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Scenario self evident.  David Halpin FRCS blows the whistle and gives red card to Rom.  In order to destroy OUR NHS, it is necessary to create chaos - quangos by the hundred, McKinseys, PWC, Deloitte made dominant, costs heaped on OUR NHS.  Labour's PFIs - lead boots, to sink OUR NHS.  The strategy  Destabilise  > Demoralise  > Dismantle.  Two examples of demoralisation  - 22% of SW GP posts unfilled where previously doctors clamoured for them.  Mirror - 6 out of 7 nurses in a survey were unhappy in their work.

1 in 7 will leave the profession:    

This latter a reason for a full day debate in the House of Baying:

Mr John Rom   Interim Chairman
Healthwatch Devon
First Floor,
3 & 4 Cranmere Court,
Lustleigh Close,
Matford Business Park,
Exeter, EX2 8PW

Date: 24-02-14

Re: Election of trustees – closing date 12-03-14                                   

Dear Mr Rom,

I have received the Healthwatch (HW) newsletter since the inception of HW; I noted the general invitation to serve as a trustee.  Having heard the symptoms and anxieties of many thousands of patients with humility since I qualified at St Mary's in 1964, I felt I might be of service in a new body which aims to be the voice of the patient (not the 'consumer'.)   I have been trained to a good level in all specialisms, and to the highest in those of trauma and orthopaedic surgery.  As you know, these parts of OUR NHS are much in demand.  For instance, over 20% of patients presenting in general practice have musculo-skeletal complaints.

With the courteous help of Miles Sibley the Chief Executive, I presented myself to yourself, and to Ms Elaine Cook and Mr Bob Bryant who were both representing the CC of Devon.  It was established at the start that it was not an interview but instead a conversation.  The panel was there to answer my questions and to help explain the functions of HW.  I asked about the statement made by each candidate on the application form.  'If it was to be edited, would that be shown to each candidate before printing?'  'We had not considered any editing.  On second thoughts – no editing.'  The conversation was good.  I was not inhibited in raising a few of my many concerns flowing from the Health and Social Care Act of 2013.  I recall for instance citing the pretence when 'social care' consisted of a 15 minute dash.  I spoke of my daughter who works as a carer for one of the private outfits and how remuneration and travel expenses were at rock bottom.  At the end of the 35 minute long meeting, I asked for an assurance that qualifications, which I regard as being very important, would be published for the candidates.  There was agreement as to their importance and they were to be published.

I got home from raising the crowns of many larch trees in my woods 19-02-14 to find the 12 A5 page leaflet.  I was very disturbed to find that 6 of the 15 candidates had been 'recommended'.  I was not among those so favoured but the general overrides personal feelings.
I list these deficiencies/'irregularities':-

1.   'You're invited to our Annual General Meeting' in very large font and below in about 15 font 19-02-14   In much smaller font  -  AGM invitation, agenda and voting instructions.  A busy person would have put notice of an AGM aside possibly.

2.   Page 3 Para 2 – you graciously ruled yourself out from being put forward as a recommended candidate due to your involvement with the 'panel'.  Kafka comes to mind.

3.  Para 3 especially.  “Recommended candidates are marked on the following pages as 'recommended'.  These are recommendations only and you are not obliged to vote for them if you do not want to.”  One could only guess what criteria had fed the selection and whether it had been based on the applications or the 'conversation', or both.  Neither in the exchange of e-mails nor at the conversation had the intention to 'recommend' any candidate been aired.

4.   Vote for up to 7 candidates.  Ballot form included BUT full name and signature to be included with vote.  The envelope was addressed to the scrutineers (Everys – solicitors) but at the HW address.

5.   No qualifications were printed under the names of candidates.

6.   I have had a look at the other attachments of some candidates.  Can HW and the overseeing CC be sure that there are no conflicting interests?  With tranches of categories such as Third Sector Organisations and HW being a 'business', this needs answering.    

The synonyms 'open' and 'transparent' are bandied about and often falsely.  Most citizens, including those HW stands to represent, would not apply these adjectives to the election process so far.  Instead one could describe the process as a travesty of democracy.

a.   I ask that members be informed forthwith by mail and via the web site that the process so far has been made null and void, and the reasons for this.

b.   That a new voting notice with the candidates' statements be prepared and sent post haste to all members dealing with the points raised above.  The closing date should be put back appropriately.

I remain a candidate in spite of my great disappointment.  There are good grounds for bringing these matters into the wider public domain.

For truth, reason and justice  

David Halpin MB BS FRCS



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