Ruthless WUTH

Diddymen

Whilst Frank Field continues his relentless pursuit of headlines as an Independent Labour MP it was inevitable that he would revisit the issue of nurses being charged to park at local hospitals especially as he had a bit of time on his hands from not publicly supporting the Cammell Laird strike. Read more:  MP’s message for hospital boss: ‘What are you doing about parking for our nurses?’

We can get with the campaign to stop nurses being charged for parking (why is this even still a thing?) but might we suggest there are more pressing cultural issues that Field may want to discuss with  WUTH’s latest CEO Janelle Holmes.

You may remember that we reported the appointment of Sir David ‘Diddy’ Henshaw as the interim Chair of WUTH  in our reports Marmalizing the Bullies : St Frank or Sir Diddy?  and WUTH – Carr Crash OUT, Sir Diddy IN

After receiving the following  tip off last month we were anticipating that the  new Chairman of Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) would have been announced by now

Sirs
I write to let you know:
WUTH will interview and appoint its next chairman “by the end of this month”
There is only one applicant; despite advertisement in The Sunday Times & elsewhere; Sir David Henshaw
2 points arise:
If there is no University of Wirral – how can there be a Wirral University teaching hospital ?

Will god continue to help and save us all in the face of this abomination?

To recap you may also recall that on 21/12/2017 Health Service Journal published “Trust Directors blew the whistle over chief executive”, containing excerpts from the record of the minutes of a meeting held with National Health Service Improvement (NHSI) North medical director Vince Connelly.
WUTH Executive Directors Susan Gilby, David Jago and Janelle Holmes raised concerns with CEO David Allison – precipitating his resignation, followed by Michael  Carr with Dr Gilby leaving soon after in unusual circumstances to be Medical Director of Chester /CEO.
NHS England investigated the complaints and found there to be no substance to any of them in a report titled Investigation Report of NHS Improvement re: Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – Issues Arising from Senior Staff Concerns Reported in Late 2017.

So having helped create a CEO vacancy and despite concerns about allegations of bullying Holmes then applied for the post. A WUTH insider tells us that whilst the WUTH website [at that time] said that Holmes as  Chief Operating Officer had a “focus of improving patient quality and safety” apparently nothing annoyed her more than when senior medical staff highlighted clinical risks or incidents. Those staff then found themselves subject to the type of processes uncovered by a Freedom of Information request published by Wirral Leaks. Our source tells us :

Executives use ‘Maintaining High Professional Standards’ (MHPS) as a disciplinary measure and try to say individual has ‘volunteered’. You may not know but at this time WUTH was invoking those processes on at least 3% of senior medical staff – this rate is about 40 times national average.

11 of 234 is very nearly 5% of the consultant staff 1 in 20 – none were picked up by appraisal process.10 of consultants left unexpectedly in same timeframe…It’s bullying.These processes include absolute confidentiality so consultants who manage to keep their job also know to keep schtum about Janelle Holmes.10% of consultants left in a hurry during this time.

 

Page 131 of the following document provides details of 11 of the 234 senior medical staff at the Trust who were subject to  an MHPS investigation. https://www.wuth.nhs.uk/media/10550/public-board-of-directors-28112018.pdf

Consequently concerns were raised about the possibility that Janelle Holmes might get the CEO job – and several directors and Non Executive Directors were formally put on notice that she was not a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold any director position – these same people were on her interview panel.
Luckily for Holmes so was Sir David Henshaw and her old boss at Salford Sir David Dalton.
The result was not announced because WUTH Council of Governors declined to ratify it. Staff groups made representation to The Governors with clinicians  submitting this letter :

Discussed several concerns
The advert for the position specified a preference for an experienced CEO [this was not JH]
One of the candidates has been identified in press leaks as one of three executives acting against the previous post-holder of CEO……we would be concerned about the apparent probity of appointing a candidate identified as seeking the investigation and termination of the previous post-holder.
Thirdly, the Trust is expecting a CQC report on, among other things, how well led the organisation is under the recent leadership. We would counsel a delay in any ratification of appointment of any current executive manager to CEO until July’s report is available.
We are concerned that promotion of a current executive board member under this level of uncertainty involves the Trust in unnecessary risk.We were disappointed that there was not any apparent clinical involvement in the appointment, beyond the legal minimum.
After recent consultant staff surveys highlighted a closed culture and lack of clinical involvement, we find this process unfortunate.
We would be grateful if you might raise these concerns with your fellow governors and the chairman at the meeting of 20th June, and have no concerns with your sharing this letter with them.

We understand Sir David ‘Diddy’ Henshaw attended The Council of Governors meeting on 20/6/18 and explained to them that they were simply too late in raising any objection and were doing so through the wrong channels.
It is anticipated that Janelle Holmes may not be or was not on Sir Diddy’s appointment board – as he is the only candidate this probably isn’t necessary.
Nor will any clinician – given how Sir Diddy acted with another high profile whistleblower  – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2293567/This-brilliant-surgeon-work-NHS-Is-blew-whistle-child-deaths-leading-hospital.html – it is doubtful they would be so unwise as to say anything…

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #7

THE FREE PRESS

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If nothing else Wirral is well served by free media – mainstream or otherwise . From Wirral Leaks  to Wirral Globe to Wirral View to Wirral Life – all along the news spectrum from the grime to the gloss.

However did you spot the deliberate mistake? We’ve been asked what part of  the word ‘free’ doesn’t Wirral Council understand . Those of our readers who have miraculously received their first ever print edition of Wirral View have been asking us how can it have ‘FREE’ emblazoned on the front cover when the print and distribution costs and presumably the wages of the cut and paste mob who are responsible for compiling the unwanted rag runs into hundreds of thousands of £££ each year and is paid for by council tax payers ?

For those who had the honour and privilege of finally receiving a copy of Wirral View the most frequently asked question is : “Are there elections due ?  In probably the last edition before purdah we understand it was rammed with Wirral Growth Company/Muse Developments/Wirral Waters articles replete with the obligatory artist’s impressions. There wasn’t even room for any healthy, cheap and nourishing recipes! We are sure a peep at the online edition would confirm the veracity of these claims but as the saying goes you don’t have to go to the Arctic to know it’s cold…

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Another reader was a bit alarmed by the Wirral View headline above . At first they thought it was members of the Wirral Council cabal getting a vigilante posse together and taking time out from next week’s MIPIM conference in Cannes to track down ‘His Lordship’ and give him a good pasting . That was until they read the article , which was about how not to upset the kiddiewinks with stories about all the nasty things going on in the world. Although we think telling them to get a good education, not to do drugs and get away from Wirral as fast as you can is the best advice that any Wirral parent could give to their child.

THE ART OF DOING BUSINESS ON THE GOLF COURSE

From the glitz and glamour of Cannes we glide seamlessly to the latest glossy, glamorous, aspirational edition of Wirral Life . Inexplicably the cover star is hasbeen chanteuse / gardener Kim Wilde. So is Kim –  best known for that annoying racket ‘Kids in America’  – coming to Wirral as part of her UK tour ? Er,no. She’s going to Wrexham ( oh the glamour of it all) . We couldn’t work out a Wirral connection even though the exclusive and highly insightful interview revealed that Ms Wilde only has “2 handbags and less than 10 pairs of shoes (not counting trainers) “. Now if the interviewer had asked her about what trackie she would wear to visit The Pound Bakery we might have understood why Wirral Life was plugging her tour and giving her front cover status.

However less of this celebrity flummery what did interest us was finding out about the inevitable Wirral Chamber of Commerce section. There was news of Wirral Waters ( don’t they know it’s had a re-brand to Wirral Waters One?) and the Wirral Chamber Corporate Cup as the Chamber  ‘host prestigious corporate golf day at Caldy’  . What is it with these people and bloody golf?  We’ve long known that much of Wirral Council business is conducted at Wallasey Golf Club and of course there’s that  Hoylake housing development proposal masquerading as a ‘golf resort’ but we’re definitely with Mark Twain on this one – “golf is a good walk spoiled”. The point of this anti-golf tirade (and we do have one) is that one of the 2018 teams is Morgan Sindall . Muse Developments are part of the Morgan Sindall group of companies .  Is anyone other than us joining the dots? Read more here : Morgan Sindall

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WIRRAL UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL : #PROUD  – The Musical 

Following our  Wirral University Teaching Hospital : #Proud ?  story we’ve been sent a video of the opening of Arrowe Park Hospital entrance from 2014 involving a ‘flashmob’ performing the song ‘Proud’. It brought a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye – but for reasons that probably means that we’re best walking away from the keyboard. Disgraced former WUTH CEO David Allison can be seen at the start of the video doing the difficult job of encouraging someone to cut the ribbon. So David tell us what did YOU do since this was filmed to make you feel proud?

AND FINALLY…….

We have some very observant and tuned-in readers who look at the world in the same slightly skewiff way that we do . Accordingly we are grateful for both the picture taken from a Channel 4 ident along with the following comment :

My daughter has forwarded me this image today explaining that this giant monster is actually a deconstructed number 4 (as in C4).

So, not only is it a good New Brighton image but it is also, I guess, some kind of metaphor for what Wirral Leaks is trying to do – deconstructing Wirral?

(or, like those blokes in wheelchairs…maybe I am pushing it)

Ident

Wirral University Teaching Hospital : #Proud ?

In the week that people were urged to stay away  from Arrowe Park Hospital (APH) A&E because of a surge in demand we get an insight into one of the many reasons how things got that way.  Read more here APH A&E

Our thanks go out to a concerned Wirral citizen who is asking all the right questions of Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) . The response they received to their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is an eye-opener to say the least. As previously reported David Allison ‘stepped down’ as CEO of WUTH in December . Read more here

We now find out Allison is currently ‘working his six months notice period’ . To which we can only ask – from where? The Caribbean ? Wherever Allison is he’ll still be getting half of his £300K annual salary for doing precisely NOTHING .

Considering the failures detailed in the damning report which we included in the Marmalizing the Bullies : St Frank or Sir Diddy ? post we need to ask whether such generous rewards for failing those who pay for and rely on the NHS should be allowed to continue.

And that’s not the end of it ! –  Question 5  in the FOI  request below relates to general allegations (current) at APH and although not necessarily against Allison, it is shocking to consider that there are SIX ( count’em !) ongoing bullying investigations .

Might we suggest that under the circumstances that the @wuthnhs#proud  #PROUD branding needs to be put on hold until investigations are completed . How can NHS Improvement and WUTH management possibly be proud of any of this?

WUTH FOI

WUTH FOI 2WUTH FOI 3

Dispatches from Dystopia

Dispatches from Dystopia

You do insist on sending us news about our former domicile. But where else would you go for solace from the dark foreboding place we know as the Wirral peninsula?

Whilst we appreciate we’ve found refuge far from the madding crowd you poor people still have to endure the madness. Nevertheless we promise you (and ourselves) that we will try and make sense of it all from a sunbed overlooking the Med and living the life of a flâneur – it’s a hard life but someone’s got to do it (as long as it’s not too much effort.)

However we tell you now you won’t get a look in once the temperature rises. So get your grievances and observations in before it’s too late!

First up we have a number of comments on the unfolding Wirral University Teaching Hospital  (WUTH) story (not that you’d know there was a story from perusing the local press) . Whilst it was obvious to us and others that there was a mahoosive problem years ago it obviously went ignored by senior management and regulators – because as we know that’s what they do. Denial may be pathological but for some but for others it’s a career path.

Wirral University Teaching Hospital – Leaks to Cascade

Sadly , it must be bittersweet for some of our contributors who have been ousted from their roles – be it nurses or trustees – because they dared to speak truth to power ( to the likes of former WUTH CEO Len Richards) and now find themselves belatedly vindicated only when their careers and livelihoods have been trashed. Meanwhile the bullies and incompetents go on to find themselves a lucrative niche elsewhere . Talking of which why do we keep coming across the name Linda Birch/Bryceland?

Meanwhile don’t raise your hopes of any improvement as NHS Improvement (!) are clearly in denial about the historical concerns that led to the current crisis as they have written to a prominent complainant and explained that cultural,behavioural and governance issues have seemingly sprung up from nowhere  :

Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Earlier this month we announced that Carole Taylor Brown will oversee the independent investigation into Wirral University Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The investigation follows a number of allegations made to NHS Improvement about cultural, behavioural and governance issues at the trust, as well as concerns about the handling of a recent disciplinary case involving allegations of sexual misconduct. 

 The investigation will:

(i) investigate concerns raised by members of trust staff in late 2017 with NHS Improvement regarding cultural, behavioural and governance issues

(ii) review the trust’s handling of a recent disciplinary case involving allegations of sexual misconduct; and 

(iii) consider NHS Improvements’ response to the concerns raised with it per (i) above

Meanwhile we’ve had a message about Wirral Council from Frankie . Not that one, obviously – he’s got the starving mites to look after like a low rent St Francis of Assisi . This particular Frankie says:

I know you’ve moved away and hope your enjoying being away from the rat race…. just to give you an update looks like the clowncil are about to appoint the partner this being MUSE who seem to be the front runner in the shenanigans.

Loves ya leaky
Frankie

MUSE

Wirral Council placing public assets and development programmes under the control of a private company –  what could possibly go wrong?  Just don’t mention Carillion !

 

 

Wirral University Teaching Hospital – Leaks to Cascade

 

 

APH-NO-EVOL

Lessons have been learned ? – A Wirral Leaks picture from our January 2014 story GREEN LEAVES would suggest not. If leaked documents had not been sent to Health Service Journal would bullying and management concerns ever been made public?

Leaked email from Wirral’s largest employer which appears to confirm that it suffering from the same toxic culture that afflicts Wirral’s second largest employer. The media exposure referred to are articles published in Health Service Journal and not the local press.

From: Communications (Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)
Sent: 12 January 2018 17:05
Subject: FOR INFORMATION: Health Service Journal (HSJ) media exposure

Message sent on behalf of Dr Susan Gilby, Medical Director

Please cascade to those not on NHS Mail

Dear Colleagues,

As my executive colleague, David Jago highlighted in his global communication today (issued at 13:12), I would like to further update you on likely media exposure following this matter.

Many of you keep up-to-date on social media and via the local press, however for those that do not, I felt it was only right to share with you an article that has today (Friday) appeared on Twitter and online in the Health Service Journal (HSJ).

Upon joining the Trust early last year as Medical Director, I requested that a medical staff engagement survey was carried out as I felt there was a widespread perception of ‘disconnect’ between management and medical staff. As a result of my early observations, it was clear that this benchmarking exercise, with a strong evidence base, would enable the Board to support a strategy for cultural change within the organisation.

On behalf of the Executive team, I would like to say that the Trust is extremely grateful to staff that have raised concerns and we deeply regret any failures to identify and effectively deal with some of these highlighted attitudes and behaviours that this survey has uncovered.

It is my intention to now plan and commission an external cultural change programme which will help address the root causes of unacceptable behaviours and embed the positive behaviours that staff would expect to consistently exhibit and witness.

In the spirit of openness and transparency, I will keep you all fully informed on its progress and will feedback its findings later in the year.

For colleagues not on social media, or who do not follow the press, I have placed below the full HSJ article in order to prevent rumour and inaccuracy.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank colleagues for showing great and ongoing understanding to the Executive and Senior team during this period of challenge and I look forward to working with you all on our journey towards quality improvement.

Kind regards,

Dr Susan Gilby

Medical Director

HSJ article published 12/01/2018: Leaked documents reveal bullying and management concerns at trust

Wirral University Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust  doctors reported high levels of bullying and “disconnect” from management, according to documents leaked to HSJ.

They resonate with serious concerns raised about management and culture at the trust that were reported by several of the trust’s executive directors to regulators, and revealed by HSJ, last month.

Documents seen by HSJ also allege former chief executive David Allison, who left suddenly in December, dismissed a proposal to appoint clinical leaders, saying it would happen “over my dead body”.

Trust medical director Susan Gilby raised the results of a first medical staff engagement survey at a private board meeting in summer last year. The survey reported “a continuing widespread perception of ‘disconnect’ between management and medical staff”.

Results of a second survey of 95 doctors, carried out in March 2017 and also leaked to HSJ, revealed 43 per cent of respondents said they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse in the previous 12 months. A report on the findings said “most of [this] was from managers”. Only a third of doctors in this survey said they felt able to make improvements happen in their area of work. Changes suggested by doctors included improving culture and behaviours of managers towards doctors.

Minutes of three trust executives’ meeting with NHS Improvement in November show they raised the survey and told the regulator they “felt the organisation had a culture that prohibits raising concerns as there was a lack of transparency and honesty when difficult issues are raised”.

The same minutes said: “One example cited [of poor culture] was the recent poor results from the medical engagement scale which in the view of the MES team were extremely poor.

“The [medical director] raised this with the CEO and chair [Michael Carr] and at private board but did not receive support from the CEO to address the concerns.

“He was heard to say to the company secretary that the doctors would be leads of their services ‘over my dead body’. The minutes of the private board meeting discussion on this topic did not adequately reflect the discussion.

“In the pre-meet before the subsequent [public] board meeting the MD was told by the CEO not to go into detail in addressing the required amendments [to minutes of the private board].”

According to the survey results of more than 100 doctors, the trust scored among the lowest for medical engagement of 110 NHS trusts with which it was compared.

The report on the second survey, passed to HSJ by a member of staff, concluded: “The views of medical staff in Wirral University Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust suggest a general perception of very low levels of medical engagement compared to the medical engagement norms for NHS trusts.”

It pointed out that the trust’s results had deteriorated from an earlier survey in 2012 warning: “Medical engagement is not significantly improving and in some areas appears to be getting worse. The results suggest a continuing widespread perception of ‘disconnect’ between management and medical staff characterised by insufficient contact and authentic communication.”

The report states that, comparing the 2017 to 2012 results, the survey showed a 29 per cent decrease in staff feeling they were involved in decision making and a 21 per cent fall in staff feeling valued and empowered.

The report said there was a “consistent divide” between managers and doctors with 63 per cent of managers saying they work closely with doctors compared to just 12 per cent of medical staff. In total, 70 per cent of managers agreed that senior management actively encouraged innovative thinking by medical staff compared with just 7 per cent of doctors.

Only 13 per cent of medical staff said they could trust non-medical managers to take their opinions on board. The report said: “Clearly, many members of medical staff feel that there is little opportunity to talk freely with management about future plans and consequently their ideas and opinions are either not taken seriously or simply ignored by management staff…

“The results reveal a consistent tendency for managers to overestimate medical engagement and this over-optimistic perception may well indicate that managers are far from fully aware of the working challenges that medical staff face, and do not take the medical engagement as seriously as they might.”

In a statement to HSJ, Susan Gilby, the trust’s medical director, said: “As a result of my early observations upon joining the trust last year, a survey around clinical leadership and collaborative working was commissioned. It was felt that this benchmarking exercise, with a strong evidence base, would enable the board to support a strategy for cultural change within the organisation.

“The trust is hugely grateful to staff that have raised concerns around bullying and harassment and we deeply regret any failures to identify and effectively deal with some of these highlighted attitudes and behaviours.

“As an executive team, we wish to make it clear that there is no place for such attitudes and behaviours in the trust and we can only apologise to staff that may have experienced this culture.”

She said the trust now planned to commission an external cultural change programme to help address “the root causes of unacceptable behaviours and to embed the positive behaviours that staff would expect to consistently exhibit and witness”.

NHS Improvement has previously said it will launch an investigation into the concerns raised about the trust.

 

The Leaky Awards 2017 – the Grand Finale

Fireworks

And so we finally reach the grand finale of the Leaky Awards 2017 and taking our cue from the #TimesUp  contingent at the Golden Globes we’ll be wearing black. The clock may been ticking down for us but may it also do the same on the abuse of power – wherever it takes place and in whatever form.

Times Up

However we’ll spare you the dreary , self-righteous speeches – it’s on with the show and our first award of the evening…….

Campaign of the Year

Winner – Defend Our NHS (Wirral)

The local branch of the DONHS have throughout the year provided us with information about future plans for the NHS  and particularly about Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) that should concern us all  , especially as Wirral Council are a key strategic player via the Clinical Commissioning Group.

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Runner Up – Wirral Needs

If only for the chant ” Labour Council listen to the people”. Our advice to them after  7 years of banging our head against a brick wall is that they won’t so you’ll  have to make them ! The only way they will be forced to listen is at your local constituency party meetings and in the run up to the local elections this May.  After that it’ll be the same old,same old – personal interest and political ambition taking precedence over the public interest. Don’t say we didn’t tell you!

Wirral Needs

Campaign Fail of the Year

Winner – Wirral Labour ‘Keep Wirral Green’ campaign

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How Wirral Labour reconciled this campaign with proposals and developments for assaults on the Green Belt at Saughall Massie, Hoylake and Thornton Hough etc; we can only hazard a guess but full marks for the sheer PR chutzpah .

Runner up  – Frank Field/Wirral Globe nurses car parking charges at Arrowe Park Hospital (aka Wirral University Teaching Hospital – WUTH )

Whilst it was undoubtedly a worthy campaign we noted how  WUTH CEO David Allison received the petition from Field, gave some bland assurances and then promptly disappeared in a cloud of controversy.We suspect that any incoming CEO will have their work cut-out just keeping WUTH afloat and car parking charges won’t be a priority . Meanwhile  we note that Field is strangely silent about more wide reaching proposals for car parking charges across Wirral that are set to be introduced by Wirral Council. And once again we have to ask is this the only income generation scheme that Wirral Council can come up with and is it even legal?

 

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David Allison : Yeah whatevs Frank I don’t need this right now. But love your tank top .

Comeback of the Year

Winner Esther McVey, MP for Tatton

Back from the dead

The former MP for Wirral West returns to high office as Work and Pensions Secretary in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle . Somehow this cat on a hot tin roof always manages to land on her kitten heels . And for all her talk of female empowerment we think that McVey is the quintessential beneficiary of modern day political nepotism , where ambition exceeds talent .  The only contribution of note to the local political scene when she was a Wirral West MP was when she hijacked the Martin Morton whistleblowing case for personal and political advantage at Prime Minister’s Questions (apparently Morton knew nothing about it) . What happened after she raised the issue with David Cameron is a particularly worrying episode but alas we won’t be able to do it justice here. Perhaps one day the full shameful tale will be told. 

Runner Up  Stewart Halliday – the economic migrant/consultant from York who crossed the Pennines escaping infamy to make his fortune on Wirral with his two consultancy stints earning him circa £200K. So will Wirral Council kindly tell us whether he’s still around and what exactly we got for our money?

smug-halliday

This man can do a powerpoint presentation and bullshit at the same time ! Therefore Wirral Council must give him as much money as they can.

Comrades of the Year – Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ) and Cllr Steve Foulkes (Foulkesy)

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Were LRJ and Foulkesy separated at birth? Whilst they share so many characteristics none of them can be found in the Nolan Principles! See for yourself :

LRJ Standards Panel investigation report : The  Panel found the evidence of Cllr Louise Reecejones to be inconsistent,vague and misleading. The Panel did not therefore find Cllr Reecejones to be credible.

Foulkesy Standards Panel investigation report : I found it difficult to get Cllr Foulkes to be precise or detailed . His responses were vague,inclined to be evasive and I found them ‘economical with the truth ‘ and unconvincing. 

Yes, just the kind of low lifes we want making decisions about our lives,eh?

Accessories of the Year  –

Winner – Paula Basnett ,CEO Wirral Chamber of Commerce for those shoes.

Shoes

These understated little numbers were considered suitable daywear to shortlist nominees for yet another awards ceremony and did not in anyway reinforce our perception that Ms Basnett and her organisation are all about flash presentation and very little else.

Runner up All Wirral councillors wielding ‘Show Racism the Red Card’placards as a virtue signalling accessory. But especially the local Labour group who tolerate  racists in their midst. But can anyone spot Deputy Leader Cllr George Davies in the picture?

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Best Picture of Unwanted Copies of Wirral View

Winner 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Runner Up

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Whilst appropriately enough both pictures position copies of woeful Wirral View next to their final destination –  a bin – we’d like to think the winner of this category contributed to the dumping (no pun intended) of the original Liverpool -based distributor of Wirral View. Unfortunately a £750,000 3 year print deal with Trinity Mirror means we’re burdened with this lumbering white elephant for the forseeable future. Compare and contrast with Wirral Leaks which has cost council taxpayers of Wirral £0 and we would argue has been more effective in addressing the ‘information deficit’ of local people, particularly when we’ve been providing information that Wirral Council don’t want you to know about!

Wirral’s annual entry in Rotten Boroughs Awards 2017

Winner  Ex- Wirral councillor Jim Crabtree

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Crabtree PE 009

Included in Private Eye’s  Rotten Boroughs 2017 ‘Quotes of the Year’ is this fine example of ‘doublespeak’ from former Wirral Councillor Jim ‘Crabby’ Crabtree. It’s a year to the day that Crabtree pleading guilty to offences under the Communications Act 2003 and it’s frightening to think that his well deserved fall from grace might never have happened if his increasingly appalling conduct hadn’t been reported on Wirral Leaks. As a quote from one of our Labour sources testifies when they raised concerns about Crabtree’s fitness to be a councillor    – “The comment from George Davies was ‘better the devil you know’ while Frank (Field) thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread” –  the local Labour group were reluctant to rein him in . Furthermore we understand that they failed to address allegations made by a whistleblower about grant monies which Crabtree allegedly should have paid back to Wirral Council.

Leaky awards   Leaky awardsLeaky awards

 

Wirral Life – But Not As We Know It!

 

 

Press release

No dissent and no discussion. Press releases and publicity shots only please.  

Before we go we’d like to comment on the local media scene of which we were a very minor part. All we can say is that we fear for the future availability of alternative views or political commentary (now matter how ‘caustic’ or ‘mischievous’).

With Wirral News having thankfully committed hari-kari (or happy dispatch) shortly after the launch of Wirral Council’s very own Wirral View other local news sources seem to have been well and truly annexed.

Of course the appalling Liverpool Echo has never been properly attuned to Wirral politics or indeed Wirral itself despite their half-arsed attempt at lamely calling the local edition Wirral Echo. It’s always been a mouthpiece for the gobshites at Wirral Council. And it surely won’t come as any surprise to anyone that we understand Liam Murphy , the former political editor of Liverpool Echo, is now working for the local Labour group and has been for some time. Murphy was welcomed into the local corrupt Labour fold a) despite refusing to publish the dodgy document given to him by Cllr Steve Foulkes aka Foulkesy intending to ‘smear’ former Tory group leader Jeff Green b) grassing Foulkesy and Cllr George Davies up to Jeff Green about the ‘Wirralgate’ conspiracy and then  c) playing  a covert recording of the ‘Wirralgate’ recording to Wirral Council communications czarina, Emma Degg! And to think this fine exemplar of journalistic integrity refused to take part in the Patricia Thynne ‘Wirralgate’ investigations citing the need to protect his sources!

However never did we think that Wirral Globe would succumb to the undoubted pressures exerted on them by Wirral Council and we’d be experiencing the dark side of the Globe – and it’s not just us who’ve noticed the puff pieces, press releases, avoidance of high profile controversial stories ( the Cllr Reecejones case, the resignation of WUTH  CEO David Allison etc; ) and advertorials for private healthcare – Varicose Veins and retail outlets –  Beds

All we will say is that the Wirralgate tape must be the most valuable recording since Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’  – what better way to fend off threats to your career or advertising revenue than being in possession of the recording (or more accurately Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘ Power Boy Pip’ Davies listening to a recording of the ‘Wirralgate’ tape ).

Talking of advertorials we have seen the future of ‘journalism’ on Wirral and it would seem to be Wirral Life. The latest edition is here

Happy , shiny, Wirral Chamber of Commerce seemingly on every page, the same Botoxed, permatanned faces of Wirral’s business and ‘cultural’ (ha! ha!) elite in every edition . It looks lovely in their world but we wouldn’t want to live there – which may explain why we’re leaving you all to it!

One curious reader of Wirral Life brought our attention the picture of  a restaurant manager by the name of ‘Michael’ featured in the latest edition. Not only does his restaurant get a launch feature ,it also gets a glowing review courtesy of Nicky & Si who’s job seems to be going around gobbling grub and giving glowing reviews. Nice work if you can get it and you can get it if you’ve got the right connections- although needless to say we won’t be giving ‘Michael’ and his restaurant any free publicity even for a free kebab . However we would like to ask in this publication of publicity seekers why ‘Michael’ seems to be so modest ? Perhaps because he’s got a lot to be modest about ? Anyone able to provide the surname of this cheery chappy – as we understand he has a particularly interesting back story?

Mike Traynor 011

All we will say is always question how certain people get to where they are and exactly why they’re featured in the local media  – but exactly who’s going to do that questioning when we’ve gone?

Advent Farewell 22 : WUTH – less this Christmas

There’s been a strangely muted response in the local press to the ‘stepping down’  of Wirral University Teaching Hospital Foundation (WUTH) Foundation Trust CEO David Allison . Allison doesn’t even get a namecheck in the Wirral Globe headline about his sudden departure. The story is somehow spun that it’s ‘All About Frank’ and the Birkenhead MP’s support for the Globe’s petition to get the current car parking charges for nurses changed – which is much like his ‘starving mites’ schtick. No right thinking person thinks nurses should be paying such high car parking charges just as they wouldn’t want children to go hungry. Here’s the Globe’s take : Tank Top Frank

We were given the heads up that Allison was heading for the exit with indecent haste by the following message :

David Allison – taken the money now running

Along with his useless Director of Workforce (replaced the useless Sue Green – yes – married to the useless David Green) James Mawrey – same job just a different title so her role could be made redundant and she could a massive pay-off…..

I dread to think what incompetent fiickwitts will follow in their steads

BTW – don’t give up – please!

However for us to get a fuller picture of what’s been going on we had to go to campaigning journalist Shaun Lintern who writes in the Health Service Journal :

WUTH

The concerns recorded in the document include:

  • NHSI was told the board “was not functioning as a unitary board . Pre-meets are carefully managed and concerns suppressed . It is felt that the CEO has a lack of grip on the issues facing the organisation and was not paying attention to quality indicators . The CEO responds to quality concerns with dismay and aggression. There is a concern that some key data and supportive narrative may be being carefully managed
  • NHSI was told executives have been instructed not to involve non-executive directors in any initiatives or issues in their portfolios without going through the chair
  • The executives ” felt the organisation had a culture that prohibits raising concerns as there was a lack of transparency and honesty when difficult issues were raised. this translated into a lack of visibility of quality and safety and reluctance to escalate concerns”
  • NHSI was told ” senior colleagues were moved out of the organisation very quickly with no obvious explanation .. They felt that this was related to a reluctance to escalate concerns and inability to accept appropriate challenge”
  • Consultants at the trust were said to be ” reluctant to take on senior leadership roles as history showed that they may (be) subject to investigations (and/or) intimidation if things did not work out”

Well fancy that! Were WUTH and Wirral Council separated at birth?

None of these allegations come as a surprise to us as we’ve long received similar allegations (see below), often sadly from whistleblowers who were subject to a culture of fear even more virulent than Wirral Council and therefore less willing to go public. We think it is significant that it was senior managers who blew the whistle because we’d like to suggest that there are WUTH staff further down the pecking order (and with considerably less influence and power) who have tales to tell about the trust’s toxic culture.

Indeed here we have some scary stats courtesy of NHS whistleblower and campaigner Minh Alexander which details whistleblowing contacts 2015-17 with useless health and social care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) 

MINH whistleblowing

Home

Talking of useless regulators who are seemingly unwilling to accept that there was an increasingly worrying governance and culture problem brewing at WUTH we are also aware that Monitor were involved in a complaint about the highly questionable removal of a WUTH Governor in 2014 which had the hallmarks of a ‘kangaroo court’. They lamely concluded “…….we expect the Trust to explain departure from the Code of Governance in its annual report. However in the absence of further or new information , we will not be taking any further action over the above matters”  

The history of this case is worthy of a post of its own but might we suggest it would be more instructive for this particular former Governor to contact NHS Improvement to tell them of their experience.

We’ve trawled our other leaks to discover similar allegations to those mentioned above about WUTH . The first of which we publish in the interest of balance to the comment made above :

For the record, Sue Green, HR Director, left the Trust a few months after my removal. Wirralleaks reported on the circumstances of her leaving at the time. She had been suspended for disciplinary reasons but later cleared. During her suspension, the post of HR Director was dispensed with and she was made redundant. My experience of her was that she was an honest, conscientious and efficient professional who got on well with those she had contact with and was a loss to the Trust. Apparently, she did not fit in with the new culture of the Trust since the recent appointment of the new CEO, David Allison. 

And here’s another:

Michael Carr is the CEO’s puppet and has been given two extensions to his contract by governors for exceptional reasons (don’t know what reasons are but they will have been invented by Allison) after he had completed two periods of three years, which is the norm for an NHS FT Chairman. Allison wants him in post because he does not cause any problems for him. He is very compliant!

Suddenly doesn’t the chaos , disarray, low morale and lack of beds that we frequently hear about Arrowe Park Hospital make tragic sense when we get a peak at what goes on behind the scenes and how the place is seemingly (mis)managed?

However just to finish on a lighter , reassuring note like they do on News at Ten isn’t Orlando Agrippa simply the best name ever ?!

Green Lightning* Strikes (Not Once But Twice…)

Green-Light

* a meteorological phenomenon during severe storms!
The Health Services Journal (HSJ) has reported and WUTH Chief Executive David Allison has confirmed what the Wirral Leaks mystics foretold and that Sue Green has left Wirral University Teaching Hospital.HSJ reports : a human resources director who had been suspended has lost her job despite a disciplinary investigation finding she had no case to answer
The official statement from WUTH Chief Executive David Allison reads as follows:

As part of the Trust’s Corporate Services review I confirm that the Trust has made the decision to review/streamline the Executive structure. Following this review the position of Executive Director of HR  has been made redundant.The Trust would like to take the opportunity to thank Mrs Green for her service, hard work and achievements. We wish her well in challenges ahead.

As we have previously observed the parallels between Dave Green leaving Wirral Council and Sue Green leaving Wirral University Teaching Hospital are strikingly familiar – from the suspension, investigation, right down to the “no case to answer”  conclusion and what some may view as a frankly suspect  “redundancy” ( The Trust apparently just so happened to review/streamline the executive structure during Mrs.Green’s suspension/absence …..which coincidentally was exactly what Wirral Council claimed happened to Mr.Green! )

Of course we don’t know ,as yet,what the scale of the “redundancy” payment is. Nor do we know how on earth do you make a HR director post redundant in the NHS.

Nevertheless we can’t help re-phrasing and adding to a well known literary quote : ” To lose one job may seem unfortunate but to lose two seems like either carelessness or calculation ….”

Carelessness or calculation on whose part will no doubt never be known in both cases as enquiries are always stonewalled with statements such as  : “As per our previously issued statement, it’s our practice not to comment on the individual circumstances of any employee….”

The point that is seemingly missed is that such employees were employed by public bodies and it is in the public interest to know the actual circumstances surrounding their departure.

Meanwhile as a public relations distraction WUTH announce today (without a hint of irony ) their “green makeover”  http://bit.ly/1bztMiL

Green Leaves?

APH-NO-EVOL

We understand that a certain Sue Green, head of HR has recently left the employment of Wirral’s other most prominent employer after Wirral Council  – Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) as it now fancifully likes to call itself.  On the Wirral rather like North Korea (which apparently has a better life expectancy than certain parts of the Wirral )  people seem to disappear overnight! Not only is no explanation given, it is frowned upon when people ask perfectly reasonable questions.  Those who do dare raise issues meet a wall of silence or glib corporate fudges about ‘confidentiality.’

This of course completes a notable family double after the departure of Mrs Green’s universally loved and much admired other half – Dave ‘Del Boy’ Green from Wirral Council. It is also somewhat serendipitous given the fact that DG is rumoured to have found ‘gainful’ employment again, beyond the confines of the insular Peninsula. Let’s hope there’s a nice local golf club at hand.

Now we don’t know the full circumstances of really happened, or whether this was about the appalling lack of staffing in the hospital because APH’s Department of spin is essentially as communicative as a brickwall, but without the warmth.  However, we are always suspicious when the Chief Executive of WUTH (David Allison) circulates the following type of message to APH’s inmates on the ocassion Sue Green was first absent from work .

Here are some highlights, which rather than enlighten, one feels would baffle employees at the hospital.

“I am writing to advise you of a situation that is likely to appear in the media in respect of this Trust’s Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

 As with any employee of our Trust, we would not comment on circumstances related to their employment. We therefore intend to issue a response to this effect.

 My purpose of advising you of this situation is that I felt it would be inappropriate for you to learn about it in the first instance via the media.”

 Clear?  Well actually no !
What is particularly curious is that no such story ever appeared or was followed up , no doubt due to some spectacular stonewalling, and Mrs.Green was eventually allowed to quietly disappear from public view and quite possibly as seems to be the trend in that particular household, clutching a big fat wad of public money ( one for devoted Freedom of Information fans to follow up).

From leaks that have been received about this case we at Leaky Towers can only hope that :

a) The media wasn’t being used in this sorry saga as a  bargaining tool rather than serving the public interest.

b) That Mr.Allison is aware that only last week a group of MPs hit out at “outrageous” examples of public bodies apparently paying employees to keep quiet about problems.The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) highlighted that so called “gagging clauses” have been used to cover up serious failures in organisations such as the NHS….and indeed we understand that some of the recommendations were based on a number of cases in the public sector and a particular case involving Wirral Council!

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/news/confidentiality-clauses-por/