Great Ormond Street and Kim Holt

A report, published today by NHS London, investigating the allegations of Kim Holt is the result of the investigation that I got for Kim to try and get justice for her (see previous post). But it wasn’t only justice for Kim – it was also about trying to make sure that the management of the child protection health team came under the same spotlight that the sacked managers in Haringey Children’s Service had come under for their part in the Baby Peter tragedy.

The failings that Kim (with three other senior consultant paediatricians) had alerted Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) management to were so serious, that when they were ignored by management, they had to resort to signing a letter jointly to Dr David Elliman and Jane Elias – the management team at GOSH. The letter was quite explicit and expressed the doctors’ concerns and also expressed their anger that those concerns were being ignored and their view that this put vulnerable children at risk.

The report is very critical of Great Ormond Street (GOSH) and the senior managers – but where is the resultant action? As I said in my last post – if there is no consequence to poor management, if no jobs are lost – then what is going to make senior managers take notice next doctors tell them children are in danger. Nothing!

0 thoughts on “Great Ormond Street and Kim Holt

  1. I agree, but I understand that the father of baby p tried via courts to have access to his son too but mother would not oblige without sancation she got away with it
    – perhaps that too would have provided a checking point for the welfare of his son. All too often now-a-days on much smaller scale this is being allowed.

  2. Lynne, I turned on the World At One half way through the item refering to the report om the Babby Peter Case. It seems amazing that one child has been at the centre of EIGHT investigations!

    What is the point of calling for jobs to go when departmetns are already week and staff absence is high? Who would want to fill the vancancies?

    Yes we need accountibility – but we also need a proper system of national child protection.

  3. The Great Ormond Street scandal is not about the frontline staff. It is they who have cried out to say that children were at risk. No – this is about highly paid management. And with high pay comes firstly responsibility to do the job which means listening and acting on warnings about danger and secondly – the high paid managerial jobs would not be so hard to fill. It wasn’t hard to find someone to take over from SHaron Shoesmith for example.

    The problem too is that people always say that these terrible cases that burst into our living rooms from time to time make it difficult to recruit. No – what is wrong is the culture of secrecy, cover up, bullying and poor managment. Sort that out – and you will have a much better environment both for managers and staff but also a better outcome for the children.

    The managment pendulum has swung far too far – and the voice and traction of clinicians and other professionals at the front line has been diminished to the point of danger.

    This Kim Holt issue is not about Baby Peter – it is about the dangerous situation a year before Peter died and doctors warning managment who took no notice. If no one in management ever suffers the consequences of their actions – then nothing will change.

    I have seen and heard people lie to defend their position rather than reveal the truth. That has to be tackled.

  4. We have been using St Ann’s for 9 years – its CDC has always been a mysterious place, full of excuses. There were always children ‘worse off’ than mine, there was always ‘not enough staff’ there was always a ‘shortage’ of therapists. There were many many staff sacked, constructively dismissed, and ‘on sick’.

    I don’t think I will ever forgive GOSH for letting us down. Putting them in to run things should have changed the CDC but I never saw any change. I think it should be closed down and re-opened in a different location and under completely new management. I think its isolated location cuts it off from the ‘real world’. Some of the staff are excellent and they should be recognised and should help to run a new centre.

  5. I would like to thank Lynn for her unfailing support through two very difficult years. This was always about trying to do what was right for children in Haringey whom we clearly failed as a service.
    I want to highlight that I tried to meet with both the CEO of Haringey TPCT and CEO of Great Ormond Street back in 2006. I wrote to the then Chair of Great Ormond Street and no-one would meet me to hear my concerns. I was increasingly isolated and treated with contempt. I have been very fortunate to have a very strong supportive husband and very good MP, but this has been a nightmare as Lynn has witnessed.
    It is very difficult to stand up against the establishment, the peer group pressure to remain quiet is immense, but what happened in the service was so bad that I could not stay silent. Not only was the team broken apart by the bullying, unsupportive management but then cover up after cover up was attempted.I have the documentary proof of that. It is very important that Haringey residents understand that two years of pay has been wasted keeping me at home unnecessarily, as this report confirms. I have not been accused of anything nor have I ever had any complaints against me either from families or colleagues, so the reasons why I was blocked from returning?

  6. By 2002 I saw the bullying creeping down to the area where I was working (a totally different part of the forest from the subject of this thread). In 2006 Treasury started to combat it, and at the top it stopped in 2007, but it takes quite a while for the virus to work its way out of the public sector. The problem was fuelled by the wrong people, inadequate people, being given senior jobs. I listened time after time to public sector people spouting utter rubbish because they felt that they had to in order to keep their place in the pecking order, and competent public sector people (and private sector people such as myself and my associates) being pushed out of the way because the truth was not wanted. But in the area where I work it has not been disastrous in the way that it has in Social Services, it has just held the country back (as people in nearby countries observe).
    I have written before about much of our public sector doing well for over 20 years after the end of WW2, but by 1970 they were starting to lose the plot – and recently the Commons Public Administration Committee has been gathering the evidence. Do we blame Harold Wilson’s govt? I’m not sure – other parties have also not been able to cope. The real problem was that more and more things started to be both defined in detail centrally and done centrally – but by people who could not grasp the full picture. Now we are being told that localism is all, but the teams out there have been emasculated. The Information Commissioner’s Office has recently been pointing out an organisation’s duty of care, but still we have the attitude that the locals are responsible and the centre can order them to do things (even ordering them with flawed information), to do things that they are not capable of doing properly.
    Last night I was at a community meeting run by a Safe City person employed by the LA – an amateur (but no doubt with allegedly relevant qualifications), commissioned by a poor administration. Dreadful. Walking home, I was talking to a local election candidate, who is taking over from a retiring Councillor the fight for one of the ward seats – he regaled me with tales of the officers not knowing the legal powers that they have, so they muddle along (and this young man isn’t even a lawyer – he’s a scientist).