The island’s former Senior Strategic Leader in Children’s Social Care has told a tribunal that she and other senior colleagues felt their advice wasn’t listened to by former DHSC CEO Kathryn Magson.

Today saw the continuation of the Dr Rosalind Ranson’s tribunal against the DHSC. For clarity, due to time constraints we were only able to attend the first evidence session today, others appeared later on.

Debbie Brayshaw, appearing virtually from the UK, told the tribunal that during the pandemic decisions were being made at an executive level without much debate and often at short notice. This resulted in clinical members of the executive team being rushed into making decisions that they knew they would be responsible for, and she personally wanted more time to discuss key decisions.

Ms Brayshaw rejected that this view was taken in hindsight, saying concerns were raised by clinical directors at the time as well.

A Rush

The dept’s counsel James Boyd read from a statement that Ms Brayshaw had provided to the tribunal where she said ‘often it seemed the CEO was in a rush to get to CoMin, I felt she was not listening to her professional directors to be informed sufficiently or she had pre-determined the outcome she wanted’.

When it was put to her by Mr Boyd that Ms Magson, who isn’t a clinician, couldn’t have been doing her job if she hadn’t listened to the clinicians, she wouldn’t have been able to ‘act as a conduit’ between the exec and CoMin, Ms Brayshaw said it was still possible for Ms Magson to do the job as it’s a ‘hierarchy of accountability’ but that her concern was whether CoMin was getting the ‘right information’.

Ms Brayshaw added: ‘There were occasions where I think professional views were not felt to be considered fully in that.’

In her statement, Ms Brayshaw had also said that Ms Magson ‘did not seem’ to ‘understand or full appreciate the need for professional advice’. Mr Boyd said that this suggested that this was Ms Magson’s attitude ‘towards everybody’, something Ms Brayshaw said that having spoken to her colleagues at the time, there was a general feeling that ‘their professional opinion was being discarded’.

Ms Brayshaw said she had raised a safeguarding issue with Ms Magson herself, away from the pandemic, where she told the former CEO she was taking forward a position ‘without any due regard to the professional understanding around that particular issue’. However this issue was resolved between themselves and proper practice was ultimately followed after this.

Staffing

Ms Brayshaw later told the tribunal that when Dr Ranson told her she had no executive support, she agreed to allow a member of her team to work alongside the Medical Director.

However, during the time this colleague was working with Dr Ranson, she was put under pressure by Ms Magson and DHSC COO Angela Murray to ‘withdraw the support’. However when Ms Brayshaw refused, the matter was not raised again by either Ms Magson or Ms Murray. She told the tribunal she didn’t question why she was asked to withdraw the support, but said ‘I would continue to offer that support until another resource became available’.

Dr Ranson

In her statement, Ms Brayshaw said she believed that Dr Ranson had been treated ‘unfairly’ when it was decided she wouldn’t be transitioning to Manx Care. The DHSC has said during the tribunal that Dr Ranson’s appointment was only temporary until Manx Care was established, something she had denied. Ms Grayshaw said that when the MD arrived in January 2020, there was ‘no indication’ that this was a temporary role, although she said she had no further knowledge of the contract Dr Ranson had been appointed on.

When asked whether submissions about Dr Ranson saying she was unable to delegate work, Ms Brayshaw said this wasn’t an issue she had experienced and said Dr Ranson had a ‘healthy understanding’ of delegation and ‘always found her open to other’s opinions’.

The tribunal continued after Ms Brayshaw’s evidence session, however due to time constraints we were unable to hear anything further today. The tribunal will continue sitting next week.

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