Ignore staff tip-offs at your peril
THE revelations about the treatment of patients at Gosport Memorial Hospital highlights again that failing to listen to what whistle-blowers have to say can have catastrophic results.
Those of us that run businesses constantly have information presented by a variety of people, both inside and outside the companies we run. Much of it is tittle-tattle created by persons with a so-called grievance, or who for internal political reasons, wish to have a stir that might do them personally some good.
The problem is, that it is very necessary to carefully investigate every reference, and this can be somewhat time-consuming. By way of illustration, many years ago, a member of staff came and whispered in my ear that an employee, a very good worker, and somebody that had been with the company for many years, was taking home every night in his sandwich box, brass, copper and bronze piercing bits, about 7lbs a night in weight. It took some six weeks before I had the evidence to confront the man, time that could have been well spent doing more important work, but it was vital that this matter was dealt with.
The vast amount of so-called information has been manufactured tales with little substance, created by those with a hidden agenda. However, on at least six occasions during the last 60 years, crimes against my company had been committed, and I have been very grateful for the tip-offs.
In the Gosport case, matters are currently under investigation, so commentators must be very careful. Suffice to say, that paying attention to people with disturbing information, however difficult it is to believe, and however inconvenient in terms of time and money, concerns raised must be investigated to determine the truth or otherwise.
Failure to act can have disastrous results, as in this horrific hospital case, resulting in the shortening of very many lives. So perhaps when the next piece of unlikely information comes your way, rather than just dismissing it, a little time on research might be beneficial in the long term. Russell Luckock is chairman of Birmingham pressings firm AE Harris