Grimsby Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital suffering from foot in mouth disease?
Is Grimsby's Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital suffering from foot in mouth disease?
So asks Simon Faulkner in his Simon Says column in today's Grimsby Telegraph.
Add your comment below and read the full column in today's Telegraph.
AS PR blunders go it’s up there with Gerald Ratner’s infamous remarks about the quality of his own company’s jewellery.
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Those of you familiar with the tale will recall that Mr Ratner, the owner of an eponymous jewellery company, described his firm’s products as “total crap” in a speech at the Institute Of Directors, in 1991.
The affect was so devastating – the value of the Ratner group plummeted by about £500 million, nearly resulting in the firm’s collapse – that the phrase “doing a Ratner” entered the business lexicon.
Now the decision by the trust which run’s Grimsby Hospital to investigate a councillor and trust governor for expressing concerns about blood-stained seats in A & E to the Grimsby Telegraph is unlikely to have similarly catastrophic results.
But it does exhibit the same alarming signs of muddleheadedness.
Admittedly there are significant differences.
For one, Ratner’s undoing was simply being too candid – although he claimed his remarks were made in jest.
The Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust, on the other hand, shot itself in the foot by trying to suppress the truth as if it were a Communist dictatorship.
Displeased that Councillor Matthew Brown took it upon himself to inform members of the public – through the Grimsby Telegraph – about the blood-stained chairs, chairman of the trust Dr James Whittingham fired off an angry missive in which he expressed his concern disappointment that the councillor had “felt it appropriate to publicly criticise the trust on this subject.”
Unfortunately for the trust, the threat of the Gulag did not have the desired effect on the errant Comrade Brown, who promptly brought the story to the Telegraph’s attention.
Cue more bad publicity for the trust – and arguably more damaging than the initial story about the bloodied chairs.
Especially in a week when attempts to silence NHS whistleblowers was dominating the national news.
As ever, the attempted cover-up was worse than the original crime.
Just ask Chris Huhne.