By Scott W (Follow me on Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
Most of us have heard about the debacle that is the NHS Southern Health Trust which led to their Chief Executive resigning after lengthy fierce criticism, then being pandered off to another ‘advisory’ job on the same salary & ‘benefits’. This week the Interim Chairman has also stepped down of the embattled organisation.
Recently, I was at a Conference for members of staff at another Mental Health Trust. Interestingly, the ‘bigwigs’ of the organisation (aka CEO, Directors etc) were mostly absent, for whatever reason.
The day itself went well and featured a workshop that was prepared & run by a five-strong team of ‘Experts by Experience’ which encouraged staff to discuss a scenario, derived from real-life experiences of care. The first thing that struck me was that the ‘bigwigs’ may have benefitted from taking part in this sort of session themselves, if nothing else, to highlight where services could be lacking at present.
The second thing that struck me from the day itself in my opinion was that staff may well see the Board (i.e. the ‘bigwigs’) as another obstacle to deal with, in a world already complicated by the likes of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) & our dear (or not) Government. It makes you think that ‘Do they really need more obstacles?’
I would say ‘No’ to that question. It’s true that staff vary in effectiveness and that can be part-down to the training they get etc. Though parking that thought for a moment, this doesn’t excuse those at Board level from under-estimating both how much the Mental Health (MH) Community can contribute to the future of services, plus how much they need to alter their attitude as they give the impression they like ‘Photo Opportunities’ and PR-related guff among other things. Is this sort of thing really that important?
To them, I say this – Enough with the ‘glory-hunting’, work with your staff and lose the cop-out answers as well. It might just help you in future.