With any decent organisation you need to know the answer to the question, who’s in charge here? In other words, where does the buck stop? Who takes responsibility when there’s a cock-up?
And the answer is, the managers – and more specifically, the Chief Executive. As far as I’m concerned managers are paid more because they are expected to Take Responsibility – and that includes resigning when a cock-up occurs on their watch. Whether or not it was of their doing, they are responsible because they are in charge. And not so long ago, it seems to me that people resigned as a matter of course, because not to do so was considered unacceptable. Take Mid-Staffs: along with a number of people I have been utterly disgusted lately by the response to the investigation into the Mid-Staffs Hospital. People have died; patients have been neglected to an unbelievable extent, standards of care were so low that it would probably have been overtaken by a cottage-hospital in rural Africa, an investigation has cracked all this wide open, and what do we find? The Chief Executive burbles on the radio about being ‘very sorry’ and how he really ‘does understand’ why people are so upset (that was yesterday) and today we have someone from the NHS Trust talking about how the Woman in Charge of Nurses (presumably what used to be called the Matron) was found to have ‘no case to answer.’ What? WHAT? She was being interviewed by Sarah Montague and I wished it had been John Humphrys as he would have torn her limb from limb: much as I like Sarah Montague’s non-confrontational style, there is a time when only kicking ass will do. This woman should have been kicked out of the studio and then back in again, and so on until she explained exactly how someone who was in charge during these events can possibly have ‘no case to answer’. And then – surprise, surprise, she started to talk about ‘individual nurses’ who they are investigating. In other words, no-one in authority is going to take the rap for this, only the ordinary nursing staff. This sucks. The Chief Executive should go (let’s face it, there should be no such thing as a Chief Executive in the NHS – it’s not a supermarket) and the Woman in Charge of Nurses should go. And no bloody severance package.
So there you go. That’s what I would have said this morning only I was too bloody exhausted to say it.
I hope to feel better tomorrow.