Senior doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital call for inquiry into “cover-up”

The Independent and the Telegraph have major stories today on the crisis at Great Ormond Street hospital. They both report a letter in The Lancet from senior consultants at the hospital, calling for an external inquiry. As the Independent puts it:

In an extraordinary letter today in the medical journal The Lancet, an undisclosed number of Great Ormond Street consultants express “alarm” at the way senior managers have treated clinicians who raise patient safety concerns. The consultants demand “strong ministerial intervention to order an investigations into these matters, including the treatment of whistleblowers”.

Pressure has been mounting on the Government to act after the Lib Dem minister and Haringey MP Lynn Featherstone called for the Trust’s chief executive, Dr Jane Collins, to resign, accusing her of “covering-up” vital information about the safety of the clinic from which Peter was sent home two days before he died in August 2007.

Advertisements

More illiberal drivel from a Tory minister

Oh dear. It seems that Tory ministers are in drivel overdrive. One minute it’s Michael Gove, then its Francis Maude, now it’s Iain Duncan-Smith.

No wonder we’re at 8% in the polls and scoring 2% at by-elections. Being in coalition with the Tories is a bit like being tied to a two ton weight and dumped into the middle of the Atlantic. With all these illiberal statements and dog whistles going off all over the place, no wonder we’re being deserted in droves by people with some idea what liberalism.

But back to Iain Duncan-Smith. He rather strangely chose Madrid to say:

As we work hard to break welfare dependency and get young people ready for the labour market we need businesses to play their part and give them a chance, and not just fall back on labour from abroad.

In other words, mess up your business and break the law bosses, why don’t you?

If an employer advertises a position, he’s obliged, from an economic and business point of view, to choose the best person for the job. From a legal point of view, bearing in mind the Equality Act, he’s bound not to discriminate on the basis of where someone originates from.

Channel 4 News FactCheck has, as usual, a very sober assessment of IDS’s statement.

Just pure drivel from IDS.

 

We should not be tolerating pillocks like Maude talking this sort of tosh on our behalf

From the Third Sector website:

The Minister for the Cabinet Office says former public sector workers could take on unpaid roles at charities.

Public sector workers who have been made redundant should work unpaid as volunteer managers for charities, according to Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office.

Speaking at a session hosted by Christian charity Oasis in London on Wednesday evening, Maude said many charities had plenty of potential volunteers but were unable to involve all of them because there was a shortage of volunteer managers.

“There will be a diminishing public sector workforce,” he said. “I want to help train some of these people to be organisers and managers of volunteers. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing charities with too many volunteers they can’t use because there is no one to manage them.”

Maude did not say whether the government would fund any training, but said the suggested roles would be unpaid.

So, let me get this straight. Maude is saying that the government should put people out of paid work and into unpaid work. Brilliant. That is the “Big Society”, at last, explained.

Some of the commenters on the Third Sector website say it all. Here are some samples:

So all along the Big Society was about cuts and replacing paid workers with unpaid “volunteers”…

As someone who currently works within volunteer management and whose mid to long term employment is at risk (probably one of the lucky ones) my first priority is paying the mortgage and feeding my family. So the offer to work for free in a job I love if I get made redundant is not realistic.

Because of course Volunteer Management is easy peasy and anyone can do it, no need for any skills, experience, or complex legal knowledge for that role, oh no.

If this is what he really said then I am appalled. If he has so little understanding of the nature of volunteer management and the struggles we have to establish ourselves as a profession, he would be better keeping quiet. You would expect a politician to at least be able to judge the reaction to a statement like this.

Huge fail for Gove’s plan to use parents to teach lessons

The Independent reported Michael Gove’s call thus on 26th June:

In an unprecedented step in relations between the Government and trade unions, the Secretary of State for Education said that classrooms threatened with closure could remain open if head teachers used the “wider school community” – including pupils’ parents – to teach lessons.

– Rarely has a ministerial statement made me so angry. That is just such nonsense. CRB checks take weeks. So, you’d have to be using the few parents with existing CRB checks in place. But it is just such utter bunkum to suppose that parents can just walk into a school and teach a lesson. Just unholy codswallop.

Yes, they can help. – Do a bit of help with kids on reading, for example, under supervision from the class teacher. But they can’t teach. You need proper training to teach. Even to supervise quiet activity, you need training and experience. You really can’t have anybody walking in.

So it was with quiet satisfaction that I read this morning that the Gove plan has fallen fairly and squarely on its bottom:

The Times reports:

Hundreds of thousands of children missed school yesterday as parents turned their backs on David Cameron’s plea to volunteer as classroom helpers to beat the teachers’ strike.

…Head teachers largely ignored the Prime Minister’s call to enrol parents to help keep schools open, citing their lack of experience, difficulties over criminal records checks and guaranteeing pupils’ safety.

…Surrey County Council, which includes the constituency of Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, advised its head teachers that using volunteers was “best avoided” for fear of creating tensions in schools.

What riles me, is that this Gove/Cameron call seems to stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of what teachers actually do. They appear to think that it is easy and that any old twit can walk in and do it.

That really gets me steamed up.

I’m going to have to take a chill pill.

Huge fail for Gove's plan to use parents to teach lessons

The Independent reported Michael Gove’s call thus on 26th June:

In an unprecedented step in relations between the Government and trade unions, the Secretary of State for Education said that classrooms threatened with closure could remain open if head teachers used the “wider school community” – including pupils’ parents – to teach lessons.

– Rarely has a ministerial statement made me so angry. That is just such nonsense. CRB checks take weeks. So, you’d have to be using the few parents with existing CRB checks in place. But it is just such utter bunkum to suppose that parents can just walk into a school and teach a lesson. Just unholy codswallop.

Yes, they can help. – Do a bit of help with kids on reading, for example, under supervision from the class teacher. But they can’t teach. You need proper training to teach. Even to supervise quiet activity, you need training and experience. You really can’t have anybody walking in.

So it was with quiet satisfaction that I read this morning that the Gove plan has fallen fairly and squarely on its bottom:

The Times reports:

Hundreds of thousands of children missed school yesterday as parents turned their backs on David Cameron’s plea to volunteer as classroom helpers to beat the teachers’ strike.

…Head teachers largely ignored the Prime Minister’s call to enrol parents to help keep schools open, citing their lack of experience, difficulties over criminal records checks and guaranteeing pupils’ safety.

…Surrey County Council, which includes the constituency of Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, advised its head teachers that using volunteers was “best avoided” for fear of creating tensions in schools.

What riles me, is that this Gove/Cameron call seems to stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of what teachers actually do. They appear to think that it is easy and that any old twit can walk in and do it.

That really gets me steamed up.

I’m going to have to take a chill pill.