Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present

Thursday, 19 March 2009

It was a ticking time bomb!



"The head of a hospital trust where at least 400 patients may have died because of appalling emergency care is understood to have received pay rises totalling more than £30,000.

The salary of Martin Yeates, chief executive of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, increased from a pay band of up to £140,000 to one of up to £180,000 over two years, while standards at the trust deteriorated.

A report by the Healthcare Commission found “shocking and appalling” standards of care for patients admitted through A&E from 2005 to 2008. Investigators estimate that between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected."

And now this 'chief', according to BBC 24, has been suspended on full pay! ... Instead of having criminal proceedings started against him for 'deliberately' avoiding to put his patient's at the centre of his attention for a period spanning three whole years, no less!! And, after being found to be at fault by the Health Care commission! .. What can a chief executive do to get the sack in the NHS?! .. It seems that whatever you do, including causing the death of up to 1200 people, won't even just get you the sack! .. I don't usueally care who is paid what, if they deserve it, but this is fantastic stuff!

Then you think, why didn't any member of staff raise the alarm?! For a whole 3 years?! Even anonymously? Or, could it be that staff tried but were not listened to? .. We may never know. The hospital was not properly staffed, not properly equipped and not properly managed! So, why did it take the Health Care Commission 3 years to find out about it's failings?! How do we know this was an isolated incident?

I don't believe this hospital failed because it was trying to save money to gain foundation status because lots of hospitals around the country are trying to do the same but we don't hear that patients in their thousands are being killed as a result! This hospital did not only let it's patients and their families down but it let it's staff down too! Allowing roles to blur to very dangerous levels when it allowed 'receptionists' to act doctor! And then you wonder how much will it cost this hospital now to pay in compensation for the lives it has wasted? Surely, more than the ten million that chief executive was stupidly trying to save. So, his 'ability' as an 'economist/accountant/whatever' is in question here too since 'he' too does 'waste' .. of both life as well as money! How did he ever make it to chief exec?!

And, blurred roles will never work and this incident is proof! .. And this goes to show how badly we need every doctor, every nurse and every other allied to medicine professional we train in this country! Employ those for patients' sake instead of letting them drive taxis for a living! Get priorities right for best effect and best value for money too;

Doctors to doctor and nurses to nurse! The best way to ensure quality, safety as well as cost effectiveness .. and eliminate 'waste'!

If anything, this also highlights the urgent need for medical and clinical leadership in the NHS, for I don't think this sorry event would have happened had there been doctors in charge. Their ethics would not have allowed them to put money before their patients, let alone on that grand scale! The 'incident' also highlights the importance of the current reform to improve the service, including 'The new Constitution' to protect patients and staff in the future, to introduce transparency and accountability in the system so that staff are not afraid to report failure but instead, make it their duty to do so in order to avoid repeats of this sad event. So that mess ups like this don't go unnoticed for three whole years causing the unneccessary deaths of innocent people as a result. This also highlights the reason why there need for reform to put the patient at the centre of the NHS business, to ensure quality as well as safety for every patient in Britain.

This was a disaster, a ticking time bombs waiting to happen while that way below standard chief exec was left in charge unchecked ... The lesson here is that economists and accountants can not run hospitals without clinical supervision, or even banks as it seems ... it seems the only thing they are good at is running their own affairs or rather, developing the expertise to have their own cake and eat it ... many times!

Those who mess up big timy say 'sorry' then get away with it these days and bag a few millions on the way! ... and that's the end of that! I bet that chief executive will come out soon and say 'sorry' too and bag a few hundred thousands on the way too before he is 'allowed' to leave his post? .. and that will be the end of that too?

What do you do with a 'sorry'?!

But, forget about money for you can't buy 'life'! One feels for the poor families whose loved ones died as a result of this mess!

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