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Bonkers Blog June 2013

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24 June (Part 9) - Definitely not saved by the BELL

Before the BELL story began to get really interesting anonymous emails were arriving from what I thought might be a family member and someone else, maybe a worker at the home where Mrs. Baker lived - or should I say died?

Then came the first email that required no guesswork. It is reproduced below because it sheds light on the problems an important witness alleges he faced. The more that is known about the case, the easier it may be to understand it.

I am concerned that the death of a Bexley Emergency Linkline customer due to her emergency call being unanswered because only one member of staff was on duty at the time, seems to have been forgotten.

It has not made the press despite being of high public interest. Mrs. Barbara Baker died 6/4/2012 and there followed a police investigation. All BELL staff were told by managers to keep it quiet. All questions about it were met with “we can't comment due to a Police investigation”.

I worked at BELL for about seven years before I was sacked for swearing after being abused and sworn at over those years.

When I started at BELL there were insufficient records of where in the field alarm units were, how old the units were and whether they were due for renewal. I discovered that Bexley BELL was installing units already out of date, the existing staff did not understand the need for renewing the standby batteries and when I explained the seriousness of the situation I was disciplined.

Every time I brought something up about failures and shortcomings in the system I was disciplined. After Mrs. Baker’s death I reminded management that I had previously warned A.M. [name deleted] that we should have two on duty at all times in case someone was indisposed when a call came in.

After this I was constantly baited and provoked and abused by some of the more senior staff. It was during a verbal bombardment by a colleague that I let the swear word out that I eventually got sacked for. I believe there was a cover up and the true reason for my dismissal was because I knew too much and didn’t want to turn a blind eye.

The report bore uncanny similarities to another email received about the same time…

There are so many outrageous reports of Bexley council's scandalous behaviour towards residents and their own staff. I know and have known so many people who [work] for Bexley who are disgusted at some of these scandals. I know there is a lot of talk and unrest in some depts.

And today I have been to see the concerned ex-BELL employee.

He makes a good case and has retained a lot of documents but as he said in his email, he was on the face of it, not sacked for reasons directly connected to the neglect of Mrs. Baker. That would have been altogether too blatant. However the documents which I have on loan do not confirm the sacking was for uttering a single swear word - despite “arsehole” appearing in the documents - but for something very different.

Maybe I should leave this until I have more time - which probably won’t be tomorrow. Tuesdays are not my favourite day for blogging. Other things must be done.


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