Comments - Page 3
Thanks Anon at 17:11 and Shaun. Couldn't have put it better myself. I have never posted anonymously. I have never been abusive. It would still be useful to know if HSJ moderates comments before they go up.
Hi HSJ editor: The anonymous comment at 15:19 does not add to this important debate. It has nothing to do with regulation 20. It is unpleasant and personal. The use of vindictive, recalcitrant and deluded are in my opinion all defamatory as they are clearly aimed at me. Sadly, when I have reported offensive comment by the channel you provide I have not always had an answer.
A word of praise for Les Small. His only consideration was for the welfare of individuals exposed to asbestos and the potentially horrific consequences they and their families faced. In his own words: "Perhaps there's a guy who was working as a 17-year-old, then at 27 he's starting a family and an illness comes up and it is asbestos-related but there is no record of asbestos exposure where he has worked." For his brave and humane action he was well and truly shafted. A common fate for NHS whistleblowers. It should not be beyond the wit of Matt Hancock to make an example of Les and the shafters. An exercise in pan-NHS learning.
Check Nick Carding and Jon Ashworth on WATO. Clearly made the point this is not the case. Sounds like alternative contractor with its own incinerators turned down on cost basis. JA said it is concerning that Matt Hancock failed to inform Parliament of the scandal despite likely prosecution. Suggested he was less transparent than his predecessor. That's worrying.
It's always good when the full consultant body genuinely gets behind the board. That should be normative. Not sure that's what is happening here. Rebecca, it would have been useful to check the size of the consultant establishment. Is 37 about 20% of the whole? Also, who penned the letter and who organised the signatures? Were all consultants asked to sign? This is a trust with recent serious bullying allegations. So, was any whipping involved? Can't help feeling you've only got half the story.
"The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit." Milton Friedman said that. There is nothing in this for staff who if they only realised it have the upper hand in the current market.
Whistleblower Ed Jesudason has posted these preliminary but useful thoughts on Chris Day's ET this morning: https://jesudasonappeal.wordpress.com/2018/10/17/a-hard-days-night/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
"In the decision, the tribunal singled out Dave Rosser, then the trust’s medical director, who has since been promoted to chief executive, for criticism as the “driving force” behind the dismissal.
The tribunal found Dr Rosser had an “apparent bias” that had led to a “sham exclusion” and the eventual unfair dismissal of Mr Reuser."
A CEO who acknowledges an employee has made PDs but thinks he's not a whistleblower? Given that Francis's main bastion in the fight against whistleblower suppression, the Speak up guardian, is directly answerable to Dr Rosser the future of safe reporting in this trust is in doubt.
The trusts answer, under Dr Prosser, is to throw more money at it with ever more expensive lawyers. This is about protecting individual and organisational reputations, not about learning from your mistakes. And certainly not about patients.
In its 2013 response to the Francis Mid Staffs PI report the Health Select Committee stated specifically that disciplinary procedures and employment tribunals are inappropriate fora for dealing with NHS staff who raise concerns. This simple principle if applied rigorously would stop this waste of healthcare talent and the squandering of many millions by Trust boards to protect themselves. The Department of Health in its response to the Select Committee's report says all the right things but 5 years later has done nothing to protect whistleblowers. This is why they suffer in rigged disiplinaries (see Verita reports on Sandra Haynes-Kirkbright at Wolverhampton now in year 7 of illegal exclusion and Amin Abdulla at Imperial, dead) and as with Dr's Day, Beatt, Jesudason etc., in the Tribunals. I can only assume that DH, regulators & NHS leaders have no real interest in creating a just culture.
As someone who contributed to Chris Day's crowd fund on a number of occasions I count the money a good investment. I certainly do not want a refund. I know of no-one who does. I applaud him for the way he has stuck to his principles. There is a huge gap between law and justice in the way the NHS treats staff who raise concerns. That the problem is widespread in the NHS is now universally accepted but strangely the number of whistleblowers vindicated by law can be counted on one hand.
Sir Ian Kennedy gave an HSJ interview 10 years ago on the malignant problem of bullying in the NHS, as he retired as HCC chair. In it he referred to the same problems encountered at Bristol in his investigations a decade earlier. Its worth a read as it demonstrates that little has changed except that the problem may have intensified and become more deeply ingrained. https://www.hsj.co.uk/news/workforce/bullying-permeating-patient-care-warns-healthcare-commission/2007581.article It is, unfortunately, not in the interests of those at the Department of Health and NHS regulators to allow too close a scrutiny of this problem as the evidence trail inevitably leads to their own doorstep. Francis referred to this as the "kiss-up, kick-down" culture in which everyone is looking out for their own progress/safety/survival. As Francis also said, patients rarely figure in such a dog eat dog world. There are people who understand this problem much better than I do and are able to prescribe remedies that will work. The medicines may prove unpalatable to those at the top. Sadly so, for staff who dread going to work in the morning. And patients who depend on them for their care.
Well done PHSO. As one of those who first complained to CQC about the Vasco-Knight appointment & the whistleblowers left to rot I provided hard evidence of gross misconduct. I can only describe CQC's response as dismissive. Even in their statement to today's Ombudsman report they do not seem to understand how badly wrong they are getting the regulation of this statute. It puts into question specifically all decisions in complaints under regulation 5 of whistleblower supression. Suggestions have been made today on Twitter of in-group/out-group bias involving the then chair of the CQC FPPR committee. In the small and insecure world of NHS leadership that looks quite possible.
15:41. Can you not see the irony of an anonymous defence of this Trust as a paragon of transparency? You cast doubt on the findings of the report. You claim no costs threat was made but provide no evidence. What on Earth would Dr Day hope to achieve by applying for the settlement to be set aside if there were no truth in his claims?
Hi Anon at 11:45. Correct. Dr Day has applied to set aside the settlement. If successful his claim will resume at ET and the respondent's 14 witnesses will be cross-examined. Meanwhile however, MPs Norman Lamb & Justin Madders have written to Matt Hancock. They suggest that no more money beyond the £700,000 already spent opposing Day should be wasted. They have requested a Public Inquiry. The ongoing ambiguity surrounding NHS whistleblowing given the inadequate legal protections requires some form of public scrutiny. Especially given Francis's failure to ensure victimisation is stopped. I hope Mr Hancock takes note.
To pick up on a point from Anon at 9:33. The "use of disciplinary processes to silence critics and the collusion HR departments have with managers in sustaining this is toxic." This is widespread in the NHS. The Verita report on Amin Abdulla's suicide illustrates it perfectly. And again, a good but BME (and gay) nurse who was literally bullied to death. The 95 (I imagine 965 is a typo) disciplinaries in 2 years in this trust looks high. Since exclusion, disciplinary investigations and hearings are well recognised tools for shutting good staff up Ben Travis (to be thanked for commissioning this review) should now organise independent scrutiny of each case.
Organisational DoC became statute 27 November 2014. Since CQC has detected only one breach in more than 4 years it is clear that this legislation was not needed. Unless of course CQC has been unable to see what goes on in front of its eyes on a daily basis.
Suspending judgement until report published.
"He will also recommit government to doing more to support whistleblowing doctors and nurses, the DHSC said."
Dr Chris Day is trying to get his case heard in full after he withdrew following a ruinous costs threat. One of the Morecambe Bay whistleblowers started crowd funding for her tribunal yesterday. Dr Beatt is still waiting for his remedy hearing after Croydon NHS spent years squandering huge sums fighting their indefensible behaviour. Francis reported 4 years ago. But Kark has uncovered the need for more whistleblower support. The many egregious examples given to Kark of whistleblower mistreatment warrant something stronger than this.
“We have to get it right because at the same time we also need to be able to encourage more people and people of great calibre into positions of leadership within the NHS. So getting the balance right so that this strengthens the system and encourages people in is what I would be looking for.”
This makes no sense. Why should the prospect of directors being struck off for acts of Gross Misconduct deter high-quality individuals from applying for such posts? Competent, ethical individuals have nothing to fear. They should be reassured rather that they will be swimming in shark-free waters.
We may hear no more of this recommendation. Until next time.
A great opportunity to understand lack of progress on NHS Bullying. See Anonymous comment at 01:05 "For all their faults - Unions don’t say there is bullying without good reason." 6 likes, 6 dislikes. Comments & like/dislikes largely show partisan bias. Pro-management based on personal recommendation and reliance on policy. Pro-staff more likely to argue on actual facts & evidence. Opaque reviews with limited scope and of questionable independence are not the way to resolution. Or reconciliation. Patient care depends on workplace harmony.
Interesting, Kevin Riley. Both Sir Mike Richards and Tom Kark have told me personally that we cannot afford to be too hard on NHS CEOs as we already have a shortage of people wanting to do the job. So, that fits. My own complaint to CQC under FPPR involved the avoidable homicide of a child which was covered up by the trust for 8 years until I helped the father to expose it. CQC had all the evidence but helped sweep it under the carpet. The truth will out. I have no doubt of that. But too late. The CEO took the opportunity to take early retirement and do business elsewhere. With dignity.