Cynthia, take a Bow.

  • To: Don Wise, chief executive
  • From: Paul Servant
  • Re: Lambs to the slaughter

Dear Don,

And so, to paraphrase the late and unlamented Nicholas Ridley, the Care Quality Commission has stopped sailing with its Bower doors open. A sacrificial lamb, possibly, but no martyr. An impossible task no doubt, but I never heard the CQC whistleblowing.

As you know, we take the issue very seriously, and it is a testament to your transparent and accessible leadership that no one has used the £2.95 a minute, all calls recorded and traced, 11am to 1pm, Tuesdays and every other Friday, call us and tell us what you think if you don’t value your career helpline.

We have also received no letters in the anonymous letterbox on your secretary’s desk, and the moderated online noticeboard has received only praise for your enlightened, generous and benevolent concern for staff.

It was not always thus. Only last year we had whingeing staff in the local paper complaining that one nurse between two wards was dangerous, consultants being totally hysterical over your plans to double operating list size while reducing operating hours, and LINks frothing at the gills about… well I was never quite sure. (They are the only people I know who can get bunions, kidney transplants, parking and toilets into the same sentence.)

You listened, you understood and you responded; by appointing a new head of security, from Libya. I think it’s great the way you offer the recently unemployed new opportunities. All is silence, peace and harmony now.

As silence is such an obvious indicator of safety, proficiency, efficiency, quality and excellence, it’s no wonder it is so assiduously pursued, relentlessly imposed and sternly achieved by those who care about such things in strategic health authorities and the Department of Health. I wonder if it’s a quality the NHS Commissioning Board might seek to uphold?