This letter was sent to the Mid Devon Advertiser by David Halpin FRCS over 2 weeks ago. Not published. We hear that Ms Vasco Knight's actions are being investigated by the 'non-exec' committee of the Torbay ''Trust''. Likely the alleged bullying of the two whistleblowers by executive officer, Ms Adrienne Murphy, will be examined too. The chairman of the 'non-exec' committee, Ms 'Topsy' Murray, has withdrawn from the committee citing 'health grounds'. Bit soon in the season for long grass.
Dear Letters Editor,
Mr Canham reported on the 'Concerns over Trust Boss Raised at Tribunal' February 7th in the MDA. The panel judge, Nick Roper, said 'evidence provided by Ms Vasco Knight (the chief executive of the trust) ..... was inconsistent with many of the contemporaneous documents'. The tribunal then heard that the two whistle-blowers had been warned they would lose their jobs 'through dirty means' if they pursued their case.
What is going on? Why has not Ms Vasco Knight resigned given that she was the most senior responsible officer in a case of clear nepotism? Instead the non-executive directors under 'Topsy' Murray are meeting 'to ensure she has a proper opportunity to respond to those concerns.' The opportunity was given, and probably with professional legal help which we paid for, at the employment tribunal.
We learn today that Ms Vasco Knight has been suspended from duty on the urging of the Clinical Commissioning Group of South Devon and Torbay. One more step is needed.
Old Torbay Hospital hands will recall a previous case of nepotism around the year of 1987. These are the salient facts as well as I recall. The senior manager had preferred his lady friend in her appointment as manager of the Mental Health Unit. The board acted but instead of the senior manager being sacked, he was transferred to a post at the SW Regional Hospital Board. When I asked at the Consultant Medical Staff meeting why he had not been sacked there was no answer. The story ended in a terrible family tragedy. When there is wrongdoing, later events can unwind in a disastrous manner. 'What goes round, comes round.'
Nepotism is one facet of corruption. Our fair country is being brought down by it. Our fine hospitals are under great strain from constant 'reorganisation' by ill motivated politicians and from pressure of work. Morale is suffering. The people in charge must obey the best principles of public office. If they do not, they should be out. Lancing an abscess allows healing.
David Halpin MB BS FRCS