But substitute some of the words: Social services buy on the needy's behalf personal care which is to be of a suitable quality. Social services have a supply chain and rely on third parties to provide the care. The quality is set out in a specification, and behind that there is an assumption of risk management and contract management. The personal care turns out to be wrongly labelled and we have a national scandal. Potentially your father and mother are the victims, the finger starts to point locally. Most of us should be aghast and the fear is
What's worse Zimmergate, for want of a better description exists as the Care Quality Commission has now found. 26% failure to meet the quality standard, reluctance to complain, failure to listen to the families who tried to raise concerns. Of course this isn't the first time we have considered the dependency of the elderly on good procurement. Is it right we could it be more concerned about the content of 'cheap burgers' and call that a scandal in need of urgent attention?
Let's leave the last word to The National Pensioners Convention General Secretary, who seems to have some useful suggestions for public procurement:
"Local authorities have a responsibility to start commissioning services on the grounds of quality - rather than for the lowest price. Contracts should only be awarded to those who can guarantee that staff are properly trained and qualified to do the job - and the idea that services can be provided in blocks of 15 minutes at a time has got to stop."