thankyou from Robin ...
This page on
is intended to be read by nurses, doctors, and those working within Care Homes and Social Services
dealing with long term care. i.e. dealing with patients who have been the victim of stroke, Alzheimers, spinal injury, MS,
and the many medical conditions which should qualify, under the existing law, for Continuing Care.
The important and most recent information is that near the top of this page: the criticism of the "National Framework" which came into force in late 2007. Perhaps even more significant is the "Guide to fully funded NHS care" from the RCN which was published in March 2006 and is still highly relevant. Later information, dating from years ago, will be of less interest.
If you play the three minute video of Pamela Coughlan , you will see Pam credits the Law Society and the RCN as being very supportive. These respected institutions, and their publications, enable you to verify the simple facts that we present on this web site. I thank them here, along with Pam and the handful of people you see on our front page, or linked message board, active in our campaign.
We are not a registered charity: if we were, we would not be permitted to lobby in parliament. The major charities sometimes "sing from the same hymn sheet" but can be constrained in who they talk to and what they say. We do not have this problem. We do not need funding, and our small "band of brothers and sisters" simply try to spread true facts and good advice.
I thank the slowly increasing numbers of those working within the NHS who discover the simple facts on www.nhscare.info, verify them, then "spread the word" by printing our single page flyer and give copies to colleagues, patients or their families. I know of cases where this was done by senior staff within hospitals, and where the patient was quickly granted Continuing Care - without a single letter being written. Nurses, doctors, care workers and social workers also may have close friends or relatives who need long term care.
Most of all I'd like to thank the many nurses, doctors, and care workers, who give professional and loving care to their patients, despite all that is thrown at them. Finally - having a sense of humour can help all of us: checkout the jokes on our lawyers page - it includes a few for you too :-)
The Department of Health "National Framework" came into effect in late 2007 and lays down procedures for NHS and Social Services.
from Robin on 9th March 2006: I've just received the Royal College of Nursing leaflet "Guide to fully funded NHS care" via Age Concern and this could be one of the best I've seen yet. The back page says "March 2006" and so it is only a few days old. It was commissioned by Age Concern, the Alzheimer's Society, Help the Aged and the Royal College of Nursing. It was produced in conjunction with Nicola Mackintosh, of Mackintosh Duncan solicitors, who was the lawyer for Pam Coughlan. Near the back is a draft letter. some will wish to use it to write to their local NHS and Social Services. Perhaps most interesting of all is the advice given under "if you are a professional working in health or social care you should..." - see our red "Make sure you are not breaking the law" above, under "simple advice for NHS and Social Services staff".
Robin has long supported the idea of an amnesty for NHS Doctors and Staff to declare known cases in which medical records, such as discharge letters and consultants reports, were hidden or falsified to support a patient being discharged into a care home not qualifying for free continuing care. This amnesty would also apply to those working within Social Services who had been drawn into unlawful acts such as means testing of an NHS patient. The aim would be to produce a register of patients who could make a lawful claim under Coughlan, without the staff involved risking prosecution and/or reprimand by the police, families, BMA, RCN or other authorities. This might be more difficult where the police are involved, but could still involve the family not "pressing charges" against the individuals who had admitted their actions. Put simply, we are encouraging "whistle blowing".
You may have heard about the case of an innocent woman being wrongly jailed for the cot death of her child - it took two years for the husband to get access to his own sons' medical records and provide the evidence to free her. Secrecy and falsification of medical records seem to be at the heart of the main story on this site. Robin has direct experience of this and is now releasing relevant information on this page.
The old "Medical Records Page" is that below ...
You may have heard about the recent case of an innocent woman being wrongly jailed for the cot death of her child - it took two years for the husband to get access to his own son's medical records and provide the evidence to free her. Secrecy and falsification of medical records seem to be at the heart of the main story on NHSCare.info. Robin now has direct experience of this, and is now releasing relevant information in the hope that this practice will, with time, discontinue.
Robin has no wish to reprimand or embarrass the doctors, nurses or even the administrators, who may have been a party to hiding or falsifying medical records - see the "Amnesty" section on NHSCare.info - but it is an unfortunate fact of life that the spotlight of publicity is an important tool in "putting things right". Robin is very sensitive to the fact that the NHS administrators may be under tremendous pressure in recent years to "balance budgets" with all that could mean to their job security. He is even more concerned that excellent doctors and nurses, who may have only entered the UK in recent years, could have subtle but frightening pressures put on them - particularly if remaining within the UK were related to their keeping their job within the NHS.
It appears obvious that, over the years, the NHS and individuals within it, have protected themselves from prosecution after incidents like botched operations, by making the medical records difficult to access. "Patient Confidentiality" is given as the reason for not disclosing the medical records - even if these are being requested by the patient or a close member of their family.
Robin's first experience of this was in August 2002, when he tried to get access to his mother's records to check important details such as her medications during her last few weeks in Castle Ward, Battle Hospital, Reading. This had never been a problem in the past: Robin and his sister, Sally Campion, had often checked these details when their father, Len Lovelock, or mother Evelyn, had been admitted to a new hospital or ward. It was often the case that there were important mistakes or omissions, and these were quickly brought to the attention of the hospital staff so they were corrected. There was never any question of this being done to reprimand staff - simply to assist them having the correct information so that the correct medications were given.
It may be a coincidence that Castle Ward was the first location where this access to medical records was refused. This was in August of 2002, and there is a long recorded history, not yet documented in detail here, where - despite witnessed letters signed by Evelyn, access was still denied. At the time Robin and Sally could not understand this policy on Castle Ward. However, it is now apparent that many of the patients on Castle Ward may be discharged to go into a Care Home, and so it is just possible that there is some connection with funding here.
Robin believes that this behavior is probably widespread within the NHS.
For the latest details of Evelyn Lovelock's case please click here
Robin has heard stories about the NHS hiding and/or falsifying medical records, with the intention of making it more difficult for families to press their claim for 100% funding of a care home. Until now he has regarded such stories as "hearsay", but his own experience now provides early evidence of this in his mother's case.
Robin first requested a copy of Dr Van Wyk's consultant's report, sent from NHS Battle Hospital Reading to Wokingham Social Services, on 6th December 2002. This report may have been important in the decision of whether Robin's mother was considered eligible for 100% NHS funding of her care.
In a letter to Mark Gritten, Chief Executive The Royal Berks & Battle Hospital Trust,
copied to Nick Relph, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Health Authority,
Janet Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Reading Primary Care Trust,
and Dr Van Wyk at Battle Hospital, Robin requested :
"I, on behalf of my mother, request a copy of the report, believed to have been supplied by Dr Van Wyk to Anju Bhatti of Social Services, prior to my mother's discharge from Castle Ward, Battle Hospital to Holyport Lodge Nursing Home on 18th November 2002."
the letter also said,
"I also attach a witnessed letter from my mother, dated 10th October 2002, should you believe "Patient Confidentiality" an excuse for not providing a copy of the report. "
The full text of this letter to Mark Gritten Ref.NHSC1.RTF is available here
A slow process than started in which Prof Prof. Ann Sheen, Deputy Chief Executive, on behalf of Mark Gritten, requested that Robin direct his request to Miss Abigail Moss, Support Clerk at Medical Records Office, Royal Berks Hospital. This process seemed designed to create maximum delay.
In his next letter, Ref NHSC2 dated 13 December, to Mark Gritten, Prof. Ann Sheen,
Miss Abigail Moss, Janet Fitzgerald, Nick Relph and Dr Van Wyk, Robin said :
I am advised that my letter with its attachments should have been sufficient for your timely provision of the requested report, believed to have been written by Dr Van Wyk.
However, I enclose the application form*, attached to your letter, completed. I note that your procedures introduce additional delay, and to help reduce this delay I enclose a cheque*, payable to your trust, to the value of £50 - the maximum cost. * to Abigail Moss.
The full text of this letter Ref. NHSC2.RTF is available here
No response was forthcoming from the Medical Records office or any of these people above on the subject of Dr Van Wyk's report.
On Monday 13th January 2003, Robin rang the Medical Records office and left a message on the answerphone of Miss Abigail Moss. He also left an answerphone message at 1615 on the answerphone of Sue Humphry. The message may be summarized as a polite reminder that he had not yet received a copy of Dr Van Wyk's report, and that correspondence requesting it was available on a "need to know" web site, available to themselves and others in NHS and Social Services.
Robin then received 200+ photo-copied pages of medical records, under a covering letter from Ms S. B. Seigne (Stefanie Seigne) ref SBS/cb/Lovelock dated 15 January. The letter explained that the cheque of £50 would be cashed.
No mention of Dr Van Wyk's report was mentioned in Stefanie Seigne's letter, and the report could not be found within the 200+ pages. It is possible that one of the 200+ pages comprised Dr Van Wyk's "report", but this seems unlikely - none of the pages appear to be the requested report - unless it is the "Discharge Letter" about to be discussed below.
The "Discharge Letter" has highlighted an apparent discrepancy in the medical record of Robin's mother's condition, which is analyzed further now.
There is a "Discharge Letter" Consultant:Dr Van Wyk, Ward:Castle, signed by Dr Ali Abayiter. Some of the letter, such as the date, is not legible. However, the early part summarizing the medical condition is legible: no mention was made of Alzheimer's and a box describing mental state had the first "alert" box circled, when one would have expected the third "confused" box to have been chosen.
This appears to be in direct conflict with the text from Robin's EVESCARE document section "Eve’s Medical Problems", reviewed and agreed by Dr Ali Albayati and Dr Van Wyk at a meeting in Ward Sister Fogarty’s office at 1345 Tuesday 12th November 2002.
Eve’s most significant medical problem is Alzheimer’s. The most obvious effect is her inability to remember events from a few minutes earlier, or to focus on important tasks such as eating her food. This also means that she will be lonely when isolated in her room, since she will forget that she has had visitors just a short while earlier, and she shows little or no interest in things like TV, radio, or reading. Alzheimer’s was the only condition on husband Len’s death certificate. Other conditions such as depression, increased frailty and immobility are attributed to Alzheimer’s. See Aricept below. Sjogren’s Syndrome, only recently mentioned by Dr Ali: what is the significance of this ?
The next most significant condition is Fibrosis Alveolitis. This the slow moving shadow on her lung, also referred to as CFA. Fibrosis Alveolitis was diagnosed years earlier. Eve has always been fearful of this condition since her father died of something similar. Any lung infection such as a cold or ‘flu can become a crisis. Treatments include 24 hours/day oxygen and regular scheduled use drugs such as Salmetrol, Flixotide, Salbutamol, and Prednisolone mentioned below.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT or blood clotting) was diagnosed as the cause of her painful and swollen right leg after a fall, when Eve was admitted to Battle Minster Ward in August 2002. See Warfarin below.
Bed Sores - at base of spine: currently believed not broken. also tendendency on heels.
Eve suffers from Arthritis and has had hip replacement surgery twice. See Paracetamol.
We await to see what develops in this long saga of Dr Van Wyks's report, and will report it here, in addition to letters to those involved.
... above is from 2003.
For the latest details of Evelyn Lovelock's case please click here