In dysfunctional families authority often fails to be exercised at the time of the misdemeanour.  The sanction is delayed; and another force is threatened for a later time.  When there is no `Father’ either the problem is dealt with, unwise compromises are made, or nothing is done at all.

For the `Father` read Health and Social Service Regulators, and for the mother the management of a hospital or care home.  Could it be that the mere existence of the external regulators has led to a reduction in necessary internal sanctions being applied?

The Chief executive of The Co-op when talking of the horsemeat scandal was clear: no matter whether regulators do their job or not, we retailers are responsible for what we sell our customers.

He`s right!  And those responsible for health and social service governance should take note.

Written by Morton Warner, Emeritus Professor

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