Friday, 7 December 2012

A question of honour?

The puerile call made to the hospital looking after the Duchess of Cambridge seemed hilarious to some, in particular the two Australian yahoo's that did it. It wasn't funny and it certainly wasn't clever although those two pricks seemed to think so.

Systems should have been in place to ensure that such things (common enough) could not happen. They usually are, when people with even a moderate threat assessment are involved. A simple solution usually involves the use of a simple password, known only to the principals and those very close to them. My short post a few days ago, on this incident, made that aformentioned point. The fact that people in the chain of events who were solely employed to look after the well being of patients in hospital were subjected to this failure is part of a greater failing completely outside their remit - and that should have been made clear to them from the outset.

Blame is like flying shrapnel and can be indiscriminate. Managers are there to shield their subordinates from this, to keep the paths of the frontline workers clear of obstructions so as to enable them to get on with their work and to support them when systemic failures occur - in health care everything else is subordinate to the care of the patient, or should be. I'm sure the manager of the Aussie radio station will be looking out for the mental anguish of his/her `subordinates in their time of anguish, once they are woken up with this news. For a dedicated nurse who took this failure very personally, a woman of honour, it is too late. 

As a dear departed friend would have said, `It is to weep`.


TonyF said...

Hi HD,

it's a very sad thing this. The poor lass was only trying to do a job, helping out, when everyone there was under their normal day to day pressure plus the added burden of a VIP patient, millions of meeja oafs.

Now I don't actually blame anyone for the prank call fiasco. It is so easy to be right in hindsight and when under no pressure.

I feel there may be a failure of her management, but again, its a difficult call. I suspect 'social media' pressure may also have played a part. All those sooo never made a mistake comments.

OldAFSarge said...

This is horribly sad indeed. Another one of the "good guys" steps into the clearing.

BillB said...

TonyF - if anyone is to blame is is the 2 pricks from the radio station. Hogday described them right.

Anonymous said...

I am genuinely surprised that given the stunts the media undertake to try to generate a story that a 'daring undercover reporter' has not ended up with a few extra holes in their body. I worked in Central London and whilst the whole area is a nutter magnet you also had to be on your guard for journos trying to generate some faux outrage or beach of security. These people never think through the consequences their actions may have.


Mike Doyle said...

I am saddened that a nurse was so badly on the edge that a pair of Aussie jackasses could have pushed her over the edge. My prayers go out to her soul, and my sympathies to her family.

Having said that, I look at the jackasses-in-question, and I'm at a loss. On the one hand, I have to acknowledge that we can't really say that a crime has been committed here, given "Freedom of the Press", and that these jackasses loosely qualify as "Press". On the other hand, they DID, in fact engage in deceptive practice, which lured this nurse into a serious error, which may or may not have ultimately resulted in her apparent suicide. On the gripping hand (to borrow from Larry Niven's science fantasies), I cannot in good conscience endorse any restriction of any member of the Press (using the loosest possible definition of "Press") in the wake of this tragedy by the Government, no matter how urgent the apparent need for such a restriction.

I herewith submit a "Modest Proposal": Re-institute a form of the Code Duello. Let the Nurse's next-of-kin call the jackasses out. If the jackases die, then justice has been served. If not, then the rest of the Fourthn Estate has been served notice that they can no longer ruin the lives of ordinary citizens with impunity, haven't mthey?
Apropos of nothying in particular, I'm willing to offer instruction in Marksmanship to anyone calling out the jackasses... [evil grin]

Trobairitz said...

This is all over the news over here too and it is just simply sad. I feel so bad for the nurse and her family.

BillB said...

Too often these radio people pull stunts for which they don't see all the logical consequences.

A few years ago a couple had a contest to win a Wii machine - playing with the audience to see who could drink the most water.

Well, thanks to Google, here are the details.

(from a UK paper no less!)

Anonymous said...

Your anti-bot device is beginning to convince me I am one mate!

I'd like to see the hospital sue the pants off the radio station on behalf of next-of-kin. Anyone who listens to such rot should have to cough up for that matter. How about sequestration of all the assets of any 'entertainer' we can identify as 'zany' in this sense? Let's face it, no one would miss the creeps - even those who watch or listen (attention span).

MTG said...

Inescapable features of being human are responsible for most of the silly pranks with unforeseeable consequences, which went tragically wrong.

Blue Eyes said...

"Managers are there to shield their subordinates from this"

Oh dear, you've been retired a bit too long now Hogs! The current management training manual has been updated to take into account Greed Theory. Managers are there to make as much money in return for shuffling responsibility downwards.

There are so many factors in this awful case. The radio station should not have broadcast the "joke" - they broke their own protocols of getting permission from the victim. The nurse shouldn't have answered the phone in the first place - she probably did so out of a sense of service (I would have done the same thing). The nurse may not have had English as her first language and therefore not twigged that two Aussie Arseholes were pranking. The nurse must have also had background issues going on: not many people would react in the way she did.

The whole thing is terrible from start to finish. It's particularly painful because none of this story was kept private from the very start. The royal family has come to terms with/embraced the 24/7 media scramble and announced Kate's pregnancy and sickness without any twats from "down under" breaking through privacy controls.


I feel so sorry for the family.

JuliaM said...

"I suspect 'social media' pressure may also have played a part."

Certainly, 'social media' is playing its part in the hounding of the two Aussies for the unfortunate side-effect of their puerile antics.

Sometimes, with the news that one of them is close to a breakdown, I wonder if the Twittermob won't be happy until they'e had their pound of flesh in some grotesque 'revenge'...

Bah! Everyone's as bad as each other in this sorry little tale.

Anonymous said...

No doubt there is much we don't know Hog. One spiteful senior officer was in the middle of bollocking me for arresting the mother of two missing from home kids. He called me out in front of the rest of the block and I was shaken to the core by his claims on my insensitivity. On discovering the woman was coughing to drowning them in the canal he failed to offer me counselling or to take the swim I recommended for the good of his health. I suspect we are missing something similar in the hospital's treatment of the nurse.

MTG said...

"I suspect we are missing something..."

Some profound disclosures border on the divine, ACO.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Aco/Blue: I was almost shafted by a very senior officer on a major counter terrorist exercise. We were playing for real, with real Ministers and real SBS. He broadcast over the unencrypted net that SF were about to take down the targets and then tried to dump his faux pas on me. For a moment I really thought i was guilty. I felt very ill for a few minutes until the facts emerged. I didnt want to top myself but I think I have an inkling of how the poor nurse felt - and I wasnt being spotlighted by world media. Ghastly horrid sickening stuff that makes youquestion your sanity.

Quartermaster said...

I hope there are some serious life consequences for those two jokers. I recall the one line in "Tie Me Kangaroo Down" that goes "Tan me hide when I'm dead Fred." I don't think I would wait. It would be hanging on the shed before the end of the week.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Their wailing "But we never thought anything like this would happen" only reminded me of a story I read about a school bullying victim who took her own life. Extreme the outcome might have been but like it or not they were the final straw. I do hope they do something positive with their lives as a result.

Blue Eyes said...

It's the same when a relatively normal-strength punch causes someone's death because of a thin skull or the punch drops them to the ground or whatever. The puncher may not have intended to kill the punchee, but kill him he did.

How were the "DJs" supposed to know that at 5.30am the phone might be picked up by a nurse at the end of her shift who didn't get the joke and was at any rate at the end of her tether with other life stresses? They weren't.

I learned this lesson at 18 when I went up behind my mate and did the "saved your life!" joke not realising he had a hot drink in his hand.

I second your hope that these fools now go on to do something productive with their time. Maybe they could volunteer for the Samaritans or something?