Wednesday, 3 December 2014

We're fighting for the Women but what about Disability?

This post was left as a comment on our Blog, but I am moving and making it a full post as it's important.  I would like to thank Chris Balchin for adding this and also for being strong enough to use their own name, something that not many can or will do.

From the outset I can openly state my name.  I am Chris (Christopher) Balchin. My LCFT credentials you will find in my comment earlier in this blog.

I am so grateful for this latest posting!

It is of great benefit to me personally in my one man campaign for Justice for disabled people in The former Lancaster Unit, at its replacement The Orchard, and around attitudes to disabled people's experience within the Trust generally.  My campaign has received warm words but little success since 2010 when I was an inpatient suffering the effects of a serious breakdown.

I today met with genuinely concerned senior managers in the Trust. These managers were made aware of my concerns for the first time today and were genuinely shocked at my stories. I believe they are taking this and other issues very seriously indeed.

It had not occurred to me that the Trust needed to take Due Regard for Disability when earlier mentioned, but your wording opened my eyes to the obvious. 

All I've heard from project managers and the Architect was that Regulations are different for a refurbishment to that of a new build.  Other management just referred to cost implications.  I continually questioned the legitimacy of those comments where no facilities are provided at all, or where facilities are so lacking that there might as well be none.

The room lauded to me as 'The Disabled Room' is named such for one reason and one reason only - it has a larger floor area. Further, this Disabled Room is on the Men's Wing.  I received no reply when I asked where the Women's Disabled Room was.

If those people that I have previously spoken to thought I would go away, be assured I never would, but the stress of their inaction and dismissive behaviour might have caused a relapse in my health forcing me back to the inadequate conditions of the Orchard. I would not have coped with that though so would not have likely survived.

However, though my only technology is a phone, I see it can be so beneficial in bringing justice to the oppressed.  It is amazing what Public Knowledge of a situation can do.

Well Chris, we do hope that the Trust staff who we know are reading our blog, look into your concerns properly and start taking issues of potential discrimination seriously.


  1. Just heard about your campaign.
    Good grief. I thought discrimination was dead but was just displaying nerve spasms prior to burial.
    But it seems Lancashire Care is back in Victorian times and trying to turn the clock back to the dark ages.

    Appalled and worried of Lancaster.

  2. Discrimination is very much alive and kicking. It's only when you encounter it that you realise that it's there.

  3. Shit yeah, but how're they getting away with it? Where are the Care Quality Commission when they're needed? Sitting on their arses thinking of more reasons not to do anything about abuse, more reasons not to earn their salaries.

  4. Bet they are all in league with each other.
    They are both government funded after all.
    But Jeeves, disabled people too. What the feck is happening in that Health trust?
    What the he'll are they up to?!
    I note Chris says that Cost implications are quoted. What cost?
    It's nothing once installed but everything to the user. It's dignity, it's independance; it's reduced time for staff involvement so it must be an overall saving.
    Jeeves. what planet are these people on?
    Angry Knight Owl

  5. Actually, Lancashire Care you will obviously be reading this, and you are a public organisation, so tell us publically what you say to these accusations LCFT.
    Or do you have something to hide from, like public shame.
    I am asking you in an open letter, there is no conflict of confidentiality, so answer publically.
    It seems that we need to be aware of the following
    Don't be a woman with need for The Orchard;
    Don't be Disabled when needing inpatient care in Lancashire;
    and for goodness sake-
    If you are a Disabled Woman in need of Lancashire Care, heaven help you
    They don't care.
    I'm sickened by what I'm reading so I've decided to leave off reading more tonight. Sorry. It makes me feel a wimp but I am genuinely sickened. I'm sorry too that I can't no, dare not give my name.

    Knight Owl

  6. Ladies and gentlemen.
    Might I have your attention PLEASE.

    IT is with great pleasure that I announce to you the fact that (we'll I think it is a fact)
    *Drum roll*

    Beds In The Orchard is officially a bonafide

    'LION'S ROAR with 10,000 Watt PA system!!!!'

    *Symbol crash*



    Love hugs and thanks.

    Knight Owl

  7. Good morning Knight Owl.

    The CQC have done a preliminary inspection of The Orchard and we've been told that it was very positive. I don't know if the inspection included a clear assessment of disability provision though. We, as in the campaign team, may draft a letter to the CQC to raise this point with them.

    Take care of yourself Knight Owl. We love reading your posts, but we all hope that you get some sleep!!
    BITO Team :)

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  10. When I say little success, I mean TINY.
    The best I was able to achieve was after about 2 years of complaining about the lack of privacy in the only disabled toilet at The Ridge Lea hospital when eventually a vertical venetian type blind was provided. This came about because I supported by a fellow volunteer made a very senior manager aware as she was adjacent to its large window. This was so translucent, the need for imagination was avoided as people used the toilet. Its location was by the main entrance and adjacent to public seating. This had been an issue long before I first raised it.