Fife NHS’ Finest

Brian Gilfillan, a shy 36-year-old, lived with his parents and worked all his adult life in the records department of NHS Fife. He cared about his job and the smooth running of the department, to the extent that he regularly worked extra hours and took work home to correct errors made by others. One of his jobs was to ensure that there was sufficient stationery, even during his manager’s frequent absences. One day the lady in question discovered that Brian had signed her name on an order for maternity forms while she was “away”. She also found he had signed on another 11 occasions when she was “away” making it appear she was “away” rather a lot. Being an NHS manager she naturally concluded this was a breach of trust and set up a board of inquisition to find this “fraudster” guilty of serious misconduct. As complainer, judge, and prosecutor she finally sent Brian a letter demanding he appear at yet another “hearing” at which he would probably be sacked. On the day of the “hearing” his body was found hanging from a tree in the hospital grounds in Kirkcaldy. This heart warming tale of NHS management bullies and zealots was caustically described by the presiding sheriff at the inquiry into Brian’s death as “shoddy”. I suspect that may yet prove to be the understatement of the year.

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