There's nothing the media likes more than an easy target and this week's was Rose Gibb, formerly chief executive of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells trust, aka 'the dirtiest hospital in England'.

The proverbial hit the fan with the Healthcare Commission's report on the country's worst Clostridium difficile outbreak, which killed 90 people.

Ms Gibb had already left her job and was reportedly holed up in her£700,000 Kent mansion refusing to talk to reporters baying for blood. Health secretary Alan Johnson ordered the trust to withhold her severance pay, rumoured to be anything between£250,000 (Daily Mirror) and£400,000 (Sunday Mirror). Meanwhile, police were considering whether to prosecute.

Columnist Carole Malone got worked up in the Sunday Mirror under the headline 'Cure NHS filth with jail'. Slating Ms Gibb's silence, she wrote: 'Gibb, who earned a staggering£150,000 a year to preside over what the police may (and should) prosecute as a case of corporate manslaughter, is not only hideously incompetent, she's also a coward.'

The Daily Telegraph damned Ms Gibb with her own quotes on patient safety since 2001, when she was director of operations at North Middlesex Hospital, which then had one of the worst records on MRSA infections.

Elsewhere in the Telegraph, the famously up-to-date Dr James Le Fanu raged this wouldn't have happened in his day when matron was in charge and hospitals ran themselves without an army of pen-pushers.

The media anger is understandable. But there is a footnote, posted on Response Source, a tool for journalists looking for informed comment.

Here, David Sykes, partner at employment law specialists Averta, says the trust may be obliged to pay Ms Gibb her severance. Pity the acting chief executive defending that decision.