Bower-ed out at last from the National Health Service talent show; no longer will we hear the strident tones of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I will survive’, instead she is lisping the lyrics – ‘I’m just a fool whose intentions are good, Oh! Lord! Please don’t let me be misunderstood’ as she steps down from the national Karaoke stage. The raucous cries of ‘Gerr’er off’, proved too much for her in the end, the voter’s votes are in, and it is a resounding ‘nul points’ for Our Cynthia.
She has taken some of her backing group with her; the Ms Finney, her former lead singer, otherwise known as Deputy Chief Executive of the CQC, was last night sacked from her new sinecure in Nominet the domain registering company. Ms Bower had already moved onto another Quango, ‘Skills for Health’, despite her son saying ‘you need to put your feet up, Mum’ when she resigned from the CQC with her £65,000 a year pension – the lure of another dip into the public purse proved too much for her, a couple of hundred thousand a year for guarding the interests of the NHS (Ed: Wasn’t she supposed to be guarding the interests of the public who use the NHS?) by turning a blind eye when it made ‘statistical blips’ like knocking off 1200 patients who should have been home enjoying life with their families, or ignoring the whistle blower Terry Bryan when he tried to tell of the appalling abuse meted out to vulnerable patients in Winterbourne View – the final straw was the disclosure of a report, initially denied, into the deaths of 16 babies at a hospital in Cumbria.
There is only so much that one woman can do to conceal the deficiencies of the NHS.
She had done her best. One of her first acts was to save £44 million from the regulator’s budget by sacking all those who might have weird notions of carrying out any investigations into the NHS. A noble act, it ensured that no one with any qualifications went anywhere near the hospitals, no inspections were done during her reign. Instead, she set up a brilliant system of unqualified bods with spikey hair and shinny suits working from home using laptops to check the self assessment forms that the hospitals sent them. She called it a ‘field force model’ and said it represented ’expertise at the intersection of the axes’. Inspired!
When Private Eye asked via a FOI what qualifications these suits had, she said it would ‘take 20 minutes’ to ask each member of her ‘field force’ and that would take them away from their ‘horizon scanning’ ‘proactively testing intelligence’ from the hospitals. Could any other woman have so comprehensively mastered the art of management double-speak?
With the hospitals now engaged in writing their own ‘end of term reports’, and an army of ex double glazing salesmen who couldn’t spell ‘premature death’ checking them to ensure that no one said anything daft like ‘sorry about the 1200, couldn’t be helped’, there was just one thing left to do:
Agree £11.2 million in severance pay agreements with the Treasury for disgruntled employees who might have spouted off defamatory outpourings about her beloved NHS. It is a testament to Ms Bower’s skills at writing double speak that the Nation Audit Office have now agreed that contrary to popular belief – none of the golden handshakes actually included a ‘gagging clause’…they were just written in such a way that the benighted employees thought they did!
‘Some people we spoke to who had been offered, or accepted, compromise agreements have felt gagged.
‘An organisation’s culture, the events leading up to the person being offered an agreement, and the wording of the agreements contributed to whether the individual felt gagged.
‘Legal advice to the employee is a prerequisite of making a compromise agreement legally enforceable. However, the individuals we spoke to felt that it was not generally made clear that confidentiality clauses do not prevent employees from raising legitimate public interest concerns.’
Atta girl Cynthia!
What now for ‘our beloved NHS’, without Cynthia guarding its
patients reputation, will it be revealed to the world as a parallel universe where citizens enter in mediocre health, and after a few short weeks lying in their own faeces, hooked up to intravenous drips helpfully doctored with poison by the nursing staff, fed inedible food, they are discharged with incurable MRSA to die in their loved ones arms – or will Jeremy Hunt manage to find another dedicated trooper like Our Cynthia to churn out Stasi reports telling us how wonderful it all is?
I still remember the stinging condemnation from the Head of Health at Unison when someone suggested – ‘gasp’! – emulating the French part-privatised system which has successfully kept me alive for the past two years.
Can’t be having that can we?
Can anybody tell me which of these pictures is Cynthia Bower, comedienne, and which is Jo Brand, comedienne? I can’t risk labelling them incorrectly. Ms Brand might sue me.