Victorino Chua was supposed to be caring for patients, not killing them. Yesterday he was imprisoned, adding to the damage being done to the caring professions by wrongdoers.
There are several things that concern me (in addition to the crimes’ victims, obviously), related to this awful story:
1. Nurse Rebecca Leighton originally spent six weeks in custody as a suspect, and was named by the police (who she went on to sue; she was later sacked for stealing drugs, but was exonerated with regard to the murders.) It was then THREE YEARS before Chua was brought to justice, despite over 100 police on the investigation team. What do we need to do to help the police when these things happen, and how do we protect innocent caring staff from accusations?
3. In the wake of Shipman, numerous things happened that made us less caring. My own grandfather was in dreadful pain when he died, but in the wake of Shipman, no more painkillers could be administered. How do we prevent a similar knee jerk reaction following this case?
4. What needs to happen for ‘whistle blowing’ to be OK for the ‘blower’?
5. Checks on foreign workers are likely to increase. Where’s the balance? Without foreign workers, some parts of our care system would crash and burn.
I’d love your thoughts on any of these questions (press + below for the comment box, on most devices).
And if you’d like to do something positive to help, we’re putting together a Safeguarding team for The Care Locker, and would love volunteers. A particular concern is ‘whistle blowing’, We want to ensure that parents are safe, and that we have an open and honest Care Locker culture. Sadly, that’s a tough act to balance. If you’d like to share your experience or have your say, we’d love to hear from you in the comments box below, but if you’d rather speak with me (Claire Thompson, CEO) personally and confidentially, my phone line is always available to you.