A story ‘broke’ yesterday about extortionate NHS interim director costs. Sickening figures of waste, greed and mismanagement. At senior levels. Again.
In another of those ‘you couldn’t make it up’ NHS moments, the highest paid interim Improvement Director named in the report, Steve Leivers, was helicoptered into the trust Tim Smart, now Sloven interim Board Chair, previously ran. Yes. Really. Not Smart in non action. Again.
I read this latest news having been unable to move beyond Chris Hatton’s recent analysis of Sloven’s annual report. Cut and paste Katrina. And extraordinary senior exec salary figures. With Lesley Stevens, Medical Director at the top of the ‘leader’ board. A cool £365-70k per annum including jaw dropping pension contributions. How can she possibly ‘earn’ this sort of dosh? Let’s have a look at her performance during LB’s inquest last October.
Lesley Stevens and LB’s inquest
Reasonably confident while reading out her evidence and then being (sleep) walked through clearly rehearsed questions by the Sloven barrister, she floundered big time when questioned by the six remaining barristers. Her answers so deeply insubstantial (a generous interpretation) it was as if the courtroom had switched to watching CBeebies.
£365-70k per annum…
LB died in July 2013. The (post Mazars review) CQC inspection in January 2016 found the Sloven epilepsy policy had yet to be signed off. Paul Bowen, QC, carefully questioned each Sloven staff member about their knowledge of epilepsy during LB’s inquest. No one answered in other than the vaguest ‘ain’t got a clue’ terms. There was no up-skilling staff over two years after LB’s death.
Here Paul Bowen seeks clarification of Stevens outlandish statement that all learning disabled patients with epilepsy were reviewed before the CQC inspection in September 2013. At that point, Sloven were still spinning the line that LB died of natural causes. They did nothing to check the provision in STATT (it failed on all 10 domains inspected 6-8 weeks after he died) let alone review patients with epilepsy in their wider provision/outposts.
A blatant and contemptible lie. Perjury to us herbs outside of senior NHS circles.
Paul Bowen tries to drawn Stevens on the failure of the RiO system. A failure that persists to this day. She resorts to her default response. A murmur/mutter noise reminiscent of the dog ate my homework type responses from school. Not the sharp, authoritative, informed, engaged response you’d expect from a senior exec at an inquest over two years in preparation, with nearly £300k squandered on ‘defence’ costs.
When questioned by Adam Samuels, another barrister, about the reduction in Band 6 and 7 staffing reductions in STATT (and the next door John Sharich House), Stevens says:
‘We make savings where we have to make them…’ On frontline staff. While you continue to draw an obscene salary
Monstrous. And remorseless. Just one, among so many.
When did the NHS we grew up with, took for granted and loved, become so riddled with greed and rot… with complacency and arrogance, with inaction and protection. At senior levels?