150,012 members

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


Hospital bosses complain of poor care at never event


Blog headlines

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Hospital bosses complain of poor care at never event

The 30 trusts with the worst A&E performance were summoned to London last week by NHS Improvement’s dour chief executive Jim Mackey.

It’s a safe bet that the event, euphemistically billed as a “summit”, will not have been a congenial experience. Less shared learning, more copy of the NHS Constitution down the back of the trousers.

We have scant details, but numerous questions. Was the venue equipped for the volume of “patients” that rocked up? As the number of trusts missing the four-hour wait target has risen, the capacity of meeting rooms, designed at a time when only one or two hospitals were adrift, has not increased at anything like the same rate as demand for summits.

What about patient flows? Did chief execs find themselves waiting for hours in taxis outside the venue while staff attempted to discharge delegates from earlier meetings? Attendees at an international public health symposium reportedly clogged lobbies and thoroughfares or were found to be chair-blocking while the inhouse Costa franchise struggled to fill prescriptions for macchiato and skinny latte.

Some delegates were allegedly left hanging around in corridors while conference teams struggled to deal with non-urgent cases such as system planning meetings and mindfulness workshops.

Staff complained of being pushed to breaking point by the demands of surly and impatient hospital bosses.

One said: “People who come to Jim’s summits for ‘treatment’ are understandably anxious about what’s going to happen to them, but they shouldn’t take it out on the catering staff when the sparkling water runs out. We’re doing our best in intolerable conditions and everybody just has to wait their turn.”

Several delegates, speaking after the event, expressed disappointment. “I came here because I didn’t know where else to go, but mainly because Jim said it was compulsory.  I didn’t expect a cure but I thought I might get something for the pain – like some more money. Instead I was just told to pull my socks up, stop wasting everyone’s time and go home,” said one chief executive, who declined to exist.

A spokesman for NHS England said: “Even in the best spun, most heavily ring-fenced systems, large numbers of hospitals can find themselves unaccountably failing. We are committed to ensuring that so-called never events like this summit can never happen again – or if they do, that the papers don’t get wind of it.”

Society editor: NHS Networks 


Anonymous says:
Mar 11, 2016 10:40 AM

Members of the public must avoid these venues as they are characterised by bands of feral, disenfranchised chief executives and finance directors hunting in the streets.

Carol Lewis-Roylance
Carol Lewis-Roylance says:
Apr 10, 2016 03:04 PM

An experience within the last 48 hours gave rise to the following reflection.

The Cubicle:
We lucky dozen, cramped in a cubicle, standing, sitting
A&E is busy tonight,
Duty doctors practicing their skills with the masses
Get ready for a dehumanising experience folks
As each potential patient takes their turn
To go behind the thin curtain of shame, to the next cubicle

Pointless whispers carry afar
As each discloses intimate bodily malfunctions
For all to hear
Amid a cacophony of beeping monitors
And squeaky trolleys, manoeuvring geriatrics closer to the grave

A practice in humiliation follows
As each person, tagged and numbered,
Cannula in situ and bloods trafficked off to labs
Returns to the crowded cubicle
To a sea of searching eyes - no place to hide now

Yes I'm seventeen and three quarters, with (ouch) a painful testicle facing the wrong way
No I'm not sexually active, but thanks for reminding me
Yes I have tried smoking for a while, but not now
Yes I drink with mates once a week
No, I don't take drugs. Can I pull my pants up now?

I'm a typical nerd - reading faces is not my thing
Manual dexterity is awesome, my best weapon
Worries? Yes, fragging and lagging
Not shagging, my friend
Ok, I'll wait for a second opinion.

Tea is offered
A sure sign of a protracted wait ahead, for a Registrar's final verdict
As is free wifi connectivity,
To neutralise abject boredom and subdue unwelcome interlopers
We dozen, wait ... yawning, stretching, turning into hours of communal surfing 'what is testicular torsion?'

Ah the funny side at last
Couldn't give a f*ck who's listening now - they all know anyway.
A right of passage of life outside the bed/games room
He's sharing photos with concerned mates.
Worst case scenario, 'yes, imminent surgery. Drama! Can you hang on, the Registrar's turned up!'

'Oh, ok, antibiotics and home, you say
Is that it?
Come back you say, if the pain worsens. Thanks, see yah.
Okay Nan, grab your coat, we can go.
Thanks for bringing me. You're awesome!'

Teenager strolls gingerly, like John Wayne, towards the exit sign.
Manhood intact.
Phone bleeping
Then there were 10....