"The buck stops here" So said American President Harry S Truman. Does it really stop with the person in charge though?
In Japan some leaders have been known to end their own lives by the traditional sword method when something has gone badly wrong on their watch, others in posh circles retire to the rifle room with a bottle of brandy and a revolver rather than live with the shame of it all. All rather dramatic and some would say unnecessary although the boss should not shirk the blame or the responsibility when it all goes pear shaped while he/she is in charge.
When a very large and much loved institution is revealed to be undeserving of that love and respect because of behaviour reckoned to have amounted to one of the worst scandals in its recent history, should heads roll at the highest level? In this case and because of the institution concerned I think they should. I am speaking about the shameful scandal uncovered at NHS Lothian. This was not incompetence, nor was it neglect or botched treatment. Staff were found to have made 5,000 patients disappear from waiting lists in order to meet targets for treating them within 18 months, they were pressured to do this by management.
What forces were at play to provoke such desperate behaviour, to betray the nation's trust in the jewel in the crown of our beloved welfare state? Political ones of course, and the refusal to accept and admit that snp promises made would not be kept. The broken promises were therefore kept secret and bogus results were fed to a trusting public. The Chief Executive (the boss) was given early retirement with a lucrative deal in an attempt to make the matter go away or as it should be said 'cover it up' but it didn't work and resentment is now rising and questions are being asked, a step in the right direction I hear you murmur but, this 'boss' also had a 'boss' and in this case that boss was Nicola Sturgeon who was health minister at the time. She was not implicated in any way despite being in charge, result for Nicola then right? Great damage has been done to the standing of the NHS and huge damage done to staff morale by this issue. It remains ambiguous, an unsolved puzzle, she was replaced later and shunted under cover of obfuscation by her indulgent protector Salmond to another less demanding job . Does it fill you with confidence in her ability or her integrity? The issue of bullying which was widespread has also to be addressed. Ms. Sturgeon stated rather royally considering she was in charge " there is no place in the NHS for such behaviour and it will not be tolerated.
Labour's Jackie Baillie raised the unpleasant thought of the pressure from the snp Government on the NHS and their target driven culture exacerbated by their decimation of the work force. She also suggested that it is more than likely that Lothian are not alone and we could find that more Health Boards are suffering and have suffered the same fate.
Ms. Sturgeon survives by being moved out of the firing line and her lack incompetence is once again covered up, she was and has been for years out of her depth she should be removed from any responsible position before she does greater harm.