After Tim Smart*, new Sloven board chair, astonishingly announced at Tuesdays meeting that he was commissioning an independent review into Sloven board performance, Chris Hatton totted up the Sloven spend on external consultancy for the last three years. Over £8 million. £8 million… Wow. Given they continue to fail deeply, they really ought to get this dosh refunded. (And stop commissioning consultants.)
Yesterday I received a private and confidential letter from our (least) favourite medical director, the hapless Lesley Stevens.
Astonishingly crass but I’d expect nothing less from Sloven, who wouldn’t recognise a bereaved family if they sat in the middle of a funeral service. No thought for the poor buggars receiving this letter, just Sloven, Sloven, Sloven all the way.
Still, at least they are doing some research I thought. And went on to read the credentials of the independent researcher. Ah. They ain’t independent. Or a researcher really. They worked for Hampshire Partnership Trust (predecessor to Sloven)… Sigh. I emailed to find out more details about the study. Turns out it isn’t really a study. It’s a ‘service review’. No real details are available other than the (non) independent (non) researcher will ‘interview family members that come forward and to write that up in a report with recommendations on how the Trust improves the process’. Nothing like a bit of rigorous and ethical study. Nope. Nothing like it.
In the absence of a protocol or study design (just extraordinary) I was sent the interview questions. These, too, show a complete lack of understanding of the focus of the ‘study’. Reading them, for the first time in years I appreciated ethics boards. The final question is a cracker:
Can you imagine asking families whose relative has died in Sloven care this question? We ain’t talking about an evaluation of the Royal Mail complaints process FFS. If it had been everything that you would want it to be…?
My jaw is almost permanently clamped shut at the lack of anything remotely human these muppets do these days.
Now, for those mysterious callers and poison pen letter writers among you, I ain’t being picky, vindictive or vexatious here. This is a public sector body squandering millions on shite, continuing to ride roughshod over patients and families while openly failing. It is simply wrong. When I think of the lengths Sloven went to trying to bury the Mazars review, one of the most important, critically analytical and robust studies conducted within the context of the NHS, and yet they will trot out this non ‘study’ as hard evidence of whatever suits them in a few months time… No questions asked. No scrutiny. Nothing.
Not only that, they will very likely have caused additional distress to bereaved families in the process. Another ill thought through and clunky non action plan.
Stay classy, Sloven. As always.
*Not an auspicious start for Mr Smart, sadly. Further details of his bully board behaviour here.