Waiting for the ink to dry #JusticeforLB
One of the ever-present themes of JusticeforLB has been the eternal waiting. Pretty much nothing has been swift, smooth and efficient. Chapter 7 of Justice for Laughing Boy is called The Waiting Game. It starts:
There is particular pain associated with the preventable death of a loved one in the care of the NHS. First, the shock associated with finding out that the organisation which you have grown up thinking of only in terms of benevolent goodness can act with malevolence. This realisation involves the peeling back of layers of awfulness over time as more details are uncovered or further brutality is meted out to the family by the Trust.
Second, because this catastrophic happening occurred within such a monolithic institution, there is an unremitting, unchecked, almost wanton drawing out of never quite pinning down what happened. Every step takes so much longer than can be humanly possible. You are typically the last to know any tiny development or decision. Documents are circulated to you at least a week or so after other relevant people, the Trust, local authority or broader, receive them. Decisions are eventually relayed to you as an afterthought or when you chase them up.
References to waiting are littered throughout Sara’s book. Many readers of this blog will remember waiting for the first Verita report to be published back in February 2014. Twitter was busy with chat, 9am came and went, 10am, midday. A couple phonecalls to the press office resulted in garbled non-commitment. The day slowly passed by until the report was eventually published on the Southern Health NHSFT website just after 6pm, too late for the day’s news bulletins to cover. JusticeforLB’ers waited then, and they’ve waited since. Most recently we waited, holding our collective breaths, as the MPTS tribunal adjourned to discuss striking Dr Valerie Murphy off the medical register. We’d been told to return midday on Friday, and then it became mid afternoon, then 5pm, then another hour, then 7pm, a missed flight and overnight accommodation hurriedly arranged, another half hour, another, until eventually we were called back in to hear their determination of facts at 8:30pm on a Friday evening.
Imagine our relief when we heard that the publication of Sara’s book about LB was to be brought forward to Wednesday 27 September. Never in the history of JusticeforLB had anything been delivered early. Not once. We knew that the book was good, Sara had written it and it’s about LB (amongst other things) so greatness was guaranteed. #JusticeforLB has always been supported by amazing people, who have given their time, skills and money whenever asked, so it was no surprise to see the tweets of pre-orders rolling in.
The day before publication we were a little flummoxed in the Justice Shed that no printed copy had been delivered.
Publication day arrived, and the expected flurry of tweets from people receiving their books didn’t materialise, despite all those pre-orders.
In fact it was the end of publication day before Sara herself held the book in her hands, just before her and Tom headed to Salford for BBC interviews the next day.
— Sara (@sarasiobhan) September 27, 2017
The day after publication day Sara and Tom did three BBC interviews, first up was 5 Live [from 1h 39mins]. Followed by the red sofa of BBC breakfast
— Justice for LB (@JusticeforLB) September 28, 2017
Finally, it was an appearance of Radio 4’s Today Programme [from 2hr 30].
There was so much (utterly deserving) love for Tom and Sara, for LB and excitement about the chance to read Sara’s book.
Since then we have received numerous tweets from people who have been unable to secure a copy of the book. They have tried various websites and shops, and none have stock. All of those people who pre-ordered on amazon are still waiting, the kindle version was initially unavailable, then it was made available with errors in it leading to the third review on amazon only giving 3 stars due to the poor quality.
The book’s publishers do not appear phased by the delay, just another group of people for whom delay is an acceptable everyday part of life
Longer wait but ppl wld then get to read it; changed date and ppl are being offered opportunity to cancel order and no clarity #JusticeforLB
— Justice for LB (@JusticeforLB) September 28, 2017
It would seem that JusticeforLB’ers are just going to have to wait even longer. We are well versed in patiently waiting. It will be worth the wait though, here are a selection of feedback tweets from people who could wait no longer and bought the kindle version:
— Richard Humphries (@RichardatKF) September 28, 2017
— Colm O Cuanachain (@ColmOCuanachain) September 28, 2017
@sarasiobhan Finished book today laughed, cried & am left with an overwhelming anger abt the indifference that took Connor from this world
— Dr Sarah MBPsS (@sarahthesheepu) September 28, 2017
— Rhidian Hughes (@rhidianhughes) September 27, 2017
— Dr Jenny Fisher (@JennyCFisher) September 29, 2017
— Sarah Holmes MBE (@CalmHolmes) September 29, 2017
A powerful campaign (shouldn't have had to be fought), a harrowing, beautiful book (shouldn't have had had to be written). Essential reading https://t.co/5ffvxKPCLr
— Saba Salman (@Saba_Salman) September 28, 2017
Have just finished it. I'm now wiping away accumulated tear salt-crust from around my eyes. #JusticeforLB
— Chris Hatton (@chrishattoncedr) September 28, 2017