Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Quick hide! Its the feds!



It’s never going to work; making it a criminal offence to not care.

I speak as someone who knows a bit about criminal law. All it’s going to do is intimidate staff who do care; remember Ms Saldhana? If you don’t you should – look up ‘a moment ‘ under popular posts.

1) Criminal law requires proof “beyond reasonable doubt”.

There are three 8 hour shifts a day, so a patient sees a minimum of three nurses, three care assistants and goodness knows how many Doctors in 24 hours.

Often you see even more Nurses and Carers, depending on part time hours, shifts, sickness, holidays whatever. It would be difficult to prove who did see the patient, let alone the ones who didn’t bother to do anything.

Who is responsible for neglect? Which one?

A criminal lawyer would tear the case apart.

2) It is very rare for deliberate harm like Harold Shipman and in any case this is already covered by murder/assault.

3) Corporate manslaughter is notoriously difficult to prove and the only sentence is a fine against the organisation (that’s us, the taxpayers paying the fine).

No, the managers neglect is the real problem; it needs a chain of command from the top down to the wards, with clear lines of responsibility.

Disciplinary action should be quick and open and it should result from complaints. Currently it is in everyones interest to divert, to stall complaints and take no real action.

There should be vigilant professional bodies, keen to maintain standards and membership of such a body should be a job requirement for everybody.

Trade Union representation is vital to protect staff from bullying managers and this should be provided by a separate organisation to the professional body responsible for maintaining standards.

Crininalising staff is exactly the wrong approach. The NHS is its staff.

Is this never going to change?

Only if we make it.

It took the Stafford families and relatives 7 years fighting to get this far, it took the Hillsborough families 23 years to get justice for their loved ones, killed by police negligence at a football match.

We fight on!

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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