Penrose – setting patient off against patient? – a member’s view

Members’ views
31st March 2016
“Everyone affected by the tragedy, including widows and dependents, should receive support commensurate with the decades of suffering and loss of amenity they have experienced.”
12th April 2016
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Penrose – setting patient off against patient? – a member’s view

An SIBF member voices an opinion on Lord Penrose’s approach to victims:


I have never met Lord Penrose and didn’t know much about him but I did do a bit of checking about other work he had done, like inquiry work, and discovered that some of his responses for example to government committees were quite sharp and short and offhand.  And that some of the conclusions he had drawn up where very much in favour of the establishment and that people who were in the know about these events had commented that it was a missed opportunity.


Now at the start we thought well we’ll give this man an opportunity to prove us wrong it may be that people were just having several gripes of it not getting what they wanted, but from the very first time the inquiry sat together publicly, one of the first things that was said by Penrose was:

   “every pound spent on this inquiry is money out of the treatment of people in the NHS and every hour a doctor spends giving evidence to the inquiry  is an hour away from treating sick people’.


That felt pretty bad for people.

You have to remember by this stage a number of people had died, a significant number of people had died, a number of people were suffering ongoing harm and effects, some had lost livelihoods, their businesses if they are self-employed, their jobs if they were employed, some had lost the relationships, most had lost some degree of good health and many others were sitting in a situation where, because of these various factors coming together, we where facing a life of poverty.

We were unable to work or when we were working we were unable to progress in that work, we were becoming increasingly dependent on benefits at the same time it coincided with the financial crash and the squeeze on public resources, the efforts to try and reduce the numbers of people receiving benefits and we were hopeful that the Penrose inquiry would recognise these various factors and would help us to get some sort of settlement with the government whereby they’d recognise that things had gone wrongly they will have made it clear there will be new systems and procedures in place to stop it happening again.

Those who had been badly affected through no fault of their own, people who had taken in good faith NHS treatments that were meant to make them well but had ended up making them much worse in different ways, some way to recognise that they had to be helped, that it was important to meet their needs and the needs of the families on an ongoing basis and these number of people were getting smaller and smaller every year as more and more of us had died.

1 Comment

  1. a life lost says:

    I think that one thing that hasn’t been recogised over the last 30 years is the endless raising and then dashing of expectations. I for one, regularly think that now that my health is rapidly deteriorating, thanks to this terrible disease, that I shall not be alive long enough to see any part of the miserable pittance supposedly to be paid ‘at some point in the dim and distant’ to victims.

    Year by year, I had thought (according to all the free & hot air bandied around) that this year would be ‘the year’ that we finaly get a sensible settlement and a recognition of a loss of a life, or alternatively, a loss of engagement in a life in any functional or meaningful way.

    But yet again, this year (in total contradiction to all the endless hot air yet gain) we still have not received the extra firewood money, the enhanced gas bill money, or the ‘little bit extra for the leccy’ promised to us in Holyrood (and on camera no less).

    The reasons for this are (as far as I can ascertain by writing are (and please feel free to make multiple choices of any of the following):

    1) Devolution admin problems, and ‘we’re not allowed to at present’.
    2) The Data Protection Act.
    3) No Scottish NGO distribution body to be set up this year. (‘we’ll have to get premises and recruit and hire staff etc. and that all takes time’)
    4) They’re all off on their holidays and they’ll be sitting in different chairs, if and when they come back.

    Still, no worries. This is the name of the game. Divide and Rule, and Gob off With Endless More Expectation-Raising Small Talk (while they get paid in excess of £50K per year (plus expenses) for doing just that… (Nice work if you can get it mate, as Yosser Hughes used to say).

    Robison said in Holyrood, and on camera ‘We know who they are. We just have to contact them’. Here’s a little tip Robison, if you know who we are, and you obviously have our addresses on file anyway, then just send us a cheque (and sending one while we’re still alive would be a real step in the right direction). But then you have known all of the above for at least the last thirty years.

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