It’s coming up to 2 years since I will have sadly lost my brother to a preventable suicide in Mental Health Supported Transitional Housing after been allowed to fall through the cracks an not put on any care Pathway by the Mental Health Trust he was under and passed between them and Adult Social Care. I’ve tried fighting for answers challenging the system and asking why, How could they ignore the signs, ignore his pleas were was his Duty of Care. I’ve been dipping in an out of NHS Englands Learning From Deaths work and the team leading they are trying but just like us Families I think they’re up against it too. How do you change an archaic driven system,. Today I was invited to a 1 hour meeting with the department of health and was speaking on 4 areas that need addressing and helping push the guidance through that families put their blood sweat an tears into, my mum an I we too put ours. Today I was focusing on the legal power imbalances families face in fight for answers and the hurdles we have accessing our loved ones records an when u get its only a half story an leaves you with even more questions and thing today I let some of the frustrations feel come out an do normally try hold it together thing seeing my loved ones and loved ones of fellow families made me want demand answers as to us after that meeting we don’t go home forget about, put to bed let something reprioritise it because we have the stark reminder someone is missing, for many it’s their child and they’re robbed of seeing them grow, get married, achieve their dreams an them one day get married an families of own, With Tim I’ve been robbed of my best friend we was like two peas in a pod he was the one who guided me though some of my darkest moments an their at my proudest looking at his photo in that meeting hit me wanted scream you all murdered my brother your systems, processes and pathways are harming not helping in our fight one thing we hear regularly is “failure in breakdowns in communication ” a gp can’t see Paris and record on it the NHS can’t see the gps system one and record and that and the grey area duty of candour is not assisting an a hinderance is the grey area of confidentiality an record sharing or in Tims case not record sharing and when you add local council record keeping an the supported living recording system it’s no wonder tim, us as a family an his navigator was hitting brick walls. Failure in communication is not an acceptable answer to why someone is driven too take their own live, before the meeting I was chatting with my sister on how we feel about Tims death an we want to be angry with him but we understand he wasn’t ok an today I needed let some of that anger an frustration how dare they say computer said no surely that should be something can change. Telling Tims story an where we are at with the inquest process is frustrating we’re gridlocked an at a standstill because we’re going through a judicial review because sadly the coroner is listening to two sides an not the side that matters us that matters the family. If my brother’s death had been in hospital we’d have been granted a Article 2 enquiry automatically if was a NHS run supported living would have done but because Social Care the coroner’s using the grey area death in community. I told them today if we lose the review we lose all legal representation and aid and have to fight for answers alone and that many families met recently had represent themselves an that any requests had were denied and so outcomes didn’t go in their favour they didn’t get their answers and left now fighting that bit more yet the evidence was clear for all to see, I told them I should be grieving my brother but I don’t I’m my families advocate I review, critique try put the jigsaw puzzle together and find the solutions to the failings an that’s not fair it’s left me physically an mentally battered and been offered no support by those who failed him apart from a token book coping with death of a loved one to suicide I don’t want to cope with his death I want him in my life I want to know no other family will feel my pain and it’s hard to gage did they listen, take note will things be done and implemented an changed the people in room today can’t expect us to be patient in our quests, can’t expect us be fobbed off to us they’res too much at stake, we just want openness, truth an accountability we need to grieve to mourn, to try lead lives without those we love as hard as it is it’s not fair be gridlocked no we’re further nor nearer to those answers an solutions because whilst we’re gridlocked we add to the growing number of historical cases my family we’re only short way in and we’ve one long road tred but if today taught me anything the fight will get harder, will break me that bit more but it’s not a fight will walk away from Tim deserved so much more and so did the family’s lost loved ones because I’m not going away harmed patients an families too won’t go away because we broke the day our loved ones died you can’t break us anymore so you might as well help us piece ourselves back together let me grieve an mourn let me free my brother’s memory free not keep having air his broken story give us the truth it’s time he had dignity in death let me dream he’s know free with my daughter in heaven I want to let him go and let him be free my family need free ourselves to off our pain an anger. X x
Your home is Your Castle, Your Sanctuary the place you grow, make memories in it’s your dwelling, your abode, your place of safety and refuge, my hope it’s old it’s worn needs some tender loving care I moan about it my sons picked up I call it a shanties ramshackle house when I’m having a rant day so he now calls it old house wants a new house. At the same time though am lucky because this ramshackle house is my home. My brother Tim he sadly died not knowing or having that he obsessed got into vicious cycle fearing he’d be made homeless again when he died he was at a place called Cottingley Court, it was Transitional Housing for vulnerable adults affected by homelessness, addiction, and mental health he’d stayed their at crisis then he moved in to one of their flats to be assessed to determine what support he needed he was to be their at least a minimum of 6 months could have stayed up to 2 years and if warranted longer or moved to somewhere that could have offered permanent support. Tim in his mind didn’t feel safe, didn’t feel settled couldn’t make roots or settle because it wasn’t made clear he wasn’t to be made homeless wasn’t no plan no where definitive said this is your home. He once posted on his Facebook shortly after moving to cottingley court “I’m allowed Visitors” that dosent really say he saw as his home it says he saw as been in more of a inpatient or Care home, “I’m allowed visitors ” reading back is heartbreaking read I try putting myself in his shoes imagine the confusion he felt an tears run down my cheek all he wanted was one thing I moan about a place to call home, a home where he made rules a home that he opened up to his friends an family not somewhere dictated by guidelines to follow I.e no visitors after certain times cottingley court they advised offered crisis support but they didn’t an if we knew Tim was desperately struggling we’d have offered to stay with him help him make feel like his home we’d have him making the bacon butties with a brew he used make a decent buttie. He shouldn’t have resorted to drastic action he took when reaching out for help an reassurance he died broken, lost, isolated and desolate in a place that was supposed to be his home. 2 days before he died he spoke his fears with his GP, his GP just listened an made him tea an biscuits, tea an biscuits is what us his family should have been having at his house when visiting or should I say a coffee as where all coffee drinkers in our family we don’t offer visitors coffee we ask them make us a coffee, help themselves to whatever open our homes up sad ain’t it my brother’s gp could only help by make a cup of tea an biscuits an for a brief moment tim will have felt the sensation , feeling like home, Why couldn’t cottingley court give him that sensation help him realise was home , reassure him wasn’t to be homeless , give him the support an care he needed an why moved their in first place, why didn’t they keep him safe, protect him they were supposed to why did he not feel safe, why did he die feeling like didn’t have a place called home it’s not much ask is it have a place that’s yours an call home.
Facebook can and can’t be great when overcoming the loss of a loved one, On this day sometimes will have a happy reminder a memory a photo, tagged a conversation had and they’ll put a smile on your face, Other days you may get a On thus day reminder that brings a lump too your throat a tear to your eye one wish could erase, one wish could reply too, one if went back in time you could change your attitudes an actions too. 2 years ago today Tim you left a Facebook Message for Mum on my wall saying I’m Sorry and what you we’re Sorry for you weren’t entirely to blame it was Nanna an Grandads Anniversary do you we’re so excited about also very anxious about you we’re struggling with grips of your demons with Mental Health, battling recovery finding your feet. Me, Jay Nat an Robynn holding you at arms lengths constantly judging you stereotyping you we’re probably guilty of been a bit cold, standoffish we were more concerned Nanna an Grandad had a great do than checking you we’re ok. You we’re been bought drink after drink we should have told you Tim enough we didn’t we assumed you’ld been on something not just the drink., I should have remembered alcohol can counteract medications your own and how you were that day was a result of that and not stereotyped you for being on something as it’s only since your death we’d been made aware you were drug free had been a good 10 months so on this day 2 years ago you weren’t on something and when u got loud an Merry with the drink we should have stayed, ensured you got home but we didn’t we left when Nanna an Grandad did you stayed with family an one of neighbours of mum an Nanna’s street they got you drink after drink took you on to another pub somehow u ended up outside mums caused some disruption with your loudness somehow got bundled back into a taxi home you must have gone on fb said I’m sorry Mum on my fb you knew she’d see it their or I’d comment but I sadly didn’t I was stewing with you, I’d judged you assumed you at fault questioned how many more chances we should give an like a child I ignored you didn’t reply an today your on this day post came up an it cut me up because didn’t thing what made harder see was we’d had a meeting with the NHS they’d took into consideration that you we’re off substances an we’re going acknowledge in your report we asked also that staff attitudes that were stigmatising towards those with both mental health and substance misuse be addressed I.E Judgement Free Care because we owed it to you that changed also it was to recognise that you wasn’t the person who’d been wrote off and should have been supported an it recognised the efforts of your recovery journey so Today’s On This Day Today I too was guilty of that behaviour an stereotyped you unfairly I should have stepped up, stepped in cared for your wellbeing not judged or assumed anything about your behaviour should have got u come back to Bradford stayed over a Chinese and you’ld not have had to felt apologise as you’ld have been with us as that event would never of happened outside Mum’s. We’ve a still a long way in finding out the answers why To failings in your care and things be changed but glad today we made one small step they recognised you weren’t on drugs and hadn’t be for awhile I hope in heaven it goes towards me saying Tim I’m Sorry Too and I wish could turn back the clock but know what know now and changed the course of your future thought for you as much do now, believed in you better and pushed for better treatment an care challenged not just professionals towards you but ours too and gave you the love and care you so desperately needed and made you feel worthy and built you up if done that you wouldn’t have felt in end way you did an you wouldn’t have done what you did on that fateful day on the 26th August an you’ld still be here and so Tim Im sorry I too made you feel way did an wish I didn’t have unfairly judged you because you Tim you never did that and in when I too had my own blips you never judged or shunned or stereotyped me you did what we should have done we should have looked out better for you maybe on this day today next year am optimistic we’ll get the answers, lessons will have been learned an my sorry back to you I’ll feel able write but for now I’ll share the comment on my blog an say Tim I’m Sorry Too an I love you always and 4 eva and you know saturdays an extra hard day 4 me an so I hope u can give my princess a kiss and both be with me in spirit x
On Tuesday the 31st October me and mum we went down to London to attend an NHS event around Learning from Deaths we were attending both days of the conference on the Wednesday with families and on the Thursday with professionals. I was apprehensive about what to expect, apprehensive could I hold my emotions in could I remain calm and could I get the professionals to Listen to understand how they treat my mum at her most vulnerable an in the rawest moment of her Losing Tim they had a duty of care to her to support, to reassure, to be open with her to give her the answers why to why Tim’s death was not prevented when so many Times both he an mum and us as a family reached out for help. Most importantly she wanted be involved in that process of finding out Why, to understand, to input into findings an say what could have be done differently she’s felt she owed that to Tim and she’s wanted do so no other parent had to go through what she was going through. When we first lost Tim we did not blame anyone, want to hold any person or organisation to account nor did we want to go down the Complaints Procedure. But it’s been the way that things were dealt with, how things were handled that led us have to do that, Other the last 2 days it’s been a real eye opener to me I realised that me and mum are not alone and that other families had received equally shocking treatment as us and some were 12, 18, 24 years later still fighting for answers fighting for change for answers to those people you are trually remarkable especially Robbie Powell’s parents and Ann Fighting For answers For her Mum Elsie and Josephine OcLoo your strength, your character, your determination and your resilience I admire because you haven’t give up, you’ve been shockingly treat you’ve not been able mourn, grief, not only have you lost loved ones you’ve lost parts of your lives but you still keep trying to fight for answers an Too still willing be equal partners and work towards wanting the Lesson’s be Learned and it saddens me that the door has not been open for you to do that and that still your not Listened to I hope an I’ll pray one day that happen’s. Melanie Leahy I loved your feistiness at times you were quite but when spoke you spoke with grit, with fight, with spirit an charm an when spoke you hit points home and I hope that you were Listened to I hope promises made to you are followed through with, Angela May’s I thank you for in the workshop we were in telling the professionals why are you not answering her question “what are the barriers” and kicking them up the backside. Other the last 2 days you all have an like include Fiona Bell and Louise Johnstone you have all shown us love, support, compassion an advice on what to do in our Fight For Tim an you showed us we are not Alone in our Fight, Our Stories are Different but still equally same as many other Families their we were shut out at our most vulnerable an not given the oppurtunity to become an important part and be involved in the investigation process and as loved ones you should have been granted that, Joanne ended the day after sharing Jasmine’s story and how the impact of her not been Listened to in the beginning has then been the major influencer to her still not getting the answers but she too had passion an optisim that “Where their is a Willingness their is a Way”. On Wednesday all the families they had that passion, that fire that drive an that Willingness they were not just subjective they were their to bang on that door an To have it opened and too share so Learning could be made and wished on the Thursday more families could have stayed so that the professionals could not just have seen what we’d all compiled an discussed together but felt the spirit that drive and that passion. Because sadly Thursday the atmosphere did feel different it sadly felt cold families questioned would things change would all the families be listened to, would in years come Lessons actually Be Learned or would all the Families be back here again, I know that the professionals that were their were their more to be objective to Learn and not to share but I kinda feel they may have missed out on sharing in that passion that come from Wednesday as Passion is sadly something you can not Learn and if you do not have that passion or share in you may struggle in your desire to change. Olivia Bentley tweeted Last night it was now a huge Job on her shoulder’s it should not be a huge Job it should be a simple and easy one but at the same time I respected her and everyone involved in the Learning from Deaths Board because they did all show care, compassion, spirit, grit and determination they know what needs to happen they have that Willingness to Find a Way they’ve opened that door for them and all the families I hope now Services please Learn because you should not have keep Learning From and also support them, get involved with and change and don’t make a huge Job it shouldn’t have to be but they’ve given you that key to now open the door it’s now time you lift an take away that load and for all the families it’s time Listen an Change.
Other the next few day’s me and mum would reflect on our Fight For Answers For Tim look through his notes check all their, adequate ensure things we want seen our Legal Team an all Parties seen, Well check and read the serious incident report that not involved in and then well maybe look contact the person conducting and if not compiled and published say “Lets start the process and report again but this time you open the door make us equal partners and involve us in every stage even in all the meetings because that’s us wanting be involved that’s us putting our trust into that it’s been done right that’s us showing you we want change but now it’s up to Leeds and West Yorks Primary Foundation Trust to do that so please in Learning Lesson’s since not their these last two days open the door to us make us equal partners let’s Find the answers for Tim Together let’s Learn the Lessons that need be Learned together and then Let us then together make changes, recommendations and structures an process’s in place and that deaths like my brothers are ones that not are Deaths to be Learned from but ones that Prevent future Deaths please do that for me, for my mum but especially do it for my Brother Tim.