7th April 2014

Live Health News  |  Weather  |  Archive

"The most important conference on whistle-blowing..."

Special Price for RCN members + discounts for NHS staff   

Additional Speaker from Christchurch New Zealand; Dr Stuart Gowland 

Fabulous line-up of expert speakers,  

Free book on WB experiences, workshops and take-home ideas.  

Lot of bookings over the weekend - Details here.     

Delighted to help him. 
News and Comment from Roy Lilley
I am angry, incandescent and bloody furious.


You may recall I had a bit-of-a-moment with the Chairman of the CQC, David Prior.  In my view things he said make him clumsy, cack-handed, thoughtless and crass.  He said underperforming hospital should be passed on to American and European management companies; 'to run them better'.   


He ignored why Trusts were in trouble and trashed any idea the CQC exists to improve them.  He ignored the fact the private sector is no better at running Trusts than the NHS.  An intermediary contacted me to see if I would be prepared to meet him.  Olive-branch?  Why not.  We scheduled lunch.  I've cancelled.  Why?


On Friday evening, on the way back from Manchester and a fabulous conference with the clinical pharmacists, I listened to the BBC's PM Programme.  Prior holding forth.  Most of what he said was fair enough; things aren't right, can't guarantee anything, there is a lottery.  Damaged culture, poor acceptance of whistle-blowers... nothing we need to inspect to know.  And, some places are world class.


He went on to say (09.30 mins in) he "... wouldn't want to go as a patient to Barking Havering and Redbridge Trust, or Heatherwood and Wexham Park... overall (the) two hospitals that have come out to be inadequate".  Inadequate? 


This is Monday morning; all over the weekend staff at BH&R and H&WPk will have been working with Prior's words ringing in their ears.  This morning people will come to work with Prior's words at the back of their mind... 'inadequate'.  They will think they are honest, hard-working, doing their best.  So do I. 


The management team will turn up knowing what Prior said and begin another week of 'inadequacy', turning round a hospital, which through no fault of theirs, has undeniable problems.  Again the chief executives will have to lift the morale and self-respect of an 'inadequate' team of staff that know their hospital is 'in the wrong place', a prisoner of legacy debt, churning management and recruitment problems.  Nothing to do with the CQC. 


Nervous patients will be turning up at their 'inadequate' local hospital.  Applicants will be thinking twice about a job at these 'inadequate' hospitals, making a career there?  Perpetuating the Trusts problems. 


It is one thing to say that hospitals are performing poorly, one thing to say we must fix it.  It is quite another to single out two hospitals that are heaving, straining, sweating and working their fingers to the bone to reach the wholly arbitrary requirements of the TDA and Monitor and invented quality standards, presently based on anecdote.


It is my opinion Prior is dangerous, a loose cannon.  The problem is; as a High-Tory he has open-door access to Number 10.  Here's something to ponder; is Cameron egging him on to traduce the NHS, or is Prior an eccentric embarrassment to him as well?


Dismiss all thoughts that the CQC exists to culture improvement, foster development or encourage anyone to do better.  From the top it's clear; it exists to insult, denigrate and put the boot in.    


Paul Corrigan (a NED at the CQC), advocates selling Trusts to the private sector.  However, I am astonished that the perfumed Jennifer Dixon (a NED), whom I admire as knowing about organisational dynamics, collegiate learning and the value of sharing good practice, is still at the table.  I should have done my homework, nevertheless, I deduce an ambivalence about her role?    


The CQC CEO has made clear he refuses to get into 'improvement work'... 'because it would be like marking your own homework'.  It seems the whole system is staffed and geared up to disparage the work of the NHS with no facility or desire to improve it.  The Machiavellians will say it is part of a sinister plot to soften the NHS up... sell it to the private sector.  I would have refuted that.  Now, I'm not so sure.


The Flat-Earthers are set up to find fault and fan it into failure.   It's a fair question to ask why?  The Foundation Trust Network are silent, the Confed, nowhere near the organisation it once was, has no clout to resist.  Future generations will ask; where were you when the NHS was demolished?  


I don't agree with inspection; who does?  For 15 years we have inspected the NHS, gained nothing and now the Flat-Earthers want more money (total �160m) to do more of the same.  Their new 'tools' are experimental, made-up.  Put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig; inspection is still inspection. Reputations will be won and lost on a whim, suck-it-and-see and trying-out, rushed, ready-or-not ... without recourse or appeal.


Who would argue; CQC finances are exploding, their strategy a muddle and their chairman an embarrassment.  Time to break it up and make the CCGs responsible for the quality of what they commission.  Simple, local and a hell of a lot cheaper.   Establish the Academy of Fabulous Stuff where Trusts can go for help without fear of being insulted, penalised and belittled.  Prior might like to discuss this at one of our sell-out Health-Chat evenings, like; Gerada, Carter, Nicholson, Keogh, Jarman, Taylor, Carnall...?   


Prior told me he will be off work for six weeks.  He's having a hip operation.  On the day of his admission other patients with the same condition will be admitted, for the same operation, to Barking Havering and Redbridge Trust, or Heatherwood and Wexham Park.  Perhaps Prior should join them... I am sure they would be delighted to help him.   

  Contact Roy - please use this e-address


Know something I don't - email me in confidence.

Leaving the NHS, changing jobs - you don't have to say goodbye to us! You can update your Email Address from the link you'll find right at the bottom of the page, and we'll keep mailing.

MaM Logo
Medicine for Managers
Dr Paul Lambden
Take the medicine?
Speaking Out Summit 
I want you to be there.
This is the key issue facing the NHS

RCN logo
50% Discount for RCN Members
'We want the front-line sitting in the front row...'
----- Book Here ---
"This is a really exciting programme..."
  Free, for all delegates,
Copy of
Dr David Drew's new book
His personal experiences.
------ Book Here -------
Why is the management of whistle-blowing such a mess?  What can we do to fix it - learn to listen - what are the signs and solutions?
Workshops and take home ideas.  
8th May - London
Speakers include; Sir Robert Naylor, Dr Phil Hammond, Dean Royals, James Titcombe, Prof Chris Newdick, Garry Walker and others.
Full details here.
Book today.  Discount for NHS staff.
-------  Book Here  ------
News and Stuff 
News boy
This is what I'm hearing;
if you know different,
tell me here
>>  I'm hearing the percentage reduction of spending on the NHS is now 6.5%, maybe 6.2%.  There might have been a Tweet from Anita Charlesworth that I missed - any one captured this or can confirm the figure, please?
>>  Code Purple - I'm hearing a lot about this; it is used when the CQC turn up to make 'unannounced visits'.  Trusts are rehearsing 'Code Purple'; a phone-around warning to every department, shuffle staff to wards that are being inspected and links to local staff agencies to get more staff in second shifts.  Cleaning staff are redeployed and management sent to the wards.
Today's Larf
Martin Shovel
cartoon martin