Re: Who knew what, and when, at Mid Staffs?

8 February 2013

It is rather extraordinary that, 2 days after something of this importance was posted this is apparently the first response. I have worked in the NHS, only, for nearly 39 years and will very soon stop clinical work altogether. Although I have hugely enjoyed the work, and will miss my patients, I am not sorry. The NHS I started in was in many ways worse than today, in terms of diagnostic and therapeutic options, but was not infested by corporate gobbledegook and the Stalinist mindset quoted in this article. Taking a critical view on anything was counter-revolutionary and undermined the glorious leadership and their 5-year plans. If the consequences were not so ghastly this would be almost comical.

Clearly therefore the DoH had no interest in supporting whistleblowers and I am sure that will remain the case despite all the sanctimonious lipservice to the contrary. And of course Francis subscribes to the establishment view that it is all the system's fault, lessons will be learnt, move along please. The British response to this sort of crass and shameful negligence is it seems to give an eminent QC a large amount of money to write an enormous report, which after a brief and almost respectable interval is binned. Important people then get shuffled sideways and given even more public money. It really does make you sick.

Competing interests: None declared

Michael Schachter, Clinical Pharmacologist

Imperial College London, St Mary's Hospital W2 1NY

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