Trouble down at Healthwatch Leeds, the organisation set up earlier this year to be the independent voice of us citizens/patients/consumers when it comes to everything about health and care services in Leeds.
Director Janet Somers is leaving the organisation after just six months in the job, it was announced yesterday.
Appointed controversially in May, former Leeds City Council employee Ms Somers is leaving less than two weeks after the organisation’s vice-chair resigned unhappily half way through her one year term.
To paraphrase Lady Bracknell: to lose one leader may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness – or worse.
No reason was given for Ms Somers’ departure. And no mention has been made on the Healthwatch website of the Vice-chair’s resignation.
Does that lack of transparency matter?
Why should anyone care if Healthwatch Leeds turns out to be another of those organisations that operate in our name, promising to be “open, transparent and trusted” … and then scramble for a brush and a carpet when things go pear-shaped?
You know the ones. They’re “community-led” and “values-based” and have more “vision” than Specsavers … but no-one really knows what they do – let alone whether they’re any good at it.
So the people responsible for Healthwatch Leeds – the remaining management, the organisation’s funders, the consortium that’s responsible for its performance – shouldn’t worry too much as they prepare to have a second bash at appointing an independent director.
Hardly anyone’s watching. And those that are don’t really expect open and transparent.
Three wise monkeys … and we’ll have forgotten all about it by next week … apart from a compassionate nod in the direction of the organisation’s workers and volunteers.
I wonder what it’s like to work there?