small town pavement, Jul 2011

Was it a Thursday -? I had been to see a solicitor down the road who kindly gave me more than 2 hrs for a free half-hour consultation. Now at lunchtime I was walking towards the public library to access the internet and write a few emails, as I was stopped in my tracks.

dusty heat under blazing pale sky

small town pavement – I know

my passionate presence: needed

That moment, that certainty would go on to sustain years of campaigning against injustice… without any certainty.

I remember once doubting during the first five years – should I give up? And – the clarity returned immediately: I have to see this through. I am learning, slowly, and slowly, opportunities show up. Now I have to increase my energy levels, not just stubborn resilience….

Six months before the moment on the pavement while I was working for an NHS Mental Health Trust, a patient made allegations about sexual abuse by her father. I initiated a Safeguarding Enquiry in line with my ethical and statutory duties. As a Safeguarding Meeting was being prepared, a Senior Consultant told me in a group meeting: “This (sexual abuse of that patient by her father) has long been a suspicion. At one point (the patient) threw herself down a flight of stairs. This was seen by some as due to the (father) kissing her more in a boyfriend-girlfriend kind of manner. The allegation was put to him but denied and Social Services did not take it any further.”

At the Safeguarding Meeting a few days later, I disclosed this information, again in line with my ethical duties and – protected by law. However, the law did not protect me from the defamation that followed: An experienced social worker, acting as my lay advocate at one Court Hearing reflected: “The way they are discrediting you, one can’t help wondering what else is going on there.”

The ensuing court case (brought because of my financial losses) so far has been riddled with legal mistakes. – No one likes a traitor?

In the summer of 2018, the then Secretary of State for Health admitted when questioned by an MP there were systemic issues in the way Whistleblowers in the NHS were treated.

 

 

 

 

~ by Barbara S on June 7, 2020.

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