Baillie attacks government on NHS ‘cover up culture’

Local MSP Jackie Baillie has attacked what she has called the ‘cover up culture’ in the NHS on which she sees the Scottish Government as having a permissive stance.

Ms Baillie’s party, Scottish Labour, for which she is Health Spokesperson, has made this accusation after it became known that health inspectors shelved and then diluted a damning report into Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

A draft report by Healthcare Improvement Scotland into care for older people at Ninewells revealed that 35 patients had been left on trolleys and in wheelchairs, in some cases for six hours, waiting for a bed over the period of an afternoon and evening.

When the report was finally published after pressure from Labour MSP, Jenny Marra, the report simply said that ‘some’ patients were left on trolleys and hospitals. Other concerns were also omitted.

Jackie Baillie says: ‘Over the last few days, we have seen the lengths that the SNP Government will go to in a bid to cover up the mismanagement of our health service.

‘The full extent of the hidden waiting list scandal under Nicola Sturgeon was laid bare yet the SNP continue to deny there is a problem and insist this is somehow about IT systems.

‘Now we have NHS bosses trying to bury and play down the poor treatment of elderly patients at Ninewells who were left to wait for hours on trolleys and wheelchairs in corridors because beds were unavailable.

‘It is clear we face real pressures in our health service and patients are suffering as a result. But rather than face up to this and tackle these underlying problems, Nicola Sturgeon and now Alex Neil are content to turn a blind eye or help cover up these failings. Scottish patients deserve better.’

Jenny Marra, Scottish Labour’s MSP for the North East, says: ‘It is clear that the Scottish Government knew over two months ago that the Ninewells report had been buried.

‘The Cabinet Secretary for Health needs to explain why he didn’t take action to have the report publishing swiftly.

‘He has been sitting on his hands and allowing this turmoil to develop in the Government’s health inspectorate, hoping it would never come to light.’

The fundamental issue here is one of trust.

When people discover that, in practice, they can be left waiting for inordinately long periods of time for an NHS appointment while their NHS Board’s performance looks fast and efficient; and when they find that critical reports into hospital practice are suppressed and then doctored before release – they lose trust.

That is a dangerous situation and it is one we are getting deeper into.

Health professionals ag all levels are in the so-called ‘caring professions’. The first thing they jave to remember at all times and in every action, is that they are dealing with a human being – not a patient or a client.

Anything, moreover, that renders public information a reasonable subject of mistrust corrodes the body politic – and that is not in great shape already.

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6 Responses to Baillie attacks government on NHS ‘cover up culture’

  1. Jackie Baillie

    knows all about covers up –Vale of Leven comes to mind and when Argyll and Clyde was disbanded and thrown to the wolves of NHS Greater Glasgow and to a lesser extent NHS HIghland. The shenanigans of the closure over the Rankin Maternity Hospital then the maternity unit at Inverclyde Royal so that expectant mums are increasingly rushed to Paisley. Their demise begun with labour and at that time their chair or political appointee Mullin–She justs needs to ask Duncan McNeil or look in the mirror.

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  2. I think you have forgotten – managers of health services are not health professionals and tend to have little patient contact. They seem only to think finance and bed numbers in order to please NHS boards and ultimately politicians. Those people who provide the care are fighting an uphill battle and which often allows abuse of the system to creep in, especially when morale is low.

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  3. I have not forgotton anything.
    Manager’s in the majority of cases are “Health Professionals” ie professional nurses, therapists and wider clinicians. They have wide experience but now have the name manager added to their title.
    Even if they don’t– their family members ie child/parent/friend or themselves have or will have experience of healthcare through their GP/CLINIC/HEALTH CENTRE/HOSPITAL. They can see for themselves what is going on.

    The basic problem as with all is resources and managing the publics expectations (egged on by all politicians). I would agree that their are negatives including the power of certain key groups eg BMA etc. Just think of the monies given out 10 years ago for the Consultant and Doctors. –any money left had to be divied up between the other clinical groups eg pharmacists, radiographers, Physiotherapists, nurses through Agenda for Change (Introduced by JBaillie and friends) and of course the deliberate dismantling of Argyll and Clyde in order to save money to pay for the new Southern General

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  4. Argyll and Clyde was a dysfunctioning health board that, in my opinion, was in desperate need of being dismantled. NHS Highland is by no means perfect but is a darn sight better than A&C.

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    • The board was dysfunctional –not the staff. If you stay in Bute or Cowal you are taken to Inverclyde or Paisley —at the moment—another year and you will be heading to Glasgow or maybe since its Highland Inverness

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