Thursday, 8 May 2008

My Story - Part 4 (Did the grandprix system come back from the dead???)

Before I embark on the next chapter, I just wanted to point out to readers that a previous blog post of mine made mention to an email account I had set up for readers to contact me anonymously if they preferred.

The email address is

You can use this and I will ensure it remains confidential. I am the only person who knows the password.

The Story continues...

On 15th December 2006, shortly after the battle over recruitment, I left the island to spend Christmas with my family in the UK.

On my return I walked into Greenfields and it felt as if I had not been there for years. I felt out of place, there was a deathly silence amongst the staff group when I walked in a room. Something was going on and I was confused and very uncomfortable.

I read the communications book, which I had introduced for staff to inform each other of significant information more effectively than is possible with traditional memos and all staff read the book at the start of each shift and signed their name. I was aware that this would inform me of any significant events that had occurred during the two weeks I was on annual leave.

From what I read I was little surprise that staff were feeling very uncomfortable around me.

There were a few significant entries in the book, but for the purpose of this blog post I want to focus on one.

On the 20th December 2006 an entry had been written as follows,

"All staff as from today room one will now be the new admissions room, where new admissions will be placed after full admission. They will remain in room one for twenty four hours with good behaviour. Should any unwanted behaviour be shown then the twenty four hours may be started from the start of compliant behaviour".

Now, before I move on, I want us to consider these words more closely. It suggests does it not, that an allocated room will be used for all new young people arriving? It also suggests that they will remain there for 24 hours. Furthermore, it goes on to say that should they do something wrong then the 24 hours can start again. Yes?

Right, now lets look at the wording of the grandprix system document which I posted on this blog back in April.

The grandprix system policy states;

"You will have been placed in a bedroom (depending on your behaviour and attitude to staff), where you will spend 24 hours".

Are there any similarities or is it just my imagination?

On the morning of 29th December, after arriving back from annual leave a member of staff asked me what they should do about a young person who was locked in their room (the young person had arrived the previous evening). I explained that until I speak with Joe Kennedy they must do what they had been told to do in my absence.

There response was, "okay fine, he can stay in his room then".

I have told you about this point, not to blame the member of staff, but to highlight that all the staff were very clear that this entry in the communications book was telling them to do what they had previously done with the grandprix system when young people arrived.

The first 24 hours was always in solitary confinement, albeit with some time for exercise, meals and a little staff interaction.

I submitted my Serious Concerns complaint the next working day - I will talk about this in my next blog. Before I do this, I want to share a snippet of the response from senior managers who are highly paid and responsible for the Greenfields service.

As a result of my complaint one part of the investigation was done by Phil Dennett, Coordinator of the Children's Executive, and amongst other things, he looked into this new admissions procedure that I have highlighted above.

In his report he wrote that he had interviewed the member of staff who had written the entry in the communications book on 20th December.

In his report he states,

"7.4 On re-reading her own communication she stated that she could see how it might have been open to mis-interpretation."

A convenient perspective you may think?

However, the story doesn't end there - the person who wrote this entry into the communications book, who then later realised how unfortunate her wording was, is the same person who has been alleged to have been having an affair with Joe Kennedy. The same person that has been suspected of being promoted because of this alleged affair.

This is a very difficult story for me to tell on such a public forum - I am not doing this out of any bitterness or malice for any one individual and I am sorry that this blog may cause them some embaressment or discomfort.

We have all been dragged into what has become a very political battlefield and this I believe is the only way to force change in the system and stop the culture of concealment and oppression against those who dare to speak out.

Please help me fight for justice so that children who find themselves at the mercy of the children's service tomorrow will get a better deal that the ones who are there today.