When troubleshooting goes bad…

Blimey. More documents pinging mysteriously into the Justice shed. Including a letter written by the then Sloven board chair to Monitor (now NSH Improvement) raising serious governance concerns in 2011. [Yes. Really]. At first graze, a dense, detailed, informed, harrowing and enraging addition to an apparently unlimited evidence pile highlighting Sloven governance failing.

I’m typing this post listening to Laura Veirs. A vague balm. Rich and I have spent the last three days since the faux announcement of Katrina Percy’s (yet to be properly confirmed) ‘resignation’ in a harsh and agitated space. It’s not about her, as a person. It was never about her as a person. Blimey. She didn’t make it to the Connor Manifesto. But it’s becoming more and more about her

Percy failed to lead effectively. We all know that. The board failed, and continues to fail, as an executive board. The Council of Governors remain split between an enlightened minority and the waste of space rest. There remains a consistent and shocking lack of competence, authority, knowledge and sense among both the board and council. Backfilled with a frenzied focus on reputation and apparently unlimited funds to buy in whatever spurious consultancy or legal support they think will magic away the disorder that surrounds them.

Deeply depressingly, the documents leaked to us today were shared with Tim Smart to provide context to his review of the board. Now we don’t know (I don’t think anyone really knows) what Smart based his (30 June) judgement of the board on. We do know he scathingly dismissed the Mazars review during the meeting with My Life My Choice and we now know he must have dismissed the serious concerns raised by the board chair back in 2011.

We also know he agreed to the very recent secondment of Sandra Grant and Flash Gordon to new pastures (as well as gifting Percy a substantially reduced role on a CEO salary). Why you would give a board under serious scrutiny a clean bill of governance health and then start seconding execs five minutes later is a mystery. Oh. Unless you finally, and belatedly, realise the board is as grubby as they come.

Indeedy, it’s probably about time some of the spotlight shifts to Smart and Jim Mackey (the CEO of NHS Improvement My Arse). What this pair of muppets are doing is beyond me. Did they really not anticipate the inevitable backlash against such offensive and scandalous news? Did Smart not realise erasing all whiff of failure in Percy’s leaving statement, blaming press interest, would simply enrage and inflame? What an almighty pigs ear of executive and regulatory ‘action’.

Ironically, one of the biggest failings here is candour and transparency. From where we’re sitting, it appears Smart made the wrong judgement on June 30 because he is incapable of listening. Days later Michael Buchanan broke the news about dodgy contracts. Patient deaths are clearly nothing compared to doshing your mates £millions for going viral nonsense. Once Roy Lilley was on Radio 4 condemning the spiralling of a £300k contract to £5m, the writing was on the wall. Failing governance a go go.

Instead of a clean sweep, an acknowledgement of failings – of letting down hundreds of patients and their families, of a board gone bad – Smart, Mackey (and Hunt?) ballsed it up. Big time. Generating more media attention and public outrage than the publication of the report revealing that Sloven investigated less than 1% of the unexpected deaths of learning disabled people over four years. A report that led to the appointment of Smart as the troubleshooting interim chair.

What a stinking mess. Do the right thing someone. Please.

7 thoughts on “When troubleshooting goes bad…

  1. Your latest post eloquently demonstrates just what a very deep mess this is and how many senior and very well paid people are involved – I don’t think that anyone knows how ‘to do the right thing’ anymore no matter how many patients are dying or how bad the publicity. Throughout the UK the NHS operates on a basis of simply shifting people around no matter how badly they have stuffed up – no-one is ever removed and the system is now clogged up with people who have failed very badly or who have turned a blind eye to those who have. In 2009 the Welsh Govt reacted to a series of disasters in the NHS Trusts in north Wales by having a massive reorganisation and abolishing three Trusts in serious trouble with one big Health Board, involving a substantial and no doubt very expensive rebranding exercise. The managers and staff from the failed Trusts were all simply recirculated into the new Health Board, despite documentary evidence of serious misconduct and law breaking. We now have a Health Board in serious trouble. The Welsh Govt will no doubt shortly be making public statements regarding the junior doctors strike in England and how it’s not happening here, in an attempt to reassure the voters that ‘our’ NHS is better than England’s. Yet we are actually blighted with exactly the same problems and responses to whisteblowers and complainants are identical – denial and hostility. And the Welsh media are today reporting the death of – yet another – mental health patient in north Wales. As far as I can see the only difference between NHS Wales and NHS England is that the dosh on offer to people who’ve stuffed up in England is greater and the networks protecting them are even more powerful. David Nicholson ended up with a knighthood – the idiots who presided over a corrupt and lethal NHS in north Wales were awarded OBEs.

  2. “Do the right thing someone” don’t you realize that the only someone is you and us- the family – and we don’t have a chance in this god forsaken country. Once again, read Finola Moss’s latest blog. There is no someone, just corruption. I have complaints with both NHS England (going back years) and recently Wales (2015) denial and hostility, and never a single mention of the patient’s rights.

  3. Sara was Connor held in the unit under the Mental Health Act or the Mental Capacity Act? Do you know? The patient’s rights are quite different under the two (none under the MCA – some under the MHA)

  4. Having read Julian Jules excellent paper – yes – Ms Percy has them by the short curly things .

    She has Tim’s full support for she was ‘fully competent’ (plus Myers Briggs ? 16 PF’s ? Savilles etc ? – eg – loads of paper proof of same) at his recent appraisal of her.

    No way she could be moved on unless to similar status and salary..if fired she could have had their proverbial trousers – cash wise…

  5. This situation ..where poor governance in the Public services protects the incompetent.. is rife at every level. It can render firing impossible.

    Bullies and abusers can claim poor and or no training in defence…and or poor or no appraisals or supervision . Where teams are stressed and overloaded the management systems can fail and with appraisal supervision and training often the first to go .This lets these people off.

    And where poor managers are either timid or lazy these bad staff can get appraisal ratings well above their actual performance.
    This too lets these people off .. For the ratings disprove their real performance and or behaviour. And so they get moved around rather than fired. And if fired they can go to tribunal with this false evidence..And so it goes on.

    • This corruption in the NHS, every time I read these articles, seems sick. Corrupt board members have hijacked the NHS.

      If poor care of any sort leads to death, or further disability, there must be consequences. No excuses.
      A vulnerable person’s life is equal to the life of any board member.

      I’m tired of widespread corruption becoming an excuse – when did ethics disappear so completely?
      I think what we are doing is to start to restore ethics.
      Are colossal amounts of unearned money going to NHS managers and their supporters? Why are they always on leave, sunbathing in far away places, or sitting in board meetings having free lunches?

      This would disgust the public, and should be in a documentary, prime time.
      The public work harder, and for less financial security than ever before.
      And yet these board people have free reign?
      Where is the Audit Commission, or should we have NICE guidance on serious incidents? Both would look at value for money.

      I worked in the NHS a long time ago, and every day I literally dropped when I got home. I was in the real workforce, working alongside biochemists and pathologists, etc., doing emergency diagnostic work. If we made any mistake, however small, we pulled each other up. We were held to account. We improved lives as much as we could, from the labs, even if we didn’t see the patients.

      These board level people are not geniuses, or surgeons, or lifesavers. Their genius seems to be to drain the public’s money. Surely the public need to regulate their activities.

      We need to have a patient board to answer to.

  6. Pingback: When troubleshooting goes bad… « Derby People's Assembly

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