A Wreck of a Car

A Wreck of a Car

One day I had to write following in the handing over book:  7 (or ) Feb. 2009 X,Y,Z (home owner, manager and head of care – the woman who later became manager) Please look at this urgently. The Honda car that is used for the transport is allegedly in desperate need of repair. It has an indicator that hasn’t been working for about a month. This can be extremely dangerous not least on the busy dual carriage way. Please speak to K (the driver) for further information about what it needs. Lars

Manager’s (The manager who later was forced out) response:

Lars, Have spoken to B (owner’s brother and co director) re car. We will be getting a new car? When – Meanwhile we will have to manage with current vehicle – Z, (head of care) can you contact your mechanic friend re. indicator – leaking roof – it’s awful!!        

On 15 MAI I write:

At 7.10 pm I was waiting in the company car (the Honda) at XXX Station with XXX in the driver seat. It was raining heavily. All of a sudden water poured down over XXX. This could have caused a serious accident had it happened on the road. This car has been in serious disrepair for many months. This problem with a leaking roof has been known just as long. Paper towels all around to prevent water from dripping down. Newspapers on the seat to suck up the fluid. This is totally unacceptable and should have been dealt with long ago. Staff are risking their lives on a daily basis because of this transport. We need action NOW.                           Lars

The management was informed immediately after we arrived at the home. It was a very wet weekend. No action was taken. I was off Sunday morning. It was raining heavily. The car remained in duty. Not only was the water being collected in the sun roof (and could be dropped over the driver at any given time and motion of the car), the clutch was still working badly (had been complained about for months) and for months the car had had no indicator to the left, making driving on the fast dual carriage way with no hard shoulder or slip road extremely dangerous. The driver had invented his own system: speeding up to create a space to the car behind before breaking hard to turn off down to the home. Following this extremely serious incident the car continued to be in use. Not before 19th May it was seen by a garage and an estimate given. The car was booked into garage for clutch repair for Friday 29th May. In this condition the car continued to transport staff to and from stations. Management and owner could afford their own transport…. All others, as well as other road users, risked their lives on a daily basis.

In this course of action also a risk assessment was written by the head of care… This Risk assessment of car (in an area where she has absolutely no authority or professional knowledge) declared that staff had been offered other transport – a statement which, of course, was untrue, as there was only one car doing the job and that was this Honda. There was no alternative other than a taxi (that would have to be paid for by the staff themselves and would be out of financial reach for them except for absolute emergency).  Risk assessment of car, My comment: Please note the inaccuracy of the facts provided by the head of care (compared to my report). Please not that it is incorrect that ‘alternative transport was offered’. The head of care even contradict that herself by writing: ‘Maintain the current vehicle until a suitable alternative is found.’ And, that there was no alternative transport (apart from taxi paid for by staff themselves – if they wanted to spend a huge part of their small salary on just getting to work) is evident if reading the documented comments around this matter. No, that was a lie. Though not being a lawyer, police constable or auto mechanic, the nurse also concluded that the vehicle was legal and roadworthy. Please note: a MOT certificate does not, to my best knowledge, include checking if water can be collected in the hollow room of a sun-roof, before drenching the driver at a certain positioning of the car. I claim that the head of nursing (now manager) with this risk assessment clearly showed that she completely lacks understanding of her own professional boundaries.