Why Investigate

Why Investigate?

I can’t ‘process’ what’s happened and grieve for my child in the way that I need to in order to be able to live with this loss, if I don’t understand why she’s dead. Without a complete explanation, derived from thorough, professional, inquisitorial investigation, I am left consumed by unanswered questions and confused by incomplete, inadequate or incorrect conclusions drawn from, well, nothing. I can’t start to ‘move forward’ (I will never move on or get over it but I need to move forward with my life) , I am left reliving the trauma and trying to work it all out, I am left ‘stuck’. I am more and more psychologically hurt with every day my ‘search’ goes on. Those around me suffer the consequences of my crusade as I neglect their needs in favour of ‘the search’

I can’t rebuild my trust in the NHS, my trust that the safety of my children, the safety of me now that this has happened to me, and the safety of future children using services is at the core of what the NHS does, if I don’t see that the organisation and everyone in it is desperate to understand why, and how, my child died to protect the same from happening to another beautiful girl or boy. Choosing not to investigate, conveys an ‘ah well, shit happens’ attitude and this terrifies me. I am more and more psychologically hurt with every day I am left to live with the belief that safety is not your priority.

I need to see my child mattered to you. You are interested in why she died. You are willing and wanting to spend your time and money on finding out what went wrong and learning from it. A well led robust investigation shows me that. Not investigating, or a half arsed investigation, suggests you really couldn’t give a toss, and every day I live thinking that’s your view hurts like hell – more psychological damage

I need to tell people, friends and family, new aquaintances, what happened. You can really help me out with this. A complete, honest account that explains why my child sits as a box of ashes on my bedside cabinet, saves me having to try and tell a long story succinctly (I’m rubbish at that). A complete, honest account from you helps people understand there’s more than just that she died that I’m trying to come to terms with. I have more than one loss here.

There’s going to be an inquest. An honest investigation from you makes the coroners job easier, and my experience of a horrible process a lot more bearable. When you choose not to investigate (inappropriately) and the coroner’s views are skewed, well that creates another tonne of shit for me to deal with, and I’m already barely coping with what I have already. If the coroner fails to find the truth, ‘bang’ another whole chunk of friends and family relationships collapse, because they believe (wrongly) that a coronial process can be trusted, and I am deluded to continue to believe errors contributed to her death. I’m just a mum who can’t accept what happened and is seeking something to ‘blame’ (Not true, but that’s the way they see it)

If you don’t give me an explanation, I need to get it somehow. Lawyers. Claimant v. Defendant. Enemies. More pain.

I already feel like I let my child down. My job here was to keep her safe. She’s dead. FAILURE! If you don’t investigate, you set me up for years and years of failing her again and again as all my efforts to ensure acknowledgement and learning are batted away. I might be strong enough to go from failure to failure without giving up, but it will have it’s consequences on my health and my relationships.

I need to create a legacy for her. Your investigation can help, or hinder that. A good investigation that involves me and results in complete understanding of what happened and why, and action, that works, to reduce the risk to others, is stuff I can share. Sharing our story and seeing the learning spread helps me heal. Knowing people will know her name and ‘remember’ (keep putting the actions in place, and improving on them) is crucial to my ability to not just live, but thrive again.

Why investigate? YOUR child just died and you think their care played a part. What do YOU need? Thought so.

Joanne Hughes
Mother of Jasmine, a beautiful toddler who died after failures in her care, the circumstances of which the trusts involved chose not to investigate in a timely manner.

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