Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Mrs Tracy Taylor the Chief Executive Officer deliberately harasses me in an attempt to force me to attend a Meeting when it is obvious I am not fit to attend Page 2
DISCLAIMER. This Website is based on my experiences and any opinions expressed are mine alone. I apologise unreservedly for any errors or omissions which, if drawn to my attention, will be corrected. I have done my very best to make my account both honest and accurate, and since establishing my first Website in September 1999 no errors of fact have been drawn to my attention: nor have I been obliged by anyone to withdraw any website content. Whenever attempts have been made to close a site my ISP has always supported me, for which I am very grateful. I have evidence to support the claims that I am making. My aim is to SHAME those responsible!
I had advised the Trust that I was unfit to attend because;
The Trust had deprived me of any orthoses fit to wear for a long period, and this had resulted in a sudden loss of mobility which had had serious knock-on effects on my general health.
Loss of mobility quickly aggravated chronic low back pain which disturbed my sleep when my back went into spasm, and soon I was being woken up in the early hours, almost every night, in excruciating pain from 'cramps' in both calves. In an attempt to avoid this I was given tablets, but these caused me to wake up with awful nausea and that made me retch uncontrollably. Further tablets to put under my top lip to counter this eventually worked, but often not before internal bruising had occurred. (An operation to prevent acid rising in 2000 had involved constructing a flap under the top valve of my stomach and I was warned in advance that I would not be able to vomit afterwards, and I never have. Over a period of ten years retching occasionally led to internal bruising.) For most of November, December, January and part of February I invariably had cramps in the night, or I was woken up by nausea that made me retch uncontrollably and often caused internal damage. Then there was the increasing pain from my left foot together with the usual neuropathic pain that I had previously coped with for many years. I had always managed pain well in the past, but not any longer. This all led to sleep deprivation, the effects of which were devastating. I went to sleep in an instant dreading what I might face in a few hours. At other times I was so tired that I would fall asleep at the drop of a hat, in positions that only aggravated my back or ended in both legs 'going to sleep' making it impossible for me to stand.
I was unfit because of sleep deprivation as a consequence of five sources of pain;
Pain from my left foot increased out of all proportion
Cramps, mainly in the early hours of the night most nights for a period of months
Or medication caused nausea that resulted in retching leading to internal damage
Aggravated low back pain - my back would go into spasm and wake me up
Usual neuropathic pain (considerable after fifteen years of slow progression)
Knowing all this, Mrs Taylor harassed me to attend the Meeting when she knew I must be half dead, how could I have done justice to my complaint - they would have wiped the floor with me - I am convinced that Mrs Taylor was intent on seizing the advantage. It was callous of her to keep pressing me to attend.
I gave more than sufficient information to my Designated Complaints Manager when I declined to attend
I gave Mrs Alison Last, Head of Patient Experience, full details when she telephoned the following evening
I wrote to Mrs Taylor and gave her full details and Mrs Taylor acknowledged my letter
Yet Mrs Taylor still refused to cancel the Meeting and went on pressing me to attend!
Is it any wonder that five different pains resulted in sleep deprivation which had devastating consequences.
Only recently has it been possible for 'cramps' to be more or less brought under control, and retching avoided, at the expense of other possible side effects - including breast enlargement - the effect so far has been ... ...
(photo to follow - including vintage Bentley)
... only joking
... I undertake a sponsored event each year but in recent years have only been able to do a 'sponsored swim'.
These photos were taken back in 2003 when I raised my usual £1500+ as a badminton playing dentist in drag, look at the size of that toothbrush!
... plenty of women would kill for legs like mine - thin as a typical consequence of a longstanding neuropathy, I would prefer a little more flesh on them personally!
(photo to follow - including vintage Bentley)
... another time I was a Rasta!
How arrogant it is that important matters that I had raised in my original letter of complaint, that MUST have caused damage to my feet, were completely ignored? A thorough investigation, rather than a 'sham', would I believe have confirmed the allegations that I had made. I had tried very hard to ensure that my Formal Complaint was:
Honest; detailed; accurate; and did not contain any misrepresentations
It is a pity that the same cannot be said of Mrs Taylor's Final Response - FINAL because she is DETERMINED TO BURY FOR ALL TIME that which she has ignored ... the omissions; the mistakes; and the numerous very serious misrepresentations contained in her 10-page Final Response!
Now that IS shameful!
It is an abuse of power.
Just for the record here is a diary of events to substantiate my claims.
When did I decline to attend and why? Details of my decision being questioned, and then of Mrs Taylor harassing me are in green.
1st February. I had been feeling really ill and was fed up with the Trust playing silly games month after month, and when my Designated Complaints Manager Mrs Kirsty Hughes telephoned I had already written out a list of questions most of which I had asked numerous times before which had been completely ignored. This time I raised them very forcefully and was promised answers. They were going to be relayed to Mr Mark Senior the following day. I also forcefully reminded Mrs Hughes that she was supposed to have been providing me with 'Daily Reports' since just after Christmas - that was a joke - just as the 'Weekly Reports' before them had been. I didn't hear anything more - the Trust were still intent on playing silly b's with me - nothing changed. Shameful.
3rd February. My Designated Complaints Manager Mrs Kirsty Hughes wrote to me advising me of a Meeting planned for 17th February, I received her letter 13-days before the day of the Meeting - which was much sooner than I had anticipated. It had Mrs Taylor's reference across the top!
8th February. We had been abroad and I was very ill on the return journey on 23rd January. I had waited to see if my health improved - it hadn't, certain aspects of it were getting worse. I discussed the situation with my wife and she agreed that there was no way that I would be well enough to attend. I don't think that I had been out of the house since returning from abroad early on 24th January, except when my wife took me to the Doctors about which I have very little recollection
9th February. I contacted my Designated Complaints Manager by telephone (this was how we always communicated), and advised her that I would not be well enough to attend the Meeting arranged for 17th February. I explained that ill-health would make it impossible and I gave her more than sufficient information for her to realise that I had no choice but to decline the invitation. She responded with something like, so you will not be attending, and I confirmed my decision in response. Mrs Hughes was left in no doubt that my decision was final - it was obvious that it was.
I had arrived at my decision the previous evening and have never doubted that it was the right one. I was already in a lot of pain, and the chances were that I would only have snatched a few hours sleep overnight before we would have had to travel from Worcester into Selly Oak Birmingham.
10th February. Extremely late in the day, I had Mrs Alison Last, Head of Patient Experience on the telephone (who at the time was in overall charge of Complaints), and was my Designated Complaints Manager's line manager, questioning my decision not to attend the Meeting. Apart from the fact that we were about to eat, given the circumstances I was very annoyed at this intrusion. I knew that Mrs Last was a former Physiotherapist, and that she would have a good knowledge about the problems that prevented me from attending. I listed the health problems that had laid me low, it was a comprehensive list, and it evidenced that I had very good grounds for declining to attend.
Because the invitation (more a summons), had come from Mrs Taylor, I asked Mrs Last to advise Mrs Taylor of the situation the following morning, with a request that she contact me by telephone, I am as sure as I can be that she would have done this. I was desperate for Mrs Taylor to investigate my claims and sanction access to an Orthotist, something that had been deliberately denied me for over three months, which had resulted in enormous damage to both my feet and my health, and it was this that had resulted in a sudden loss of mobility and left me in enormous pain from four different sources. You would have to be extremely callous not to be very concerned about the position this had left me in. I thought that if I could speak to her then she would listen.
She didn't telephone, if she had it could have avoided a great deal of unpleasantness. But Mrs Taylor's mind was set, I was going to attend the Meeting come what may.
Letter dated 14th February. I was very annoyed and disappointed when I discovered that Mrs Taylor had sent me a letter about my attending the Meeting - it was completely out of order. She was still steaming on, pressing me to attend the Meeting which she had declined to cancel. Not my fault! She referred to a request that I had made to meet with her on 9th February. She went on '... I have rearranged my diary in order that I can attend the meeting which I am advised is due to take place at 11am on 17th February ...'. The Meeting was taking place in Birmingham 23 miles away from our address in Worcester. How can it be 'I am advised' when it was Mrs Taylor's personal reference across the letter? She went on to question my decision by asking me to contact Mrs Hughes to advise her 'whether or not you will be attending in light of this.' Her decision to attend made no difference to my reasons for declining, I was simply not well enough to attend what was a very important business Meeting, that I would only be given one shot at.
Her letter was sent to us as an attachment to an email by Mrs Hughes on 14th February at 16.11. My wife is still ill and because of this has not re-commenced her normal activities since before Christmas - at the time, apart from Doctors appointments she had only really been out of the house to shop for food. We are a retired couple in our sixties and we do not have 'an administration' behind us, I am practically computer illiterate and rely on my wife. We pay for whatever help we need with the computer We do not know when she opened the email, we think that it was the following day. Unfortunately, she sent the requested 'read receipt' but omitted to open the attachment. We were both really struggling at the time, were not expecting anything of importance, and I had as a consequence of my absence in January got over 500 emails that remained unopened after spam and the like had been removed. Some will take me only a few seconds, some twenty minutes.
I was very annoyed that Mrs Taylor was refusing to accept my decision, but nevertheless the moment I became aware of her letter the following day, I tried to contact Mrs Hughes as she had asked me to. I let the 'phone ring out for a long while - there was no answer phone connected. It was after 4pm and the whole of the Complaints Dept. had left. Anxious to leave a message for Mrs Taylor, to advise her that her letter did not alter the situation, I telephoned the number on the top of her letter-heading. Her number had changed, but by accident or design her letters to me had not been altered: and her the Chief Executive Officer!
The telephone was answered by someone in 'communications', whatever that means, he was both courteous and very anxious to help. He very carefully asked me to repeat my details, along with my message for Mrs Taylor - that I would not be attending the Meeting, I outlined my reasons - ill health. He promised me that 'He would send Tracy an email' explaining the position, i.e. that I would NOT be attending on the grounds of my ill health. Very fortunately for me, he also promised to send me a copy of his email, and I subsequently became aware that he had been as good as his word - unusual for this Trust. Unfortunately, rather than recording as the Subject: 'Meeting 17th February', the previous day's date appeared, and the message was equally confused. But it did convey the fact that I was NOT going to be attending the Meeting. My message had been communicated as far as I was concerned in person - I guess that I could have written but in my hurry to telephone Mrs Hughes it simply did not occur to me.
12th February/15th February. When I had not heard from Mrs Taylor following my conversation with Mrs Last on the evening of 10th February i.e. she had declined to contact me by telephone, I had started preparing a letter to Mrs Taylor dated 12th February. This was not typed up until very early on 15th February, when it was sent attached to an email at 8.20 on 15th February, marked accordingly.
It gave Mrs Taylor in writing, the information that I had given to Mrs Last on the evening of the 10th February. It EVIDENCED that I was in no condition to travel to a Meeting, let alone take a major part in any Meeting that was of such importance to me or anyone else - I defy anyone to suggest otherwise - anyone other than Mrs Taylor that is. I suspect that Mrs Taylor has accessed my health records, and if so they would no doubt prove the validity of my claims.
I am 68 and there is a limit to what I can endure. Pain has almost destroyed me and this must be responsible for my losing over a stone in weight, despite my efforts not to. I would not have been in pain if Mrs Taylor's Trust had provided me with shoes that fit and orthoses to put in them. It was what I was entitled to.
Did Mrs Taylor give up trying to bully me into attending? NO SHE DID NOT! Caring or callous? Callous! Yet she came from a nursing background.
15th February. In the afternoon Mrs Taylor sent me another letter, she thanked me for my letter and then went on to badger me to attend the Meeting! Her behaviour was outrageous. When she wants something, she obviously doesn't care who gets hurt in the process.
Our household was in turmoil and my wife was struggling to get to grips with a lap-top she had purchased. She had tried linking them together but they are completely incompatible and she had her hands full - all sort of things were going wrong. (And she was ill herself) I imagine that she must have opened the email and sent a read receipt probably sometime on the 16th, it may have been on the 17th - I simply do not know. I did not become aware of it until it was too late to do anything about it.
I sent Mrs Taylor an email on 20th February to which I have not received a reply. I asked to meet with her because I desperately need replacement orthoses.
I dealt with the subject of her harassing me, and offered my apologies for the fact that I had failed to respond to her letter, which was more than her Trust had done on the countless number of occasions that they had made mistakes. There was nothing further that I could do. The fact is that she should not have put us under so much pressure.
I had very firmly declined to attend the Meeting on 9th February, when I had provided the Trust with more than sufficient reasons for my decision. I had also re-confirmed my decision when asked, and advised Mrs Last of my reasons the following evening.
Mrs Taylor should have left it at that, but she wasn't prepared to. I had ensured that I had got a message direct to Mrs Taylor on the 15th February and followed it up in writing.
I started to prepare a further response for my wife to type, but the days passed by and what good would it achieve. Once I received Mrs Taylor's jaundiced Final Response and Dr Walsh-Khattak's Report on 21st February, I decided that I was simply wasting my time.
I had always been very keen to attend a Meeting with the Senior Executives I hold responsible for damaging my feet and depriving me of my mobility, but NOT when I was much too ill to represent myself - it was something that Mrs Taylor, by harassing me to attend, seemed to be intent on taking full advantage of - how shameful is that?
The health issues that led me to decline to attend the Meeting on 17th February which I believe fully justified my decision. This is what the Trust WAS AWARE OF!!!
***** The damage to my feet that I had complained about, had paled into insignificance when compared to the damage to them that resulted from my being deprived of orthotic care, following my lodging a Formal Complaint. On 4th November I advised the Trust (Mr Mark Senior) that I couldn't manage with the orthoses that I had, and badly needed replacements. The Trust did nothing, and I made further representations on 19th November, first to my Consultant, and then to a General Manager. I finally received one replacement pair eleven weeks later, which have been completely worn out for some time now - the Trust is aware of this and has done what they have so often done in the past - ignored the fact. Clearly they do not like Patients that complain!
On 2nd February I was, for the very first time provided with 22mm soft orthoses, the size the old worn-out shoes that I had been left to manage with were designed to accommodate. Although these were much more comfortable the condition of my feet has not improved. Meanwhile, because the shoes are so loose, this, combined with a manufacturing defect means that the orthoses have not been fit to wear for a while, it is not my fault they have worn out so fast. They have not provided the cushioning I need for a couple of weeks or more and this is critical. The Trust have declined to do anything about this, notwithstanding the manufacturing defect. My left foot is now very painful and I have very little mobility left.
Exercising is problematic because a neuropathy that has steadily advanced for fifteen years, leads to muscle damage and flesh wastage and I can do nothing that puts weight on my left foot.
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