This isn't about Roleplaying, Sci-Fi or Gaming in general.
This is regard to a complaint raised against the North and West Belfast Health and Social Services Trust regarding the treatment of one of their patients, a young adult with special needs.
This young man is under the total care of the Trust as he is, judged by their own care professionals, to be incapable of looking after himself. As such, he relies on the Trust to provide the basic care and human dignity that we all would come to expect.
As it happens, this organisation is failing in it's care of this individual and therefore most likely failing in it's care of other individuals in his circumstances and these people, our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and children, deserve much better.
- This young man relies on the Trust for his laundry services. He is active in the Choral group in the institution and the uniform required is a white shirt. He owns a white shirt. For the performance, he was in a creased shirt and was wearing socks and underpants belonging to another individual in care. The Trust, like a 5 year old with jam on their hands, has no explanation for this. His family are upset about his best clothes being destroyed by the hospital laundry service.
- The young man is incapable of completing his own personal hygiene tasks and is assigned a carer for assistance. He was apparently supervised shaving and yet looked unkempt and had nasty cuts on his face from the disposable razor he was forced to use. He owns an electric shaver for his personal hygiene but again the staff were unable to account for it. Or his electric toothbrush.
- He was repeatedly struck by other patients in the facility. He informed the staff but despite staff supervision, no-one was a witness and no staff member reported such abuse. But one staff member witnessed him being teased and struck by another patient to the point where his glasses were broken. And nothing was done. He's had teeth knocked out by other patients and again, nothing is done. I will, for the sake of decency, not go into the multiple claims of sexual abuse and interference he has received while under the care of the Trust.
- Because of his restrictions on movement outside the facility for his own safety, his family have provided him with a playstation, numerous portable music players and a portable DVD player. I, myself, bought him an iPod last Christmas and marked it with his name in indelible marker. The portable DVD player has gone missing and staff claim there was never such an item in his possession. The staff also claim that he had "an MP3 player but not an iPod" and it too has gone missing. These items were all left for checking by hospital electrical maitenance for safety checking.
- His lack of access to his family for birthdays, family events and special occassions (for example, to celebrate his religion, to attend the christening of his nephew or his father's 60th birthday) has been a constant sticking point with his famiy and they have repeatedly brought the point to his incarcerators who refuse him access to these needs.
Is it public policy in the UK National Health Service in Northern Ireland to treat those with special needs worse than we treat the common criminal? Criminals have rights regarding assaults, care of property, laundry service and religious and social needs. Isn't it the case that if he had killed someone, he'd be out for good behaviour by now? Wouldn't there have been a public enquiry by now?
These events were investigated by Mrs Eileen McLarnon, a Senior Nurse Manager at the Hospital. It is my supposition that she must be good as a nurse, because she sucks as a private investigator. But I understand the need to cover your own back and the backs of your co-workers.
Frankly, I'm disgusted and this after reading the letter from Paul Ryan, Director of Planning/Deputy Chief Executive on behalf of Professor Richard G Black, OBE, Chief Executive of the Trust. I'm horrified that this is the state of the NHS today. Absolutely disgusted.
You do not deserve the word 'TRUST'.
North and West Belfast HSS Trust
6 Murray Street
Phone: +44 28 9032 7156
Fax: +44 28 9082 1284