Two ambulance workers used an uninsured NHS vehicle to make a 'booze-cruise' trip to France, a disciplinary panel heard yesterday.Oh, dear. And there’s more:
Paul Leaman and Richard Lane even ripped the back seats out to make more room for alcohol, and removed crests from the vehicle so they could slip through customs unnoticed.
They then got Essex Ambulance Service NHS Trust to foot the bill, the Health Professions Council was told.
In a separate allegation, the men, who were both paramedics but later moved into management positions, are said to have colluded with a company selling health service equipment and 'hassled' colleagues to give the firm business, even though it did not offer competitive rates.Whoops!
The misconduct hearing has also been told they bullied a colleague, Paul Holmes, when he reported their behaviour to trust bosses.
But how did they have time for all this? Aren’t ambulance personnel undermanned and underresourced, and always rushing to meet senseless deadlines and impossible targets?
Well, these weren’t the frontline workers that do a mostly difficult and thankless job. The clue is in the paragraph above, referring to 'management positions'. These were civil service pen pushers of the kind that no self-respecting empire likes to be without:
Leaman was the trust's director of modernisation and service delivery, before going on to become deputy chief executive.That’s really no surprise, now is it?
He is now on secondment with Midlands Air Ambulance as charity appeals director.
Lane was the associate director of human relations but left in 2005. He admits colluding with a supplier between 2000 and 2001.He admits it?
So why the disciplinary panel? Do they deny the other allegations then?
Both admit making unauthorised alterations to a company vehicle before taking it on a trip to France in 2001, with no tax or insurance and at a cost to the NHS. They also admit bullying a colleague.Ummm….
So, they admit doing these things. Why is the hearing still continuing then?
However, they deny misconduct.Yeah, I know. I had trouble with that one too. Let’s have it again:
However, they deny misconduct.….
Nope, still doesn’t compute. If the above misdeeds don’t add up to misconduct, there’s something very, very rotten in their contract of employment…