‘Er, Jim, you know we said we’d appoint an improvement director for that Trust, down south. You know. The one that was caught out covering up learning disability deaths?’
‘Yes. I remember. How could I forget? That godawful meeting with that service user’s mother. Dreadful, dreadful woman.’
‘Well, it’s been quite a while now and we did sort of suggest it was going to be an urgent action…’
‘Surely we can rope in some herb to do this. Christ. Sloven must have a range of external consultants who can step up for a few weeks. I mean it’s not real work. We just said we’d appoint someone. It doesn’t mean anything…’
‘Well it’s a bit awkward because social media makes this stuff transparent and, to be fair, it has been a few months now. And, er, the trust didn’t investigate hundreds of deaths.’
‘Don’t get sucked in, Jim Junior. A word of advice. If you want a career in this biz, question nothing. Keep your head down. Once you start to engage with patients and their families, you might as well give up. Just ignore them. They disappear. Or become so desperate, it’s easy to bat them away.
And another thing. Monitor won’t exist for much longer. NHS Improvement is the way forward. We are going to shine a beacon on poor practice.
Was there anything else you wanted?’
‘Sorry boss, but we’ve heard that BBC Breakfast are running a feature tomorrow morning. A pretty forthright piece asking what we’ve all done since the Mazars review was published.’
Tap tap tap.
‘Get old whatsi, you know… that other improvement director we’ve got. Alan whatsi. And get comms to put out a release. And hold it till end of play so it gets lost in Easter. Bloody pain in the arse stuff.’
[Text in bold added after Monitor announced the appointment of Alan Yates after 6pm the day before Easter weekend.]