Firstly, click here for details of the bombshell that tempted us to bring a lump hammer to our laptop yesterday:
Yes, so it appears that there will be no meeting of the Council of Governors after all – or will there!
The governor, who filed the emergency resolutions, claims that he actually requested funding from Southern Health for independent legal advice but they refused to authorise the expenditure.
So Southern Health allowed him to rely on his knowledge and belief to submit the resolutions – and then suddenly conjured up ‘loadsamoney’ to pay solicitors to discredit his efforts. Is this one of the firms, who already stuff their pockets full with Southern Health’s taxpayer’s money – surely not?
As Mario Puzo said in ‘The Godfather
“One lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns …”
And just to spin your heads around again, one of the furious Governors sent an email this morning:
“As far as I am concerned only the CoG [Council of Governors] itself has the power to adjourn the meeting and so as far as I and a number of other governors are concerned the meeting is still on.”
There’s a very simple solution to this.
Yes, it would incur more legal costs but, rather than use taxpayers’ money to suppress open and transparent debate, the interests of the public, the Trust’s staff and its patients would be best served by Mr Smart:
1. Instructing an independent Employment Law expert to:
- Carry out a full disciplinary inquiry into the conduct of relevant executive directors.
- Review relevant NEDs’ contracts to determine if they can be terminated with immediate effect or (if necessary) carry out a full disciplinary inquiry into their conduct too.
2. Suspending the executive and non-executive directors concerned until the outcome of disciplinary inquiries.
And there’s more. Southern Health’s policy and most of the evidence is in the public domain already. At a ‘Bored’ Meeting on 26 January 2016, the Chairman, Mike Petter took this question:
“Does the Chairman have a zero-tolerance policy towards breaches of the law and dishonesty? When there is prima facie evidence of such conduct, which arguably is corrupt, will he suspend any officials pending a full disciplinary inquiry?”
- Unequivocally “YES” to breaches of the law.
- “We have different ideas on what constituted dishonesty.”
The latter is fair comment – there is deliberate dishonesty and there are circumstances when professionals (as a result of their professed expertise) should know they are being dishonest, i.e. the know or should have known test for negligence established in Bolam.
Amongst the evidence against the five named already, there is prima facie proof that:
- At least two are innately dishonest.
- Three have broken the law.
- One has been asleep on the job and has other failings: click here for more.
And another, who seems to do nothing, save act as Katrina Percy’s lap dog. Indeed, a Governor is reported as having written to the Trust to enquire what he does – when our spies disclosed this, the Trust had not responded. Perhaps they don’t know either. Redundancy probably is the safest bet – unless the lawyer uncovers evidence.
Yes – I know this makes seven – but some directors fall into more than one category.
Most (if not all) of the evidence is in the public domain already too.
Always provided the Trust follows due process, there is minimal risk in dismissing these five and minimal risk of compensation being awarded by a Court or a Tribunal.
What the Trust needs here is a solicitor with the reputation of a Rottweiler. We know at least one who probably would be delighted to take it on.
And whilst they are doing this, let’s have a new Lead Governor too.
Job done – legally and at minimal risk to the public purse – and the Trust can start to recover the trust of the public, its patients (and their families) and its staff.
Stop spending money to prevent action. Spend it to start recovery.
Is this rocket science?