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NHS Whistleblowers gagging scandal – Road Safety next ?

Once again we see behaviour going on in a government run organisation most of us would consider surprising in the most deprived and corrupt third world country:

- More than 60 Mid Staffordshire hospital complaints to Government ignored … It simply told people to report their worries to the hospital trust itself
- Former Mid Staffs chief executive was allegedly 'gagged' at taxpayers' expense
- In the three years up to 2011, a total of £14.7million of taxpayers’ money was spent on almost 600 compromise agreements, most of which included gagging clauses to silence whistleblowers
- Whitehall mandarins 'neutered' final Mid-Staffs report into 1,200 hospital deaths 'to protect the head of the NHS'
- Patients at Stafford Hospital were left lying in their own urine and excrement for days, forced to drink water from vases, given the wrong medication or sent home with life-threatening conditions.
- In a statement to the Commons, Mr Hunt called the events at the hospital ''a betrayal of the worst kind'

(just a few headline items but there are plenty more)

I would find this hard to believe but having been whistleblowing for about 10 years now (along with many others) about road safety, incompetent and / or corrupt councils, police forces and the DfT, it seems almost normal. In fact, there is much about this that feels astonishingly familiar. And although Dorset Police haven’t been able to “gag” me, they are preventing me from obtaining information that would expose them – having been embarrassed by the answers they had to give to a number of freedom of information requests, they decided to put an end to it by declaring me (not the questions!!) vexatious. The Information Commissioner protected Dorset Police by ignoring all of my evidence, and the Information Tribunal protected the Information Commissioner by doing the same. The Tribunal President then protected the Tribunal Judge by “failing to notice” that my complaint against the Judge actually contained a complaint of misconduct although it plainly did.

I have this entire scandal meticulously documented online but as there are a number of serious actions in progress I will not release it yet.

And it’s not just Dorset – there’s widespread persistent dishonesty about speed camera effectiveness, particularly in Kent, Scotland, Wales and Humber. There is misleading advice given on “safety” camera partnerships websites encouraging maximum / easiest throughput of large numbers of drivers through extortionately priced “drivers awareness courses” making £ millions for local authorities – resulting in personal gain (enhanced job security, empires, etc) for those making safety decisions – i.e., as has been suggested, perverting the course of justice. Failure to comply with fundamental safety practices in positions with public safety responsibility is a breach of duty of care. Refusing to properly consider problems reported is misconduct. Misrepresenting enforcement / education costs or stating that all profits go into road safety when they don’t, or refusing to answer perfectly reasonable questions about finances and abusing position to make money are the primary indicators of fraud.

The DfT (who I always thought were ultimately responsible for road safety) flatly refuse to take any interest whatsoever, even when presented with concrete evidence of some of the issues described above, simply passing more responsibility to unqualified and unsuitable councillors, who seem to be led by what might be popular, not what is right and established professionally and consistently.

A recent example of this resulted from the unfortunate death of a young lady on the A31. The council immediately without any knowledge of any of the facts started clamouring for speed limit reductions. It now looks likely that the driver involved was disqualified and uninsured. If he didn’t care about this, would he care about a stupidly low speed limit on a perfectly good dual carriageway? Was his speed above 70 (or 50) anyway? Have a look at this to see some of the ridiculous and inconsistent speed limits we have ended up with by allowing the wrong people to make the wrong decisions: http://www.dorsetspeed.org.uk/limits/Default.aspx

The wrong decisions waste money and waste life.

Kent is so determined to mislead the public that a short while after it was told to remove misleading statements by the ASA it just put them back up again: http://www.dorsetspeed.org.uk/news/129.aspx

Sussex has recently shown some signs of integrity by removing the misleading guidance from its website about the enforcement process.

It’s hard even for me to believe what’s going on in Scotland. They have started renewing fixed speed cameras at a cost to the public of £2.4 million. The only evidence of safety benefit mentioned on Scottish speed camera sites is a statistical statement about casualty reductions at cameras, just as misleading as the nonsense shown by Kent and the others. My challenge about this has been ignored – even when, having originally been told that the statistics had been “assessed as high quality by the UK Statistics Authority”, this later turned out to be a “mistake” and the UKSA hadn’t even seen them! My complaint against the Chief Statistician of Scotland was also ignored, swept under the carpet.

So I’m sure it is only a matter of a short amount of time before all this becomes yet another public scandal, and as road safety competence influences life and death, it’s just as serious as what we’ve seen at the Stafford Hospital.

What the heck is going on in this once great country?