headsmatter | When sorry doesn’t seem to be the hardest word
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When sorry doesn’t seem to be the hardest word

25 May When sorry doesn’t seem to be the hardest word

How many times in recent months have we read and heard that bodies and organisations who’ve failed people and their families, are sorry.

When people are dead as a result of incompetence, negligence and downright failures to take any sort of care, what good does an apology do?

Apologies do not bring people back. They don’t mend bodies or hearts.

People’s lives are changed forever when tragedy strikes and saying sorry is not enough.

It’s important that those responsible are seen to be human enough to come out and apologise, but standard responses trotted out to make people appear to be sympathetic don’t fool anyone.

” Our thoughts are with the families” are they? Really?

No. Your thoughts are with your own children, wives, lovers, friends because that’s how people cope with the job they do and the situation they’re in. The bereft, cheated, mistreated and abused must carry on with the fall out of what’s happened, but you in front of the media can make your statement and go back to your life. You are the sorry public face and that’s all.

So what would a real apology mean?

We believe it should be the start of a determined effort to change systems, procedures and people so that what’s happened can never devastate another family again. Keeping staff in positions where they’ve already made life changing mistakes and not altering systems that have caused catastrophic errors, means that lessons aren’t learned and people continue to suffer.

Money can ease the financial demands of a life long condition but for most people affected by professional cock-up, especially when a loved one has died, the reassurance that what happened to them will never happen to another is the real reward.

Sorry should never be the hardest word but it also shouldn’t be the easiest.