Posted by: Witch Doctor | February 16, 2013

Mid- Staffordshire : Prosecutions?


You look confused, My Black Cat…..

You want to know who is responsible for Mid-Staffordshire?

Well, My Black Cat, it is not as complicated as many seem to think. The “Pathway of Accountability” starts with the consultant medical practitioner and his or her individual patients.

The Witch Doctor holds the view that Mid – Staffordshire happened because :

a) Consultant Medical practitioners were over-worked and demoralised, or
b) Consultant Medical practitioners responded to carrots and / or sticks, or
c) Consultant Medical practitioners allowed themselves to Creep, or
d) There was no “Consultant medical practitioner delivered service”
d) A combination of all of these.

Notice The Witch Doctor blames medical practitioners. She uses this term in preference to “doctor” because there are many doctors around the NHS who are not medical practitioners.

That is not to say that others were not to blame. Indeed it is likely there were many who were not doctors who were very much to blame. More than any other group, however, it is medical practitioners who hold the power to change things quickly. They do this by saying “no.” They can say “no” because of their professional accountability and medical ethics that must always stay outwith state control.

Unfortunately, in The Witch Doctor’s opinion, a jail sentence is one thing, perhaps the only thing, that will be a wake up call to all UK medical staff that they must never again creep into becoming the obedient servants of the state. Sometimes the state, with good intentions, cannot grasp the complexities of the patient – doctor relationship. Sometimes when the state tries to save the taxpayers money in one way, in so doing it wastes more in other ways. Sometimes benevolent states creep into evil.  Managers on the other hand, by nature of their contracts, ARE obedient servants of the state and  so if they act out any views that they hold that are contrary to the will of the state it is likely they will be sacked. In the past, but possibly no longer, these dissenters on being sacked may have agreed to a gagging clause using the benevolent carrot of cash.

Doctors who become part of the formal management system put themselves into a conundrum – sometimes they are servants of the state, at other times not. They should be aware of this before they take on these posts and weigh their vulnerability against any financial incentives there might be as a result of  becoming clinical directors, medical directors, or chief executives. Doctors acting professionally and ethically in the interests of individual patients in their care will not be sacked if they deal with the system in a certain way. This “certain way” will be different in each situation. There are various ways of saying “no,” if those “leaders” in the NHS do not understand the simple articulation of that word.

Apparently, under health and safety laws, convictions may lead to unlimited fines or up to two years in jail.

The Telegraph reports that The Health and Safety Executive is considering launching an investigation into one particular patient who died in Mid-Staffordshire.


No one will agree with the Witch Doctor’s views on these matters, My Black Cat.

The are too straightforward for todays “leaders” of the NHS to grasp. They like lots of complexity.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: