Legitimising Death in a Care Chair

Six months on from the Mazars report into the unexpected, uninvestigated deaths of 1000s of patients in the care of Southern Health and where are we when it comes to the deaths of people with learn…

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Mhairi Black – do you want my vote back?

First met Mhari on the margomobile last year before she joined the SNP.. The YES campaign was wonderful where we could share visions of an Independent Scotland. I have many friends in the SNP and don’t believe they are the only opportunity for Independence. I like many othets dare to dream of a beautiful vision of an Independent Scotland free from Westmonster.

Wee Radicals


A response to Mhairi Black by The Familiar

Dear Mhairi,

You were my #SNPGOOD.

I had a bit of a crush on you. I read your column in the National and shared videos of you in parliament. This time last year I convinced members of my family to vote for you.

Every so often a politician comes along who transcends party politics.

I thought you were the SNP’s Charlie Kennedy.

I thought you were the one.

I was wrong.

Politicians gonna politics.

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From Bromley to Devon via Stoke

Life For A Learning Disabled Person 2016

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I am writing on behalf of my son Robert who is currently being held under a DOLS at Ashley House in Stoke on Trent.

Robert is a 28 year old young man with severe learning disabilities and autism. His needs are complex and he requires specialist care.

We found Robert a lovely residential home which was perfect for him when he was 18. Unfortunately it was in Dorset, a long trek for us to visit so seeing him regularly was restricted but overshadowed by the fact that he was so well placed there.

Unfortunately the family run home was taken over by ACH homes (now in partnership with Regard group) and too many changes took place. Staff left, routines changed and it became less and less of a home and more and more like a business.

The last 2 years Robert became depressed and very anxious and naturally his way…

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The Iron Gate

Life For A Learning Disabled Person 2016

Here’s Stephen Andrade’s story, written by his mother, Leo.


Just before he was 16, Stephen went to a residential school in Norfolk. Two years. It did not work as it did not have the services to provide for Stephen’s needs.

After two years, a multi disciplinary team comprising the doctors, the school and  Islington social services decided Stephen should go to the dreadful hospital St. Andrews. In Northampton. He was there two years. Steven became withdrawn and became a shell of the boy that we knew and love.

Then after much campaigning he was moved to a lower secure hospital in Clacton on sea, Colchester.

He has been at the Clacton Unit for almost 15 months. It was only meant to be a short term measure for assessment.

Here is a film I took on my camera last year when I took Stephen’s younger brother to visit him at the Unit. he wasn’t…

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Life For A Learning Disabled Person 2016

Monday 18th April 2016 sees the start of a campaign to raise awareness of the thousands of learning disabled people currently being held against their wishes in assessment and treatment units. Ofte…

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Life In A Conservatory

Life For A Learning Disabled Person 2016


Jack was born with ATRX syndrome, which on its own has its difficulties. He attended a special school and had no issues there at all until it was time to leave at 16.

Jack’s anxieties were heightened more and more on the transition from school to college. He only visited the college once and on starting there, he found things very difficult. By this time he was known to CLDT team and was put on antipsychotic drugs.

Jack managed 18 months of college before they eventually excluded him because they could no longer support him. The next 18 months support came under the social care umbrella where they threw all kinds of support charities at him. It was inconsistent, which is the worst type of support when you have needs like Jack’s.

He hated it and his difficulties got worse to the point where he would go into town alone (as he…

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A Carer In Sepia

Mark you sum up my feelings exactly. I need a rest. Why should I have to jump through hoops to justify this. Great blog again.

Love, Belief and Balls

Yesterday I received my completed Carers assessment prior to it being presented to Panel. This was following my request for an extra night’s respite.

God, it was depressing reading. I’m not blaming the social worker at all. I know that she’s appeared before enough Panels to know that to even get a sniff of a successful outcome, she has to present the carer’s life through the bleakest lens. Despite the framing, I’m grateful to her for giving a slight possibility that the Panel’s money men might say yes.

Who am I according to the report? I’m old. I’m worn out. I’m lonely. I’m unfulfilled.

Of course, there is some truth in that. But my life is more than that. There are good bits (honest). The thing that upsets me the most is the inference throughout the report that I’m old, worn out, lonely and unfulfilled because of Steven. The tone…

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