The bleat action continuum

Over two years ago now I was writing about ground elder and the #LBBill. I’ve moved into the front garden recently, leaving the elder battle in kind of easy truce [I failed]. The front garden has tall ‘weeds’ with yellow tops which grow to middling head height every summer, leaving columns of snappable woody stems in the autumn.

Turns out these fuckers are worse than the ground elder. They have incredibly dense interconnected knotted lumps of a main root with shaggy swathes of stringy roots. Each one involves a hefty dig, more digging and almost full body wrestle to remove it from the ground. I can almost hear the earth breathing as they are lobbed into the brown bin.

Today we were due to hear the outcome of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) investigation into how they could possibly have shared personal details to the six nurses under investigation and their counsel.

Given the General Medical Council (GMC)* tribunal into Dr M’s fitness to practice starts on Monday in Manchester for two weeks and Rich and I are on extreme stress settings, I naively hoped that the NMC would be in touch early on in the day to limit the stress. We’ve had way too many 5-5.30pm Friday disclosures over the last four years.

The day dragged on. I punctuated work tasks with patches of root wrestling. Still nothing from the NMC. By 4pm I drifted onto twitter. It was impossible to concentrate. There was some discussion around what time we might expect to hear from the NMC and recognition that the Friday afternoon ‘disclosure dump’ is clearly modus operandi for public sector organisations with no heart or feeling. I resorted to tweeting the CEO about the cruelty of this delay.

The email pinged into my inbox. At the very outer edges of the allocated time.

Tip: Because you say an investigation is going to take x amount of days doesn’t mean the investigation has to take x amount of days. Focusing more attention on a complete balls-up to reduce the time the investigation takes and the accompanying stress for the family is the least you can do in a situation like this. Particularly if

  1. you had an additional 15 days between discovering the data breach and bothering to contact one of the four people affected.
  2. you have previously and publicly spent £250k redacting documents requested by another bereaved family in a breathtaking self protective act.

One of the numerous shite practices we’ve noticed over the past four years is the tendency for senior public sector staff to bleat ‘It was not our intention to do x, y or z’ despite doing it. Or ‘On reflection we should have done…’ when they didn’t.

What this really means is senior staff act with intent (and speed) when it involves their (organisational or own) reputation/skin and don’t when it doesn’t. The briefing on my blog circulated the day after LB died is an exemplar of this bleat action continuum.

The NMC letter outlined how sorting out the return of our personal data (first shared in November 2016) is shambolic. A mix of returned data, alleged destruction of data and outstanding information about copies made.

About as unreassuring as you could get.

And then, in a move not worthy of being written into a cheesy, made for tv movie, it turns out that after discovering the data breach in July 2017, they re- shared my personal details with three of the nurses. Yes, you read that correctly. Re-shared. Nine months after first carelessly tossing them around. But only [bleat] the same information (minus my bank details) to the same people…

There is nothing like heavy handed, dosh drenched redaction when it ain’t your reputation under threat. Nope. Nothing like it.

Fuckers.

*The GMC have been exemplary in the approach to this: clear, detailed information, communication and organisation.

5 thoughts on “The bleat action continuum

  1. Dear Sara,
    I read your posts and am with you all the way. Keep fighting, but remember to self care. But keep going with the uprooting and onearthing
    Sara
    Xx

  2. The Trust seems so unwilling to act properly. .
    That’s why I think the word Trust’s so not the right label for them.
    Glad to hear the GMC have higher standards.

    Yes, I always read and share your blogs, and when you don’t write, I know you’re deeply involved in dealing with stuff.
    It’s so hard to be leading all of this, after loss, but many people are following you.

    • It must be terribly difficult to function with everyday life when your head is filled with the terrible shit that keeps being thrown at you. Grieving for Connor has been entangled with so much unacceptable stuff. It would be understandable if you threw in the towel. In my experience, however, if you do, you will look back and regret that you let these injustices that you and your family have endured get swept under that huge carpet. It is a David and Goliath scenerio. Remember David won.

      .

    • FF2016 – in this incident, you may be confusing the NMC with the Trust – though I must say that the Trust is no better when it comes to Data Protection Act compliance. As long ago as 18 April 2012, Dr Julian Lewis MP said in Parliament:

      “It would be easy to summarise this story as that of a trust that could not be trusted with its own statistics and of a committee chairman who deceived an MP about a vital meeting.”

      Elsewhere, Dr Lewis referred to Sloven’s, “Slippery methods.” Full debate at: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120418/halltext/120418h0001.htm

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