When trusts go bad

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Walked into Oxford earlier with Rich. One of those days when there were no end of brilliant photos to take. Including a cheeky bee.

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Got home to find out one of the rebel governors, Peter Bell is under formal investigation by Sloven. Yep. Sloven are formally investigating the actions of a (rare) governor.

Sloven who:

  • initially said LB died of natural causes and all due process was followed.
  • tried to stop the publication of the first Verita investigation which found LB’s death was preventable.
  • spent nearly £300,000 on legal expenses at LB’s inquest to try to avoid accountability.
  • spent nearly £50,000 to try to sink the Mazars review into their death reporting.
  • have been found to be failing by numerous coroners over the past five years
  • etc, etc, etc…

Blimey. A formal investigation…
peter bell

‘Seriously derogatory remarks’…. Not sure where, in the guvs’ code of practice, it states ‘thou shalt not say owt negative against the hallowed trust’. What a load of bullying bullshite. Those of you following this deeply harrowing tale of a trust gone bad will know that an extraordinary meeting to discuss a vote of no confidence in the Sloven leadership was stopped on May 17 by interim chair, Tim Smart. He got the Capstick heavies involved. The discussion remains to be had. Now this.

Truly, truly extraordinary.

Extraordinary timescales too. An ‘investigation’ into the actions of a governor with such priority it can be sorted in a month. We’re into the fourth year of investigations into LB’s death. GMC, NMC, HSE.. Every one of them drawn out because of Sloven slovenliness. Delay and obfuscation.

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LB died. He died. Without any accountability. But the investigation into the actions of a governor is racing on. Interviews, evidence collecting and all. By an organisation who failed to investigate 100s of unexpected deaths in their care. I almost think I’ll wake up in a mo. Surely this can’t be happening in full view of NHS Improvement, NHS England, the CQC and Jeremy Hunt?

Surely…

In a final piece of [no words left] the Sloven annual report has been signed off.

smart and percy

My incredulity monitor has finally broken.

13 thoughts on “When trusts go bad

  1. I served as a board member for 2 years at a large psychiatric hospital. The first report I heard on cruelty on the older people’s ward left me sobbing in anger. I screamed at everyone ‘ how can you just sit and listen to this and now look for so many excuses and damage limitation’ it was my first board meeting. I thought you’ve blown it now and went to see the Chair. She said it showed them all how immured they had become to it all and needed that passion.
    That was 20 years ago. I was gagged frequently but managed to get second opinions as ‘rogue’ doctors would come and ask me to ask for them.
    The chair told me about an inquest she has recently attended for ‘ Rocky’ told me how the dignified family had only wanted justice. How the black family were made out to be for years grabbing for money. She was horrified and said she would never believe the bastards again.
    Sound familiar. It doesn’t change does it?
    That was 20 years ago. I left because I moved area. A few small things but nothing great happened in my tenure. So bloody dreadful.

  2. When I worked for my local trust the employees were not allowed to say anything that might ‘bring the trust into disrepute’. I thought it odd at the time – surely it’ s not about the trust but about the patients and standard of care. No-one speaks out about a trust unless they have tried to raise a matter internally first.
    I don’t know what Peter said on TV but I know he tried to raise matters at the Governors’ meetings.
    Sorry Tim Smart – I have lost any remaining faith I had in you – and Sloven – you have brought yourselves into disrepute’.

  3. A colleague of mine did exactly the same at her first meeting as a lay member at a joint committee, when they routinely outlined the provision at night in a particular set of wards in connection with something to do with cleaning. She was gobsmacked and protested “But how can that possibly be safe! Those patients would be safer in their own homes than with that level of care in a hospital ward!” They stared at her, then admitted they were so used to the situation they never thought about it any more.
    She left because she got so disheartened by concerned staff members privately asking her to bring up issues, because they were scared to themselves. Also because so few changes were made despite token patient representation and feedback. She felt it was a waste of her time & energies as her speaking out achieved nothing, but allowed the Trust to claim they listened to patients.

  4. Surely this action could offer an opportunity for the role and responsibilities of NHS Trust Governor to be
    clarified. Hold tight Peter Bell and ride this wave.

    Are NHS Governors there only – to collude in hiding and or defending the worst of incompetence ?

    Or are they honest citizens engaged to represent their communities in this unpaid job – only – to ensure that the NHS behaves its Brand promises.

    This action could be intimidation a shot over the bow of remaining Governors – eg the rest – ‘what do we do next’ belly fluff rootling – by the Exec Board which could well rebound and lead to more muscle to and more openness by NHS Governors.

  5. The trumped charges against Peter are at:
    http://southernhealth.org.uk/governors/documents/public/investigation/pb%20letter%20(alleged)%20July%202016%20downloaded%2011%20jul%202016.pdf

    I understand that the governor, who complained about Peter, is John Beaumont: when I asked him about this last week, he became angry and said it was strictly confidential. He was suddenly too busy to talk. Who does he think he is? I thought only children, alleged victims of rape and sometimes MI5/MI6 spooks were entitled to anonymity.

    Man-up John! I wish I had recorded some of your verbal descriptions of Trust directors.

    Regarding the specific allegations:

    1. Whenever I’ve seen Peter interviewed on TV, if anything he has understated his comments.

    2a. I can’t see Peter threatening anyone: it’s not in his nature.

    2b. So it’s wrong for governors to be persistent in holding non-executive directors to account and to support the public, whose views they are supposed to represent.

    I see nothing in the letter about Peter having a personal hearing. Will he be given the detailed evidence against him to enable him to challenge it?

    Join the club Peter – you are not alone in receiving nasty, sometimes false and unsubstantiated allegations this month. Other victims include a seriously mentally unwell patient, who the Trust reported (unsuccessfully) to the police for harassment (when he was simply crying for help) and yours truly for trying to help him and provide evidence of misconduct by Percy and Stevens.

    Professor Chris Hatton of Lancaster University, who carried out an astute and forensic analysis of Smart’s 1 July statement, wrote to me last week:

    “Can’t decide if Tim Smart went native or it was all a stitch-up from the start (I’m leaning towards the second of these).”

  6. That explains it – John Beaumont of the pun/ joke about Connor’s and another person’ s death. John Beaumont appointed as a governor by the trust, who had never read Sara’s letter to the CofG.
    Can anyone stop all this?

    • The irony is that, at my instigation, John B called Sara personally to apologise and Sara told me they had made up. Then he goes off on another one: it truth he’s a loose cannon (or should I say a loose atom bomb). The truth is that few can stop it short-term without millions of pounds to litigate (and risk losing.)

      Minister, Alistair Burt had good intentions – but the Conservative non-leadership election robbed him of time. I had a face-to-face meeting booked with him on 20th July but that got reshuffled too. Astonishingly, I offered to meet NHS [Un]-improvement on the same day: they just simply refused.

  7. I know Tim Smart’s mode of working from 2011. He has successfully used obfuscation to deflect my complaint in 2009 against King’s College Hospital in London where he was Chief Executive. I nearly died from malnutrition and dehydration in the hospital he was in charge of. I wrote to him regarding how the malnutrition affected my teeth and proposed a reasonable amount of money compensation so I could get them fixed. He refused me an ex-gratia payment whilst at the same time he was earning £225,000 a year plus other incentives. He proposed another way of helping me which I now realise was as shoddy, low and despicable as he is. Money doesn’t maketh the man and proved in his case. He is a practised deflector of the truth. Tim Smart should be prosecuted and jailed. So I am not surprised the the relatives of the victims of Southern Health services have not had justice.

    • Sheila – if you have evidence that Smart is not just “a practised director of the truth” but was fundamentally dishonest with you, go to the Crown Prosecution Service web site; search the Charging Standards for the common law offence of Misconduct in Public Office; and if your circumstances and evidence fits the charge, report him to the police. As CEO of an NHS Trust, he certainly fulfils the definition of a public official acting as such. Good luck.

  8. From Dee Speers: Its abhorrent how families have to wait for justice to be delivered only to discover much back slapping re Annual Report is taking place……will Tim Smart and Katrina Percy……you earn respect not just expect it. I’m afraid you are doing no good “Bigging up the staff” Personal Integrity must be displayed if you are to regain any trust! How dare you!

  9. Just take a look here first at the answer to an FOI request: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/343013/response/837099/attach/2/FOI1327 Response letter 8 July 2016.pdf

    Yet Smart’s statement on 30th June was categorical:

    “Following the outcome of the Board Capability Review, I am satisfied that….”
    “I have found no evidence of negligence or incompetence of any individual Board member.”
    “I can confirm that Katrina Percy will continue in this role.”

    Only Smart could initiate an independent Board Capability Review and then refer to, “The outcome of the Board Capability Review” before it has been completed.

    Sheila – I would use a stronger term than, “Deflector of the truth!”

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