Friday, 25 October 2013

I’m seriously annoyed!

I woke this morning to find Jan had been weeping after she had read Jaqi Biggs latest blog post regarding her husband’s (Les) most recent experience in Watford Hospital where he is being treated for bowel cancer <>.

After reading the post I was trembling with rage that such a situation should have been allowed to happen.  It’s completely unnecessary and inexcusable.  One omission should be investigated… more than one indicates to me a complete failure with the risk management system in the hospital (Les appears to have been though a few since being admitted).  This is an executive management failure!

The only way the current situation is going to improve is when the people with the authority know what is happening and make the essential changes to prevent a re-occurrence.  As my personal first step to initiate that change I have written to the CEO of West Hertfordshire Hospitals making her aware she has a serious problem that needs to be addressed. 

The CEO West Hertfordshire Hospitals

Dear Samantha

I hope the person who receives this email has the courage to immediately take it to you because you urgently need to know what is happening.

I strongly suggest you read the blog posts of Mrs Jacqueline Biggs whose husband, Les Biggs, is in Watford Hospital for bowel cancer treatment. Mrs Biggs has been writing day blog posts about her husband’s experience with the treatment he has been receiving in hospital.

The link is here

My wife broke down and cried this morning after reading the latest avoidable incident involving unnecessary pain and suffering. As a form senior risk manager I am extremely concerned such an environment has been allowed to evolve without having being identified and remedial action taken. I know from my own risk management experience this situation isn’t simply an issue with the treatment being received by Mr Biggs. In my opinion Watford Hospital has a systemic and cultural risk management problem which requires urgent executive management intervention.

You may note on Mrs Biggs blog that it is ranked 14th most popular amongst the nation-wide boating community and, I can see that in the very near future the blog will go “Viral”.

I do not expect or want a reply to this email. I believe you need to focus all your efforts on implementing a formal investigation and risk mitigation plan into rectifying the systemic hospital work-culture problems described by Mrs Biggs.

Yours sincerely

My next interim step will be to carefully and regularly read Jaq’s blog posts to see if there is an immediately improvement in the quality of Les’ treatment.  Should there be no immediate change I will contact all the Hertfordshire Hospital Trustee’s and appraise them of the situation.  If necessary I will ask all of you (our reader) to also write an email expressing your concern.  I have further steps should they be required!

I do not see this as a problem with the frontline medical staff.  They don’t manage the budget, allocate the resources, select agency from which to employ temporary staff.  All that is done by the managers.  The manager need to be held accountable.  If there are insufficient resources to meet the demand then the Trustees must either obtain additional resources or cut back on certain types of operation.  The politicians can then take the criticism for longer waiting lists.  No patient should suffer from a lack of competent staff or resources.

Several years ago Australia introduced legislation for the criminal charge of “Industrial Manslaughter”.  Business leaders hated it and seriously advocated it’s repeal.  I now think it was actually a good move.  If managers knew they might go to prison for failing to provide a safe working environment then I suspect situations like Jaq describes wouldn’t occur.

Normal blog posts will resume after I have calmed down!

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