Saturday, 30 May 2015

two FOI request responses @scotgov about Geoff Huggins' role as a dementia ambassador (it's still a mystery)

Here is the blog post from 30 March 2015, setting the scene: FOI request to Paul Gray CEO of NHS Scotland about Geoff Huggins' role as a dementia ambassador [updated]

I got a response from Colin Brown, Deputy Director, Office of the Director-General Health & Social Care and Chief Executive NHSScotland, on 28 April 2015.  To which I replied, asking for more information.  

Yesterday, 29 May 2015, I got a second response from Richard Dimelow, Policy Manager, Healthcare Quality & Strategy Directorate, Scottish Government.

Here is my reply today to Richard Dimelow, copied in to various others in Scottish Government, including civil servants and MSPs:

Strapline: Re: FoI/15/00528 - Review - Geoff Huggins dementia ambassador role - qualifications, job description, person spec

"Dear Richard

Thank you for making a second response to my FOI request, regarding the reasoning behind civil servant Geoff Huggins' actions as a global dementia ambassador for Scotland.

Although you agree that the initial response by Colin Brown did not "fully answer" all by questions, and that it did not "give any reason" for not doing so, you also are not able to answer my questions in full.  Stating that "under section 17(1) of FOISA the Scottish Government does not have the information" which I have requested. 

However you have given me some more information, in respect of "Mr Huggins' objectives for 2014-15" and a "generic job description and person specification" for a Director post.  For which I am grateful.

I've had a look through the information provided and will study again in detail, putting the FOI responses in a blog post for others to view, if they so wish.  What strikes me about the information you impart about the expected behaviour and practice of a person in a senior civil servant role such as Mr Huggins are the phrases:

  • support new ways of working
  • to be a role model
  • leadership - delivering results
  • forming effective relationships with a range of stakeholders
  • operating ... with integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality
  • inclusive and empowering approach
  • leads a way through complex issues and conflicting perspectives
  • works collaboratively in the wider system
  • underpin sound decisions
  • empower, value, recognise, inspire and motivate people

In my dealings with Mr Huggins I have not been aware of these attributes, skills, behaviours or outcomes in the way that he works with the "experts by experience".  Obviously I don't know Mr Huggins as well as other people do and he may demonstrate these qualities with his Scottish Government equals and seniors, and with the government ministers for whom he writes documents and letters.

Furthermore I did not see anything in the person spec about bullying and undermining an unwaged carer, mother, writer, activist and campaigner in mental health matters.  And getting away with it.  [see blog post link below]

Regards, Chrys"

link to Alzheimer Scotland webpage


Blog post 31 October 2014: Email from Geoff Huggins on 24 June 2014 that caused me pain, wounding me with its underlying blaming and shaming

Comment from another mother on this post:

"Chrys, I have just read carefully the email above. It seems to me that Geoff Huggins tries hard to intimidate you: he speaks about himself and colleagues as 'PEOPLE'. 'People', 'we and others' - a huge crowd indeed against one brave mother.

I can't make sense of the email:
How can it be that speaking about your experience and that of your family 'excludes or devalues the experience of others'?
How can it be that it 'prevents other voices from being heard'?
How can it be that people are frightened to hear about your experience and that of your family ( GF admits that you focus on your own experience - how can it prevent other people from telling their stories?)
What kind of special treatment they used to give you in the past 'to the detriment of other service users and carers'?

I don't know if the email is 'direct and robust' but it is a good example of bullying, that's for sure.

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