Patients were routinely neglected or left “sobbing and humiliated” by staff at an NHS trust where at least 400 deaths have been linked to appalling care.
An independent inquiry found that managers at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs.
Staff shortages at Stafford Hospital meant that patients went unwashed for weeks, were left without food or drink and were even unable to get to the lavatory. Some lay in soiled sheets that relatives had to take home to wash, others developed infections or had falls, occasionally fatal. Many staff did their best but the attitude of some nurses “left a lot to be desired”.
Which is what happens to people's attitudes when they don't really have to care to keep their jobs. It's what makes a visit to the DMV so much fun. But don't worry, the great minds at the NHS have figured it out:
Mr Burnham said it was a “longstanding anomaly” that the NHS did not have a robust way of regulating managers or banning them from working, as it does with doctors or nurses. “We must end the situation where a senior NHS manager who has failed in one job can simply move to another elsewhere,” he added. “This is not acceptable to the public and not conducive to promoting accountability and high professional standards.”
I suppose not. But is this a bug, or a feature?
But the families of those who died or suffered poor care branded the inquiry a “whitewash” and repeated calls for a full public investigation. The Conservatives accused ministers of trying to blame managers rather than taking responsibility for problems with national targets.And the Tories are correct. Even in an irrational system, people generally behave rationally. And if you are judged on the results of the balance sheet, you will work to make your number or "national target" and not worry so much about those pesky patients. It's the sort of thing that insurance companies get bashed for all the time, but it's ludicrous to believe that government bureaucrats, protected by civil service, would behave any differently than the worthies profiled here.
And all this could be yours, if the price is right.