Thursday, June 02, 2011

The corporate world

Tucked in to the uproar over the Winterbourne View, a residential hospital scandal are a few rather more unpleasant facts. It now appears that the agency responsible for enforcing standards, the Care Quality Commission, had been informed of serious problems at the hospital, and had failed to act.

It had been told by Terry Bryan, now a former nurse at the hospital, who had become increasingly concerned by the standard of care and complained to Jim Fazarally, the manager of the home, on 11 October last year. A lengthy email from Bryan detailed his concerns about the "confrontational and aggressive" approach of staff.

When his managers failed to address his concerns, Bryan resigned. He then complained to the Care Quality Commission in December, stating that serious abuse was taking place at Winterbourne and asking it to get in touch with him.

He received no response other than two automated emails. He subsequently called the commission, only to be told that the person dealing with his complaint was on holiday. Frustrated by the failure of the authorities to take his complaint seriously, Mr Bryan turned to Panorama.

The Care Quality Commission is the "independent regulator of health and social care in England". Thus, the failure of Winterbourne is also another failure of Chief Executive Cynthia Bower, she of Stafford Hospital fame.

Now, the egregious Bower is on a salary in the order of £215,000 – more than the prime minister. And, according to the annual report, she and her executive team rip off the Agency to the tune of over a million in annual salaries and benefits, yet when a serious issue arises, their Agency is found wanting.

And will Bower or any of her executive team resign from their well-paid jobs? You guessed.

But then, this is hardly surprising. The woman has no shame.