Heresy

“Are there any other comments?” said one of the inspectors, looking directly at me.
I turned instinctively away, but found myself surrounded by gimlet eyes, and an atmosphere of curious expectation. For a moment, I was mesmerised by this concert of stares and glares, and then like a cornered rat making a last desperate spitting bid for freedom, I blurted out:
“Frankly, I’m surprised we’ve got off so lightly…. In my opinion, the patients are steadily deteriorating because they’re needlessly hospitalised, and they don’t have any meaningful way of spending their time. They’ve lost all self-respect because they can’t contribute to anything, and they’re left with nothing to do but spend their benefits, or sleep on sofas. The unit is bed-blocked because the patients are incapable of moving on within the present system, and insufficient money is available to ‘warehouse’ them outside the hospital. Management is paralysed by fear of confrontation with individuals, unions and the public, and we’re being buried alive in mindless bureaucracy, just so that we can demonstrate paper progress to auditors and ourselves. Many of our nurses have joined the circus by spending a large proportion of their time at home on fully paid sick leave, correctly anticipating that management will send them boxes of chocolates for doing so.
“Hmmm…Hmmmm….Thank you very much for your views…..” interceded Richard.
“And” I continued “In my opinion, this is nothing short of a scandalous and disgraceful waste of public funds.”
A stunned silence followed my reckless outburst, and in the interim I cast a careless glance around the table, waiting for my nemesis. Like a group of assassins at a Mafia wedding, they eyed their target, toyed with their guns, and twitched their lips; the apoplectic manager on the verge of a stroke, the chairman’s chilling cold weasel look, the black coated ranks of inspectors with their ice hockey masks, turning me over like a beetle on a pin……..

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