Sunday, January 04, 2009

Primary Care Trust seek a cure for honesty?

In what appears to me to be a refreshingly honest, if self deprecating remark, Caroline Davis the assistant director of strategic partnerships for Eastern and Coastal primary Care Trust, happened to mention on her Friends Reunited page that she " bullshits for a living".

According to Kent on Sunday, an official for Eastern and Coastal PCT came up with this bit of er… Waffle " We are following an internal process with the individual concerned. We take our reputation very seriously and disapprove anything which brings the NHS into disrepute. We will be issuing guidance to staff about the use of social media."

A couple of things spring to mind, just what the assistant director of strategic partnerships actually does and if she's worth 50 grand a year, just how much is the actual director of strategic partnerships trousering.

As for bureaucrats issuing guidelines on staff using social media, that seems like typical control freakery, utter bull, and no doubt contravenes people's rights to freedom of expression, not something that would bother your average pen pusher.

Whether Caroline Davis was just being honest or maybe flippant, there is a serious issue here and this is it, we have a right to express opinions and say what we think, assuming this was intended as jokey remark I'd advise those at PCT to just ignore it and not waste time on this.

I'd suggest if you receive instructions from your employer on using "social networks" just tell them to F*** OFF, and point out we live in a democracy.


  1. Here here I agree.So are her employers so thick as not to be able to judge her on her work........ I will leave you to answer that question

  2. I work for a Civil Service Department and they want to know everything from our ethinicity (thought they'd know that) to outside business interests (I don't tell them suffice to say it doesn't conflict or effect what I do in my 9-5 job). We're told too to not mention what we do for a living on social media sites. I don't because I don't want to tell but I'll reserve the right to do so.

  3. ascu75 aka Don - Perhaps her employers are judging her on her work.

  4. Many companies feel this way now (apparantly there's a sign in the Broadstairs ADSA staff-room that says "Don't blog your way out of a job!").

    Most people know that I'm also a humble doorman at The Winter Gardens, but I got my wrists slapped a few months ago for (alledgedly!) making derogatory remarks about the place on someone else's blog, so I'm very careful what I say now (it's an absolutely wonderful place of course!)...& I'm sure you'd find yourself in trouble too Tony if you wrote negative things about the company you work for on here, Facebook, etc.

  5. This woman is a senior key person in her organisation. She should at least know, particularly in these recessionary times, that biting the hand that feeds her is a career limiting move.

    By the same token, do we spring to Sandy's defence, pleading freedom of expression, when he uses bad language in bars or throws his considerable bulk about in the local shops of fair Margate High Street? No, we don't and rightly so.

    There are minimum standards of behaviour for people in public office (and that includes the tax payer funded NHS) and this woman has shown lack of professional judgement here.

    If this was the private sector, she would probably have been slung out on her arse by now. End of.

  6. I have come across Caroline Davis a few of times in a professional capacity and always found her extremely competent. I thought I'd respond to a couple of points made in your blog.

    "just what the assistant director of strategic partnerships actually does and if she's worth 50 grand a year"
    She works with other public sector organisations in East Kent to identify ways of making savings and providing a better service to the public. I'd be confident she saves the PCT significantly more than £50k a year. These roles in the public sector do lead to results. Take the Margate Gateway which both provides a better service by ensuring customers can get several services in one place and also saves money by reducing the number of properties and staff the public sector needs in Margate. Large private sector organisations have similar posts looking to develop strategic partnerships with other companies which can provide joint benefits.

    "just how much is the actual director of strategic partnerships trousering"
    There is not a director of strategic partnerships. The strategic partnerships post is an Assistant Director level post within the overall organisational structure.

    "Whether Caroline Davis was just being honest or maybe flippant"
    I'd be almost certain it is flippant. I'm sure like most of us on the inside, she recognises there is waste in both the NHS and public sector more generally (lots of waste in large scale organisations in the private sector too!). Probably what brought it on was a tiredness with the constant kicking of public sector workers and a desire to get the sarcastic comment in first before being bored with it by someone else.

    I work for a council and when someone asks what I do for a living I tend to jockingly say something along the lines of "I shuffle papers, count paper clips and generally do all the things that you think we waste your tax payers money on. That's because when I have told people what I do, in frinedly social situations, the responses I've recieved include a long rant about how all council workers are slackers (not true), how they've been given a praking ticket just because they didn't park in the designated bay (not the slightest connection to my job), and that I have the most pointless job in the world (honestly! there are plenty jobs in the private sector that I think add nothing to humanity but it wouldn't occur to me as to be so rude as to tell someone that I'd just been introduced to). Mainly because the papers devote hundreds of inches of uninformed nonsense to bashing public sector workers. That this nothing story has hit the national headlines is just another example of the anti-public sector hysteria whipped up by the media.