Levels of incredulity at the continuing unfoldings down Sloven way – apparently supported and endorsed by NHS Improvement – have reached crisis point. Even our brilliant, informal, campaign media archivist, is flailing…
Behind this battering is a peculiar situation which seems to be baffling pretty much everyone apart from the Sloven exec (plus Katrina Percy), NHS Improvement and Jeremy Hunt. Even Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, has publicly said Sloven have let down patients and families…
There is sensible and widespread condemnation of the recent sidestepping of the CEO into a new (or old depending on who and when you ask), part time role at the same salary and perks as a CEO (on top of the other, well documented failings). Including this statement from Philippa Russell on behalf of the National Valuing Families Forum.
The story of Smart’s stint as Interim Board Chair which only started in May is that he apparently commissioned two (yes two) so far mysterious reviews which found that the Sloven board are fit to practice. This was announced on June 30 without any engagement with families (other than an ‘accidental’ meeting with My Life My Choice who have since decided to no longer engage with Smart). The annual board meeting held last week demonstrated woeful engagement with families and patients (forced, as always, to sit through interminable presentations/talk with public question time compressed to barely any time at the end). This seems to last as long as Smart’s patience (if you can bear to listen to the audio recording). Appalling senior action still from a trust who have been in the public spotlight relentlessly for failing to engage with patients and families.
Strangely, Smart has agreed to the secondment of two directors (including the Chief Operating Officer). Chris Gordon to NHS Improvement and Sandra Grant to another trust or commissioning group. And unilaterally (it appears with NHS Improvement dove from above agreement) agreed Percy’s new or old position.
Just a few questions. [No answers expected…]
- Why would you insist a board is fine and then allow the secondment of (key) execs when the terrain is rocky?
- Is there now no Chief Operating Officer or Communications Director alongside an interim Board Chair and CEO?
- Is anyone at the highest levels of the NHS, in this foul and grotesque tale of abuse, deceit and pantomime, going to find it in themselves to stand up and act with integrity?
I suppose, if nothing else, a necessary light is being shone with a bloody big torch not on only Sloven murkiness but also the gaps, limitations, failings, impotence, pointlessness, corruptness and fatcattery that exist within and among senior NHS spaces. I dunno how you sleep at night.