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By Debbie le Quesne

Walsall dismissal: Why all the secrecy?

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The former executive director for social care and inclusion at Walsall, has been dismissed.

In our local newspaper I read the sacking followed an investigation after what’s described as “issues” were raised in the department.

Paul Davies had been suspended from his duties for more than a year.

In a time when transparency in the care business is needed more than ever, it worries me that I read in the newspapers “bosses have remained tight-lipped over the details.” Even my dear old Beeb was unable to break the silence.

Law firm Bevan Brittan was called in to carry out the investigation and Mike Bird, the Council Leader, issued a Press statement, which was reported in the Express & Star last week.

According to the newspaper, Mr Bird said – and I quote the piece: “Mr Davies had breached the rules set for a chief officer, but would not reveal the full details of the case.”

The report adds that the allegations against Mr Davies were ”over a period of just short of three weeks” . . . he had “suspended for just over a year” . . . and “the circumstances were due to procedures, rules and issues surrounding the chief officer’s code of conduct.”

While I do not support what has become known as red-top journalism, secrecy adds nothing in helping the cause for social care. Currently, as cuts bite deeper and with more gloomy forecasts on funding emerging, the industry is awash with rumours and this approach adds more.

If care fails, the issues are very public – no provider or carer is spared the details of any misdemeanor.

I’m left asking why, as the head of this kind of care delivery, such a dignified approach has been taken?  I’m sure lawyers aplenty have guided this outcome and indeed the shutdown of information, but indeed it smacks of double standards.

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Written by debbielq

March 31, 2014 at 10:52 am

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