Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Accountability, part three

Having posted my last rant about the managers at Stafford hospital, it hit me that I have completely failed to mention one other group of people who should take some responsibility for what happened there.

The medical Consultants must have known full well what was happening at the sharp end. Unless they were blind and deaf they can not have been unaware of the avoidable suffering and death being inflicted upon their patients. Patients to whom they owed their ultimate loyalty. They as much as anyone let their patients down.

It could be argued of course that they were, like other staff, intimidated into silence, knowing full well what would happen to any individual who spoke out.

But...............Most hospitals today have a committee, the membership of which is made up of all the Consultants in the hospital. They have various titles but a common one is Senior Staff Committee. These provide a regular forum where members can take their concerns and present a united stance to management. They can be immensely powerful and in the past votes of no confidence from this committee have resulted in sackings of Chief Executives and Chairmen of Trusts. This power has been wielded as recently as 2009. A united Consultant body can not be intimidated or subjugated.

So what happened in Stafford. One can understand why individuals would not speak out, but Consultants will certainly have grumbled amongst themselves. Why did they not protest as a united body.

The answer is simple. Cowardice. Craven, inexcusable cowardice for which they should be thoroughly ashamed.


  1. Quoted you on my latest post. Thanks for speaking up.

    The Cockroach Catcher

  2. Flattered that you consider my foam flecked rants worthy.

  3. Without getting too over the top (commenting here and on Cockroach Catcher's blog too!) I'm succinctly comment that although some Consultant's spoke out in Mid Staffs it was managers not wanting to hear that was the problem.

    I waffled about it a bit but Mental Nurse's Zarathustra did a superb job framing it.