Monday, 23 February 2015

why I was shocked but not surprised at the scandal about NHS Scotland, IHI and HIS in yesterday's Scottish Sunday Express

Although I have been campaigning and speaking out critically about Healthcare Improvement Scotland for some time, including my exclusion from patient safety events and the bullying I have been subjected to by Scottish Government uncivil servants because of it, I was shocked but not surprised to read the Scottish Sunday Express news article yesterday about the millions of pounds changing hands, involving IHI, HIS and NHS Scotland, with links to government ministers:

'NHS Scotland in takeover by US health giant' Ben Borland, Sunday Express, 22 February 2015

It took my breath away, the scale of the scandal, and the fact that I had sat through a Derek Feeley "masterclass" in the Chrystal Macmillan building of Edinburgh University, on 5 November 2014, organised by the Health & Social Care (former Long Term Conditions) Alliance, for their new H&SC Academy, opened by Alex Neil MSP on 19 May 2014, at which I was a spectator.  

Mr Feeley, who was born and brought up in Fife, had lived here when he was the Chief Executive of NHS Scotland, at the 5 November Alliance event brushed off my question about the "unreasonable treatment" of my son in Stratheden Hospital, Fife, saying that things were worse in other parts of the world.  

As if human rights abuses going on in Fife psychiatric wards are OK.  Well I don't think so, not when it's my son who's being abused.  That is unacceptable in my opinion, and insulting.

It is very galling to read that the organisation Mr Feeley now works for, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was involved in setting up Scotland's patient safety programme, linking with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, which has been excluding me from national and international events because I have a critical voice and a negative story to tell, of psychiatric abuse in Fife.  

Then I read that Mr Feeley has "a gold-plated Scottish Government pension worth £1.1million" from Scottish Government and is still earning a fair whack, no doubt, while I am picking up the pieces after traumatic psychiatric treatment on a Carers Allowance.  I have attended 3 Carers Parliaments, from their inauguration in 2012 to the last one on 8 October 2014. 

Carers Parliament 2013, Alex Salmond speaking (photo by me)

Alex Neil MSP and at that time Cabinet Secretary for Health attended the Carers Parliament on 8 October 2014, along with Michael Matheson MSP.  I notice in the Express article that Alex Neil MSP, gave Mr Feeley a "glowing reference" along with the million pound pension handshake on his resignation as head of NHS Scotland in 2013.  Off he sailed to Boston and the IHI gravy train.  

Scottish Sunday Express page 4

Meanwhile HIS managers are swanning off to Florida with their sunscreen to have a "Team Scotland huddle", including Dr Brian Robson and Jason Leitch.  Here is a tweet that I sent to Dr Robson when he was at the Orlando conference on 10 December 2014:

Richard Norris is Director of the Scottish Health Council and I spoke to him at the Stronger Voice event on 9 October 2014 in the Dundee Discovery Point, where I was filmed by a social reporter speaking about the importance of critical voices and listening to people's pain:

[Although I mention in the video that the Alliance were supportive I am now not so sure of this and think they are more about political involvement, keeping government happy, rather than standing with unpaid carers and people who use services, on the breadline. Sad to say.  And so I have withdrawn my membership of the Alliance.]


Here is another strand to what I and others see as the undue influence and power of HIS linked to IHI and NHS Scotland:

Dr Brian Robson (@brobson3), HIS Executive Clinical Director, IHI Fellow and GP, was responsible for hounding my friend, Dr Peter Gordon, an experienced consultant psychiatrist for older adults, out of NHS Forth Valley in the summer of 2014, because Dr Gordon has a questioning voice.

Blog post by Dr Gordon on his Hole Ousia website from 23 July 2014:

'Correspondence with Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS)'

Which contains a letter from Dr Brian Robson, dated 22 May 2014, to Dr Gordon's employers NHS Forth Valley, accusing Dr Gordon of "unprofessional" behaviour:

extract from Dr Robson letter 22 May 2014

"this individual" "Dr Gordon has persisted" "unprofessional" "misinformation" "behaviours" and so on, language that was both undermining and bullying by intention, I contend.

This attack on Dr Gordon's character caused him to resign from the permanent post he had been in for 13 years with NHS Forth Valley and led to him looking for temporary work in another health board area.  

And then on 5 December 2014 I witnessed another personal attack, on social media, by HIS National Clinical Lead Karen Goudie who used #unprofessional in a tweet to describe Dr Peter Gordon.

I immediately warned Ms Goudie that I was watching and thought her tweets were bullying in nature, then raised a complaint with the HIS Chief Executive Angiolina Foster.  On 30 January 2015 I received a letter from Robbie Pearson, Deputy Chief Executive, Director of Scrutiny & Assurance, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), to say that my complaint  had been upheld and an apology given, to both Dr Peter Gordon and myself.

Dr Gordon's blog post on Hole Ousia, 31 January 2015:

'Apology from Healthcare Improvement Scotland'
Here is a link to the blog post about my complaints process with HIS: 

'My Complaint to Healthcare Improvement Scotland about the Targeting of a Doctor by their National Clinical Lead

Link to HIS Complaint in a News Bulletin 7 Feb15

Dr Peter Gordon's blog post 7 February 2015: 'Why I have decided to leave Social Media'

Extracts from blog post: 
"There are several reasons why I have decided to leave social media behind however the primary one is that as an NHS employee in Scotland I do not feel safe in using social media."

"The personal consequences for me in raising ethical considerations on twitter to try and help improve care for our most elderly have been most significant. The organisation that appears to have struggled most with my ethical questioning has been Healthcare Improvement Scotland. There are individuals who have not shared my views who have associations with Healthcare Improvement Scotland and may have contributed to this response."

Here is just one aspect of Dr Peter Gordon's ethical endeavours, his continuing campaign for transparency in drug prescribing through his Sunshine Act for Scotland petition:

Open and transparent from omphalos


After reading the Scottish Sunday Express news article yesterday morning, at 11.35, I wrote to my MSP Roderick Campbell, shocked and upset by the content:

And then later in the day yesterday, at 15.27, I sent another Email to my MSP copied in to other government ministers, including a blog post I'd written with the tweets from the Derek Feeley "masterclass" on 5 Nov14 organised by the Alliance.  I was still in a state of shock about the whole affair:

I forwarded on this Email to Derek Feeley and a number of his colleagues at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Mass, USA.  Then today I received a response from Mr Feeley to which I replied.  I will put these Emails in a following blog post, together with any other responses I may receive from Scottish Government ministers.   

I am still very unhappy at the way I've been treated by Scottish Government civil servants and health board staff, for speaking out about psychiatric abuse and unreasonable treatment in Stratheden Hospital, Fife.  I have been targeted by uncivil servants and excluded from key patient safety events for no good reason, had my reputation and character slandered by people who are paid by government.  

For over 3 years I have been fighting for justice and to be heard while also supporting my son singlehandedly after his traumatic experience as an NHS Fife psychiatric inpatient in February 2012, through the flashbacks and coming off the psychiatric drugs.  In addition I support another son who has a disability.  On £61/week as an unpaid carer and at 62 years of age, a grandmother. 

It's a scandal right enough.

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