Thursday, 24 November 2011

Bothered and beleaguered

Last week, the Westmorland Gazette's front page lead was an exciting story about a Morecambe Bay NHS Trust whistleblower who was calling for the head of the Trust to resign.
It is not the sort of story to go away and in the intervening week the colostomy bags have really hit the fan.
The NHS Trust executive in question has refused to resign. A local GP claims that staff are too frightened to speak out. And local MP, Tim Farron, has been swamped with similar complaints about the Trust.
As Private Eye has extensively reported, whistleblowers are not exactly flavour of the month at the NHS. There has even a website set up especially to preserve their anonymity when disclosing information to the press. And given that the local whistleblower in question has identified a specific individual, it’s a fun-packed legal minefield for a newspaper cartoonist.
However, not one to be daunted, here are the sketches I pitched for this week’s front page cartoon. 
Number 4, you’ll notice, isn’t about the NHS; a twinning scheme has been set up to highlight the lack of public toilets in third world areas like Grasmere and Bowness. This was offered as a backup in case the other three attracted too many legal problems.
You can see which cartoon made the front page by buying the Gazette or visiting my website after 3pm today.