A few weeks ago invitations to attend a public consultation were sent to consultants at our Trust. We were only given one day to reply for the meeting in the near future even though we have to give 6 weeks notice of leave because of "choose and book".
Obviously this meant that most of us could not attend but one consultant did take up the invitation.
The location of the meeting was kept secret until three days before the event and when this consultant was eventually told the location and turned up in Birmingham for the "Citizens Jury" it turned out that medical staff were outnumbered 2:1 by laypeople specifically chosen by an agency to attend the event. The media were present and had obviously been invited to publicise the event.
You'll be astonished to hear that the voting was almost entirely 2:1 in favour of Government policy! Who saw that coming? But wait - you haven't heard the punchline yet!
Following the "consultation" the medical delegates were told to leave but the other 2/3 of the audience were kept back and each given an envelope. My colleague was intrigued by this and managed to catch one of the "chosen ones" and ask about the contents. Each envelope contained £75 in cash!
Well, I can't tell you what to think; I don't have that sort of ready cash. But I will tentatively suggest that if you're in the mood to get angry about something this is probably something worth getting very angry about. Why not read the whole thing?
(via Dr Rant)
(NB: It occurs to me that the £75 may be described as expenses, in the same way as jurors in a criminal trial are permitted limited expenses. I don't know whether jurors in criminal trials get as much as £75 a day, but my point is that I would be less concerned about the £75 if it wasn't for the shameless rigging of the procedure to ensure that virtually none of the medical staff invited to the "consultation" could actually attend it, and the presence of a "minder" to provide "helpful suggestions" to those laypersons who were having trouble deciding how to vote.)