the simply uninterested.
Whatever system you’re engaging with, you’d better hope, or pray, to whatever entities you think may influence the outcome, that you get good people controlling things.
And meantime, be prepared to shovel shite.