Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Scottish Executive

<![CDATA[ Over the weekend, I posted on this forum that the staff unions at NHS Western Isles had adopted a motion of no-confidence in the top management of the Health Board. The RCN, Unison and Amicus unions met with the Health Minister, Andy Kerr, today. He again declined to become involved in the dispute.

Over the past 6 months, it has been brought to his attention on numerous occasions that the problems here in the islands' NHS had grown too severe to be dealt with locally. Now, Mr Kerr, has expressed disappointment that difficulties have not been dealt with through the appropriate channels. I am absolutely dumbfounded at this expression.

People who have expressed dissatisfaction within the organisation have been subjected to bullying and harassment, directly and demonstrably coming from the highest tier of management. This means that the normal channels for expressing grievances are effectively closed. As a result, the grievances have indeed been aired outside the organisation, like (e.g.) in the meetings in Stornoway Town Hall on November 30th, 2005 and March 6th, 2006.

Mr Kerr is obviously unwilling to intervene in the situation, in spite of the fact that intervention is absolutely necessary, for the reasons I have outlined in the previous paragraph. Bearing in mind that the Health Board Chairman is accountable to the Health Minister, one could draw the conclusion that the Minister is condoning the bullying and harassment tactics used by management. As the crisis between staff and management has been shown to affect patient care, it isn't just the Medical Director who doesn't care about the patients. It is also a Health Minister who can't be bothered. And should therefore not be in the post he is holding.

Is the Western Isles MSP going to hold the Minister to account? Methinks not, he is on record as wiping the Minister's nose.

Is this a deliberate wrecking tactic? Are we to expect three Health Boards to cover the whole of Scotland? Why can't we have an overt policy to this effect, if that's the case?

In my opinion, the Health Minister to the Scottish Executive is incompetent and should resign. ]]>

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