A bit of a long post, but necessary to detail how The Priory Group disregarded published government guidance and legislation regarding COVID-19, the MCA and the best interests of my vulnerable sibling.
Below is The Priory Group director of risk and safety, DW’s email of 14th April 2020, regarding denying my brother of attending our mother’s funeral service with other family members and me, minutes before the funeral service took place, followed by my reply and assessment of DW’s email.
My reply, to DW, was sent via post:
Reply to David Watts Distressing email of 14-04-2020_Redacted
There are several concerns with DW’s email of 14th April 2020, some of which are detailed below.
In consideration of DW’s distressing past deceit and attempt to intimidate me, I believe DW’s statement of condolences is merely feigned.
DW says following discussions with social care, taking into account government guidance, best interests, and facilitation. I address this in four brief parts below.
a. Herefordshire Council social care personnel did not attempt to contact me regarding funeral arrangements and my brother, between 25th March 2020, the date our mother passed away, to 14th April 2020, the date of the funeral. And regardless of me being an interested party in the health and welfare of my brother. As a side note, I had previously attempted to arrange for my brother to come home and go from there to the hospital two weeks before restrictions came into force, which was ignored by Priory Group and Herefordshire Council.
b. Government guidance on funerals attendance had not changed since the enactment of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 which came into force at 1.00 p.m. on 26th March 2020. While there were other specifics changed, attendance at funeral services and travelling to them did not and has not to date. Government guidance also stated travelling to attend a funeral was regarded as ‘essential travel’.
A small section of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 regarding funerals:
Restrictions on movement 6.—(1) During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse. (2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a reasonable excuse includes the need— (g) to attend a funeral of— (i) a member of the person’s household, (ii) a close family member, or (iii) if no-one within sub-paragraphs (i) or (ii) are attending, a friend
c. While there is more I could detail regarding this paragraph, a small part is DW’s disregard of relevance and his statement of considering what is in my brother’s best interest. I point to the legislation which DW has clearly ignored; section 4 of The Mental Capacity Act. Reference: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/9/section/4
While DW makes claims that my brother would not be able to understand restrictions on social distancing and speculates how my brother may interpret such, the sheer lack of DW’s and his colleagues’ knowledge and understanding of my brother and his communication, having been at The Priory group placement for almost seven years against family wishes, and what my bother is actually capable and able to understand and communicate with adequate support, is distressingly apparent. Regarding Keeping a distance, my brother always understood and had no issue keeping a safe range if he or my mother were, in the past, unwell.
This paragraph is of concern as DW interprets quotes a small and specific part of government guidance, yet chooses to omit part regarding who could attend a funeral under government guidance at the time and legislation. DW also contradicts himself claiming it is unknown if my brother would tolerate wearing any kind of PPE, yet also claims PPE is not appropriate for my brother; denying my sibling of protection.
DW’s statement of my brother biting nails and rubbing his mouth also conflict with his past statements and claims, including regarding my concerns of the recurring neglect of basic hygiene and two-year-long recurring impetigo which he, advocate and social care staff ignored.
DW’s statement is pure speculation and implies those attending the funeral service were infected with COVID-19 or were infectious
DW states it is too high a risk for my brother to attend and refers to the physical wellbeing of others. Yet, not one person attending the funeral service had COVID-19 or displayed signs of the virus and kept to relevant guidance. Regarding my brother’s emotional wellbeing and knowing how he is at such events, I consider DW’s claim derisive and offensive to both my brother and me.
A small section taken from government guidance before April 2020:
- mourners who are self-isolating for 14 days due to someone in their household being unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) but are not symptomatic themselves should be facilitated to attend the funeral in person should they wish to do so, with processes put in place to minimise the risk of transmission
- mourners who are clinically vulnerable or in a shielded group should also be facilitated to attend, with processes put in place to minimise the risk of transmission
DW nor his colleagues attempted to make contact by phone, Skype or other means. The only messages left on the landline, which was not in use since my mother died, were two few second long messages from a claimed to be social care employee. The answer machine messages, picked up on my return later that day after the funeral service.
To this date, I have been unable and not permitted to contact or see my brother, including via Skype, to tell him of our mother’s passing due to the various claims and excuses made by The Priory Group.
I believe DW’s letter is in part, just one more distressing attempt to alienate me from my brother. Since The Priory Group, with the help of specific Herefordshire Council social care staff, attempted and failed to fabricate criminal offences against me; which in turn was punishment for discovering neglect & abuse of my brother and helping him record and document what was happening H house.