Fear rules. The staff still feel gagged…. We are a long way from a truly “learning” organisation.

The culture of fear and psychological gagging extends beyond the staff to patients and ex-staff. I and my wife had reason to complain recently but have not done so, as we know the culprit(s) will be scapegoated.. Fear rules. The staff still feel gagged…. We are a long way from a truly “learning” organisation. cropped-gagging-bdqw3y0cqaewblo.jpg

WHISTLEBLOWERS ‘MAY STILL BE FIRED’ from Sir Brian Jarman and others in the Times letters 6th December 2016:

Sir, In 2009 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) replaced the Healthcare Commission, which uncovered the grave care failings at Mid Staffs. CQC failures to detect poor care and governance followed. For instance, in 2014 the CQC inspection of Southern Health NHS Foundation trust cost £273,908 but failed to spot hundreds of uninvestigated deaths.

The CQC protests that it has no powers to investigate individual cases. Many patients, bereaved relatives and whistleblowers are deeply frustrated that disclosures to the CQC have not resulted in change. On the contrary, if NHS staff whistleblow they may still be fired, gagged and blacklisted. The CQC has done little to deter gagging, despite having been advised to do so by Sir Robert Francis.

The CQC is poor value, and it is time to move on from the current model of regulation. What is vital is a safely resourced, truly independent investigation facility for learning from serious failures. The government is establishing a Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch that will carry out only 30 investigations a year. It may be able to withhold information from patients and families. This defeats the purpose. More radical changes are needed if NHS safety is to improve.

Professor Sir Brian Jarman, co-director and research director, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine; Julie Bailey, founder, Cure the NHS; Dr Heather Wood, former investigation manager, Healthcare Commission and Care Quality Commission; Dr Stephen Bolsin, adjunct professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne; Dr Phil Hammond, NHS associate specialist, journalist and broadcaster; Dr Kim Holt, founder, Patients First; Dr Minh Alexander, whistleblower and former consultant psychiatrist; Maha Yassaie, former chief pharmacist, NHS Berkshire West; Dr Kevin Beatt, cardiologist, formerly at Croydon University Hospital; Amanda Pollard, former senior inspector, Care Quality Commission; Dr Edwin Jesudason, chairman, Patients First, and formerly consultant surgeon at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust; Dr Peter Wilmshurst, consultant cardiologist, Royal Stoke University Hospital, London; Narinder Kapur, consultant neuropsychologist; Dr Otto Chan, consultant radiologist, The Whittington Hospital

Chris Smyth expands the argument in The Times 6th December 2016: Patients at risk as thousands of safety warnings are ignored – read the whole article here (with apologies to the Times) patients-at-risk………

Pause listen engageIt does not help that purchasing is so inefficient that the “NHS spends more than £1 billion on just 4 common drugs, latest figures show ” – Stephen Matthews in mailonline 5th December 2016. Denial of a need to ration health care is driving the professions to despair.

The NHS now spends 15 per cent of its £116 billion budget on medications

This has increased from £13 billion in 2011 to £16.8 billion in the last year

While 45.2% of this was spent on drugs used to treat patients in hospital 

Adalimumab, used to treat arthritis, was the most expensive at £416 million


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Gagging, NHS managers, Political Representatives and activists, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s