In his Manx Radio interview with Phil Gawne on May 20 former health minister David Ashford says Dr Rosalind Ranson deserves ‘a great apology’ from the Isle of Man Government, but has declined to apologise himself because ‘there was nothing in the tribunals findings that actually questioned my behaviours towards Dr Ranson’.
Dr Ranson’s 202-page decision document seems to beg to differ with Mr Ashford’s selective memory.
For example, on page 23 Dr Ranson’s KC Mr Segal summarised the evidence of the minister as ‘practised and diplomatic seemingly guided by the principle of deniability of anything potentially inconvenient’; page 23 refers to the tribunal considering the evidence of the minister as ‘not always consistent or easy to support’; and page 42 sees letters of recommendation being sent to minister Ashford on behalf of Dr Ranson when he believed everything Kathryn Magson said against Dr Ranson.
Mr Ashford put a chief executive officer’s advice before a medical director regarding medical information which caused a delay in closing the borders.
Page 47 outlines an e-mail from Dr Ranson to Mr Ashford stating: ‘We have a window of opportunity at the moment as it is likely we will quickly reach a situation where we are choosing who should be ventilated’.
Page 50 sees Dr Ranson discussing these fears of the medical professionals with minister Ashford, and explained that ‘without significant controls in place, health and social care services might reach capacity’.
Page 51 sees the tribunal concluded from the evidence of minister Ashford that at least some of Dr Ranson’s concerns were justified (page 54).
Page 60 refers to ‘in contrast to what he had testified in cross-examination’, i.e. a change of story.
Page 63 states minister Ashford started the spread of the false unfounded ‘burn-out message of Dr Ranson’.
On page 66 Mr Ashford was to ask why a video of Dr Ranson’s did not go out, but ‘he never did provide any explanation’.
Page 70 states the tribunal was satisfied that minister Ashford did not want to hear directly from Dr Ranson, and Dr Allinson’s evidence was that he had asked about direct access and that ‘this request had been refused’ (page 71).
Page 107 states ‘Miss Magson gave the minister the (misleading) impression that the Complainant had failed to complete tasks in a timely manner leading to the minister reprimanding the Complainant saying this was ‘unacceptable’ when the Complainant was not at fault’.
Page 115 sees Mr. Ashford saying: ‘I do worry with the state of mind she’s in. We can’t have a presentation where officers are contradicting each other, the CM would finally be a cardiac case.’
He was clearly not worried enough to enquire with Dr Ranson herself, and even saw fit to joke about his own line manager who had a stroke in September 2021.
Page 116 confirms minister Ashford had no direct dealings with Dr Ranson at this time ‘so as to judge her state of mind’.
Pages 144-145 evidence minister Ashford’s witness statement ‘made not a single favourable mention of Dr Ranson’, and yet this did not reflect his view to Dr Patricia Crellin writing ‘Rosalind is an exceptionally talented individual and having worked closely with her I have always found her to be professional’, and ‘I had a high regard for her’.
Mr Segal pointed out that, in effect, ‘this evidence disowned para 14’ of minister Ashford’s written statement.
Minister Ashford had also commented that Dr Ranson had been free to contact him, hence also contradicting the evidence of Dr Allinson.
The tribunal concluded the balance of evidence was that Dr Ranson was warned not to communicate with minister Ashford, despite Dr Ranson’s same status colleague Public Health Director Dr Ewart having direct access to him. None of this is ‘nothing’.
Mr Ashford’s behaviours towards Dr Ranson were most definitely questioned by the tribunal (despite him getting off lightly).
Whether Mr Ashford believes he is at fault or not, or was manipulated by the chief executive officer etc, he personally contributed to Dr Ranson’s hell.
Perhaps if Mr Ashford reacquainted himself with Dr Ranson’s report he may feel, in his own words, better able to ‘reflect on the behaviours that have actually been identified’, apologise to her, and drop the holier than thou re-writing of history.
Name and address supplied
This letter was first published in the Isle of Man Examiner of May 23.
Share your views with our readers.
Write to: Opinions, Isle of Man Examiner and Manx Independent, 18 Finch Road, Douglas, IM1 2PT or email:
Don’t forget to include your name, FULL home address and a daytime phone number even if you want to be anonymous in print.
Obviously, we need to be able to verify the identity of everyone whose letter we publish.
We don’t print phone numbers or full addresses and respect anonymity if the author requests it.