Friday, October 12, 2007

The Maidstone and Tunbridge NHS trust scandal

Well, it seems the place was a dirty nasty hellhole, with not enough staff to give out bed pans to people with diarrhoea, who then had to sit in their own excrement. Conditions which could possibly shock a third world doctor.

What is strange though is the way incompetence is rewarded in our country, and not just in the public sector. Someone makes a complete horlicks of it, like the trusts former chief executive, Rose Gibb, gets to resign, with a handsome payoff. It is not just the fact that the money could be better used to either fix some of the trusts problems or compensate the victims, it is the reward for making the mess which grates.

There seems to be a problem with the way contracts for high paid staff work in this country. In short, if one of them makes a mess they get asked to resign rather than go through the pain and negative publicity of a sacking, and gay paid a severance fee as a result. So if you are a useless CEO expect to walk away with a fat pay off.

However Rose Gibb can't be the only person responsible. She had a whole board with her, including a chairman, medical director and nursing officer. What did they do to stop this mess happening?

Government can't escape all blame either. The Maidstone and Tunbridge NHS trust has been in the news before, when it asked its staff to work unpaid overtime to ease the financial burden caused by a PFI scheme. Clearly something is going very wrong in parts of the NHS.

The BBC has this.

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