Blog scoops from yesteryear

It's extremely frustrating not to be able to blog about my wife's work. Lots of interesting snippets come my way almost every evening but I am forbidden to mention or even allude to them on pain of the standard Calabrian punishment - a thousand cuts followed by being fed, alive, to the pigs! OK, she might not go that far (we don't keep pigs for a start) but she would get very cross.

However by a happy coincidence she did tell me a story about some health workers in Kent, where the recent c. difficile scandal took place and, as she no longer works for that council I can repeat it here.

In 2005 Sandra hosted a seminar at the Sessions House (Kent County Council's headquarters) which was attended by, amongst others, three senior Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells health managers. The Sessions House is quite an imposing building which usually draws admiring comments from visitors so Sandra was rather bemused by the fact that the three managers seemed most impressed by the...lavatories! They said, in effect, that they would love to have lavatories in their hospitals with the same standards of hygiene and cleanliness as those at Kent HQ.

Do what?!

Interestingly, the managers thought their chief executive, Rose Gibb, who was appointed at a time when the trust had huge deficits and poor performance indicators, was absolutely wonderful. Significantly, the doctors had a rather different opinion and couldn't stand the woman. Well, Ms Gibb got on with the job of reducing the deficit and improving the stats, no doubt to the delight of her masters but, whoops, in the process she seemed to have lost sight of one rather important aspect of her job - maintaining patient care.

Ms Gibb was paid £150,0000 a year plus about £7k in benefits and received a 'substantial' severance package when she resigned last week. The Health Minister has said this evening that the package is to be suspended pending further inquiries. Not much comfort to the relatives of the 90 dead patients but at least they won't be having salt rubbed into their wounds, yet.