I’m not sure where I’m at right now. An odd mix of physical and emotional pain, despair, rage, intensity, incredulity, powerlessness. A heady mix of summat there’s no name for. Four years on from referring Valerie Murphy to the GMC. Seven months since her tribunal started in August 2017. My cross-examination during that first hearing. The drawing out of this process across two weekends in November and three days this week. Being battered with further evidence, excuses and shite.
A slow and inexorable torture.
Remorse arrived in Manchester this week. Late in the day but Murphy’s barrister explained ‘the blessing’ of insight can take time for some doctors. [Yes really.]
A remorse drenched reflective statement signed days before the hearing was shared with the panel.
Murphy even pitched up with a new version of the yellow card story. An exemplar in how ‘facts’ can be retrospectively squeezed into newly discovered remorse spaces. Bit of a fakery giveaway here with her aim ‘from’ rather than ‘of’ this project:
Someone has to drive this through she told the panel between sniffles, ‘a bad headache’ and having been apparently “emotionally broken” by these events.
The yellow card narrative. A redemption song.
Sense and sensibility
Stepping back, it’s obviously not possible to raise awareness of your own failings until you recognise you’ve failed. Given this recognition only happened in the last week or so it’s unlikely Murphy has been openly talking about her failings while spreading the news about the yellow card. [While off work sick].
Anyone calmly sitting next to their barrister tearing strips off a mother whose son died under their care is not ‘open about their personal failings’.
The panel must know this. They were there. They’ve read the mountain of documentation which includes shifting the blame to anyone or anything that moves.
Followers of the live twitter feed collectively groaned on Monday morning when after light questioning it transpired that the pioneering yellow card team of four had never met. A slow collapsing into vague reference to a chance meeting with one of the team at a conference back in 2014/5 and, the ultimate farce, regular meetings with the second who happens to be Murphy’s husband.
George live tweeting the proceeding was pulled up for ‘audible expression’.
The absurdity of the evidence presented on Monday and the subsequent acceptance of the panel to swallow this was more than apparent to those following.
The decision was published mid afternoon on Wednesday. 12 months suspension and another review. The sanction document (I’ve only managed to read up to page 8 so far) captures so much horror it’s difficult to understand the decision. Or this process really.
And then. Under mitigating circumstances on p7. This.
‘The difficult field of adult learning difficulties.’
It was the ‘difficult field of learning difficulties’ what did it for LB [for Danny Tozer, Edward Hartley, Thomas Rawnsley, Stephanie Binchcliffe, Anthony Dawson, Sarah Burnley… and so many others].
‘Difficult’ which, in this context, means less than. Less than human. Entitled to less than care in shoddy, substandard surroundings. Murphy was never going to be struck off for a less than death. She might have done nothing remotely resembling being a doctor but she only had to whip out a bit of made up remorse and a shabby incoherent story at the 11th hour to avoid erasure.
This damning statement by the panel effectively endorses the idea that certain people can expect to be treated appallingly. Utterly, utterly shameful.