sRight then, time for another venture into the blogosphere, delayed by the Snail Mail's posting of dead tree press to my current location. It is quite a handy excuse to allow me to report my thoughts on the olds rather than the news. Not sure how long I can keep this up for before someone points out any self-respecting blogger should probably get some portion of his info from the world wide. But then, maybe that says more about my deep-seated feelings of inadequacy, as a blogger and as a man. Or more likely I'm just lazy and prefer the inky fingers from out of date newsprint than staring into my pretty, little, silver webterface. Apparently England are playing Wales tomorrow. Might put some money on it - any tips?
I shall persist with the "just a quick one" mantra though I realise from an indulgent perusal of my blog that such statements are rarely borne out. Today I'm blogging about an article that caught my eye from last week's press. It seems the NHS have paid to train a lady to the level of senior staff nurse, fire her for an amusing and harmless quip, then go through no fewer than three tribunals and court hearings. They're also not done yet - they still have to go back to the employment tribunal to determine how much cash they give the lady in question for the now official unfair dismissal. You would have though they were so flush for cash they were handing out cruise holidays with every MRI scan.
I struggle, and am sure I will continue to do so into eternity, to comprehend the level of idiocy that must have permeated so many levels of public services to allow a case like this not just to happen, but to be so typical as to barely raise an eyebrow - why in 4 years has nobody had a common sense check and then smartly kicked themselves in the slats for being so confoundedly stupid - hospital management, NHS management, judicial and tribunal systems (with the exception of the last that finally found in her favour)? This is not a rare case. It seems countrywide there are dolts placed into jobs in the public sector (probably because they kept getting fired from the private sector for gross stupidity) whose sole purpose it is to waste money by making rules or misreading others to try to get in the way of those actually striving to walk forwards in the quest for a better tomorrow.
And so it is I imagine we will end up a good £100,000 plus out of pocket, and maybe much much more with the case dragging on for over 4 years now. Do also remember that as always, it is 'we' who are out of pocket - every penny spent in the public sector was either once yours and mine or borrowed on our behalf without our say-so with our names and the names of our descendants for years to come on the repayment forms. In case you didn't come across the offending article, it appears whilst aiding a doctor in restraining an unconscious epileptic man who was fitting, the nurse ended up being thrown by the patient's writhing astride his naked 'waist area'. She commented "it's been a few months since I've been in this position with a man underneath me".
Apparently humour is dead. Not a complaint from the nurse that she had stayed beyond her shift to help, not a lawsuit for the physical and mental scarring caused from being kicked "between the legs" which resulted in her new position, I believe referred to in some circles as "cowgirl", though I hasten to add, I haven't the foggiest what they mean. Nope. A complaint was lodged 6 weeks later (presumably by a colleague who I hope has had to cover her extra shifts while she's been away as the patient was out for the count) and she was fired for "gross misconduct."
Now I know you know where I'm going with this so I shan't flog it to death, but seriously? Are we not allowed to say anything anymore? It was a harmless quip. If you felt it entirely necessary, you might go so far as to give her a slap on the wrist for what could look like taking advantage of a patient, but it wasn't really was it? It was making light of an awkward situation. Now I'm not suggesting Carry On levels of sauciness about the workplace are to be condoned, but we're in a totally different ballpark, to use the vernacular. So again, remember when you hear about hospitals "being forced to close" or "being forced to cut services" because of the "harsh cuts" (read: only the start of what is necessary to stop us 'doing a Greece'), they choose to waste your money here first well before they even think about treating a patient.