Twining’s World – Part 1- How to build trust and confidence?

November 20, 2008

I really was stirred into writing this post by someone  who contacted me recently. But I have been mulling this for some days, do I write about this, do I not write about this, what do I do? In short I was worried about writing about this post because it’s about charts and performance and it appears that we seem to be monitoring everything and anything.

This post is about monitoring customer satisfaction in relation to the way we deal with race crime. It dawned on me when we were looking through the figures from one month to another, in some months people were happier than in other months, and there was this awful disparity, you know, ups and downs, but we couldn’t explain the ups and downs.

Senior colleagues, even Inspector’s, couldn’t explain why people were happy in some months and not happy in other months. I didn’t say anything because they had baffled me with PowerPoint slides. And they had baffled some of our community members too. But it suddenly dawned on me whilst I took my dear mum to hospital that statistics without meaning are useless, and meetings of this nature probably occur across all Forces.

As we sat waiting for her blood test results to come back; er we sat waiting for 3 hours. There were 5 nurses on duty, all running around, each turning over maybe 3 patients an hour. When I asked them what was happening at around 3pm because we had another appointment they sort of enquired and we were allowed to move on, but not without the necessary prescription to take down to the nebuliser unit, nor a nurse. In fact they handed me the nebuliser and I went on my merry way down to another floor.

There I was met by a large lady, a sister, who insisted that procedures had not been followed and tasked a nurse from the other ward to make their way to us. The nurse turned up and duly advised me that they were not aware that we had another appointment and that’s why mum wasn’t prepped. I showed the nurse a letter that I had shown two other nurses and an admin member of staff during THE THREE HOURS THAT WE WERE WAITING. The male nurse shied away, and I wanted was for him to say, “sorry.”

Like  I say upstairs they turned over 5 times 3 times 3 in three hours; that’s 45 patients. It’s that silly word performance again, yet I saw them running around like blue arsed flies. I bet they were being monitored in terms of in and out times. So, we’re not the only ones measured in this absurd way, and this absurd way causes mistakes to be made. They too were up the creek, no staff, and too many jobs.

Now, as I sat through three hours it dawned on me that satisfaction between months was largely irrelevant; people were either happy or they weren’t, but unless you look at each incident you really will not know whether they were just unhappy or whether there was something we or the CPS could have done better; like prosecute for example.

Yet all around this table we sat, with Senior bods, and members of the BME community not knowing what relevance month by month meant. What exactly is performance, to me it’s simple, we do our best, isn’t that enough? I guess we have kept the community members from the BME community happy? Was that the purpose of the meeting? Who knows?

In part 2 I will detail what happened when everyone began to look at me when I opened my mouth and said something. Now I get it, some of this is about trust and confidence and how to baffle people with slides without understanding performance. 

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