Last thing yesterday, before I got into bed, I read Sara’s blog. This morning I woke up realising, that for all my Grannie wisdom, in the past I’d been wrong.
You see, I’d always hoped that the whole sorry Sloven business wasn’t just aimed vindictively at one person. I’d very seldom come across such actual malice during a lifetime’s experience of working in various branches of public service.
I’d come across plenty of bad practice – sloppy procedures, chaotic administration, hopelessly out of their depth managers, arrogant trend-driven consultants, sheer basic incompetence and plain simple idleness. All of these were bad enough, but at least they were open to remedy, given the will, the time and the determination.
And of course families caught up in such Kafkaesque nightmares suffered, but they weren’t targetted. They were a sad, innocent part of a big mess that needed sorting, and at one time many people entered politics, or the public services or local government, in the hope that they could help clear it up.
My Dad was one of them. He wouldn’t even accept a bottle of whisky at Christmas in case it looked like corruption. Having taken on the job as a young man in the Depression, largely because it offered security, he faced up to a career of sorting out corporate mess. He never made a song or dance about it. He went about it quietly and steadfastly, simply because he believed it was the right thing to do.
As I read Sara’s latest blog, I had to admit that my Dad’s world was dead.
A public service, part of the NHS, could whine about criticism from a bereaved family, and seriously cite this as a reason for not carrying out their own procedures efficiently. It was this that finally forced me to see that the principles my Dad lived by have become things of the past.
Nowadays, like some D list celebrity complaining about her Twitter following, a public body states (and presumably believes) that social media coverage of a preventable death is somehow unfair to them.
They choose to home in on a single blogger, one honestly outspoken citizen, as the unacceptable cause of their staff problems and their procedural difficulties.
So I apologise to Sara for ever doubting that the treatment of her family was more than awful indifference, maladministration and incompetence. I finally have to admit that the only rational explanation for the intransigence of the Health Trust in consistently laying their failings at her door is that they seriously believe her to be at fault. They resent her stubborn unwillingness to be silent in grief, her friends’ determination to meticulously research and record corporate failings, the support of all who campaign and fund raise on her behalf. All these people must be in the wrong and Sara Ryan is the wicked ringleader who stirs them up!
This isn’t just business, it’s personal.
Welcome to public service in the UK today!