The Southern Nhs Mental Health Trust has been found to have harmed and allowed patients to die in their hundreds. The young man in the picture above is Connor Sparrowhawk who drown in a bathtub during an Epileptic seizure while in Southern NHS Trust’s care because staff negligently left him alone. We are not talking about just Connor, two, three, or even fifty people. We are on the order of hundreds. You would think that the CEO must have resigned possibly been put on police bail, and the NHS will be getting on with finding out what went wrong with a fresh set of eyes and trying to stem the number of deaths. Well, that’s not what has taken place. Interestingly, the Non-Executive Chairman of the Trust’s board has stepped down. You know the guy who has a board meeting once a month and listens to the CEO and her team relating the happenings at the Trust and presenting the accounts. The CEO, Katrina Percy, is still in post. She says that they are working hard to stop patients jumping off the roof and killing themselves, and has promised to not allow vulnerable patients, because they were ignored, to die from lack of care and attention anymore. If you think this is the person who is supposed to be in her job every day and should be on top of the trust’s operations, you’re right. So we move from the sublime to the ridiculous at this point. A new Chairman, a former NHS Trust CEO, has stepped in and said, in a rather obfuscated way, that he is still weighing up Percy’s “strengths and weaknesses.” Seriously? Perhaps Tim Smart, the recycled NHS boss might like to weigh up the number of uninvestigated deaths and patients who have suffered under the eagle-eyed Percy.
The Oxford Mail has followed the scandal closely and objectively, but it is scarcely reported anywhere else. Compare the coverage with Hinchingbrooke Hospital “privatisation”. I use that term loosely because the reality was that the NHS handed a failing trust’s management to the private company and tied both of Circle’s hands behind their back. A cynic might comment that the NHS was handing off an absolute disaster to the Private Sector so they could get rid of an unwanted problem, safe in the knowledge the hospital was a basket case and they could point to “private sector failure” when it did finally succumb to its wounds. That’s exactly what happened last year. After three years of trying to change culture from the top, a systemic issue the NHS has not been able to deal with, Circle, the private company who sought to rescue the hospital threw up its hands in defeat. They had suffered two years of crippling losses, and unlike the NHS, were unable to call shareholders and demand more cash. The national news coverage went on for days; I would imagine few people reading this are not aware of the failure. Did any patients die? None whose deaths were not investigated and accounted for. Were there allegations of patient abuse? No, the hospital had some of the highest patient satisfaction scores in the NHS. The simple fact was that Circle, unable to beg for money from Her Majesty’s Treasury, had to throw in the financial towel, and yet, in the eyes of the press, this warranted negative national coverage almost daily for a week.
This brings us to the role of the unions, and yes that includes the BMA. The healthcare unions must know that by allowing bright lights in dark corners they invite public awareness of the real state of the health service and their member’s role in its demise. The truth will expose the fact that selfish individuals within the National Health Service, and not those from outside are the real culprits and reason for the current state of the service. It’s one of those inconvenient truths. People might begin to recognise that NHS employee’s, like Mr Smart, are moved around the chess board, and far from being a force for good, are usually there to protect the failing service and it’s management, their salaries and index-linked bulletproof pensions. When you’re on £150,000 a year and your final pension is half that for life index linked, there is a lot at stake. Given the huge salaries in play and the pension downside, why haven’t the press claimed it’s all about the money? Percy, unfortunately, is playing the wrong card at an inopportune time, as there is now some light being seen through the NHS cloud layer. The CQC, government’s quality monitor, although not perfect, is starting to expose the holes present in our antiquated NHS. In fact, the report which caused the Chairman of Southern Trust to tuck tail and head for the hills was from the CQC.
It is beyond shameful that Percy didn’t go in the very first instance. Whether it is because of inability, thoughtlessness, or conspiracy, she has sat over a travesty. If she were employed by Southern Private Sector Bloodsucker Metal Health, the hospitals would be closed now, the directors in the dock for corporate manslaughter, and the NHS would have added to their “look over there” war chest. The private sector would not have been allowed to investigate themselves by bringing in a manager from another part of the business, the CEO would have been fired long ago, and the company wound up. They would have been investigated by an impartial NHS. Sure they are, it’s a great gig when you control both sides of the equation as the NHS currently does.
Unlike Circle, Southern NHS Trust is still up and running with all the same management in positions of power. They are still open for business, and at last report had not got to grips with the problems which caused the deaths of hundreds. Because they are a part of the NHS family, the service has closed ranks. That’s the real crime here. The NHS is supposed to care for us and do everything in its power with the billions we shower upon it, to keep us away from harm. In this case, an NHS Trust injured and killed hundreds, and the new Chairman weighs up the pros and cons of the CEO in his review of the coverup. There is a simple explanation. The NHS, like all Soviet style systems, is about itself and not the people, or in this case the patient. The private sector providers when they have problems that are one percent of the Southern NHS scandal are closed down and ostracised by the press. Unfortunately, the reason is not that the NHS care about patients, the underlying motivation of the NHS is to crush anyone or anything which might encroach on its territory regardless of the detrimental effect it has on patient care. While we are on the subject of what’s good for the goose; maybe we should let the non-NHS providers investigate the NHS failings? Okay, that won’t happen. Moving on.
As the Southern Trust scandal limps along supported by vested interests, underpinned by massive salaries and pensions being pulled down by people who would find it hard to get a job at McDonald’s in the real world. Remember that this is about them and not us, the patient that they are supposed to protect and keep from harm. It’s all about the money really. But isn’t that the incendiary they hurl at the private sector? What comes around goes around I suppose, unfortunately for Connor and hundreds of others, it will come too late.
The post A Story About the Goose and the Gander, or how the NHS is a Special Case when it comes to Patient Neglect appeared first on Ken Anderson Blog.
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