To: Don Wise, chief executive
From: Paul Servant, assistant chief executive
Re: Future imperfect
Whoever said the British had no stomach for public executions? Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells trust has demonstrated just how popular they can be.
What is perhaps surprising is that they didn't go in for a mass execution, of staff that is. Where are the professional conduct hearings of the doctors and nurses who did, after all, have direct contact with the poor patients and either ignored their professional responsibility to blow the whistle or ignored their professional duties to treat patients with care, dignity and in line with modern practice and protocols?
Of course it's all the evil managers' fault. They are the ones who don't wash their hands, don't attend to patients' personal care, shove them full of antibiotics and certify it was 'just one of those things' on death certificates. Managers are good at attempting to minimise the public exposure of this sort of thing, but not that good!
Still it's reassuring to know that the SHA and department have been monitoring the situation closely. After all, they couldn't possibly have seen the Healthcare Commission's report in advance, couldn't possibly have foreseen the chief executive's departure, would never have authorised a severance deal and thus were utterly as surprised as the rest of us that there are fewer residents in Kent than a year ago.
So I think our winter strategy of pile them high, sell them cheap might need to be revised. Now is the moment to say we are going to run at 80 per cent capacity, convert 50 beds to 10 isolation rooms, that safety will trump speed in admission and discharge and you can lose your job if you don't wash your hands, and not only if you're a manager.
By the way, this was obviously the perfect moment for the Confed to proffer insights into how we can bring clinicians and managers closer together. When, they asked, was the last time you saw doctors demonstrating in the streets for the reinstatement of a sacked chief executive? Hmm, I can't think of an example either. I wonder why.