Do You Know a Nurse Pilgrim?

Last week Guido revealed how Unison rep and former nurse Jane Pilgrim was depriving the public of a nurse in a frontline role at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting. Yesterday the Mail on Sunday exposed how she is also depriving families in need of  housing through the commune of which she is the head.  The Crescent Road Community consist of three dilapidated houses in Kingston upon Thames, where thirty “peace and love” activists live. They have ignored attempts to have them evicted and and are living there illegally.

Nurse Pilgrim is now subject to a double investigation at St Georges, including one into why she was using the image of one of the hospital’s directors to promote her private consultancy without his knowledge or permission. Guido hears that she is in rather a lot of trouble…

The TaxPayers’ Alliance have found 2,493 Pilgrims across the public sector, union officials, paid not to provide the service they represent, but instead do political activities that should be funded by the unions. Without having to pay their staff, the unions can spend the money raised through their subs on other things, like keeping the Labour Party solvent. They’re costing us millions and, as last week’s investigation showed, they’re completely unaccountable. Do you know a Nurse Pilgrim in your hospital or school? Tell Guido

Saturday Seven Up There's a Nurse Pilgrim In Every Hospital

7upLast week saw 77,034 absolute unique visitors make 219,392 visits to view 351,392 pages.

Guido has been doing some digging this week into a Unison representative at St George’s Hospital Tooting. Jane Pilgrim is paid a front line nurse’s salary not to nurse. Instead she is a full-time Unison union bod. Earlier in the week she was slating Lansley in the Evening Standard for coming to the hospital before the election and lying to them about cuts. It turns out “nurse” Pilgrim boycotted the meeting in 2009 for political reasons and made up the quote. 

Guido dug further and it turns out Nurse Pilgrim has been running a sly consultancy firm on the side, and an investigation was launched at the hospitalLook out for more on this “nurse” over the weekend. 

However there is a wider issue at stake. There are thousands of these reps across the country being paid not to teach or save lives, but instead to work for their union. It’s a huge loophole that sees £67 million of taxpayer spending not going to frontline workers, but to the unions, who in turn channel millions of pounds back into the Labour Party. There’s a Nurse Pilgrim in every hospital… 

The top stories last week in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Pilgrim's Progress

The St George’s Hospital Trust was quick to distance themselves from Jane Pilgrim when Guido spoke to them a moment ago. And it’s not hard to see why, take what one St George’s employee said this morning:

“It’s a disgrace that somebody who is in full time ’employment’ with the NHS, is trying to open up a nice little side line that is probably a conflict of interest. I object as a taxpayer to her actions. She is not competent enough to run a piss up in a brewery let alone run a business and this is from personal experience. She must be stopped otherwise she will make St George’s Hospital a laughing stock in the NHS. Does David Astley CEO know about her activities?”

Despite paying her salary, they stress that she acts on behalf of Unison and not them. This didn’t stop her dressing up with a stethoscope for pictures and being happily described as a “nurse” by The Standard though. Guido has put the following questions to their communications team:

  • Given St Georges Trust are the ones that pay Ms. Pilgrim were you aware of her outside consultancy?
  • Do you see any possible conflict of interest with her outside consultancy and her job at the hospital?
  • Were St George’s Trust aware that Director of Transformation Alan Thorne was featured on the consultancy website?
  • Does he have any financial interest in the consultancy?

Guido is patiently waiting on a reply…

Unison have been deeply unhelpful, despite the damage their taxpayer-funded representative is causing them. This is the closest we have got to a comment from them:

Then why lie about being a nurse? Is that the same efficiency drive that saw “staff safaris” to Wagamamas and John Lewis? It seems Mary Maguire, Unison’s head of press, should go back to Jane Pilgrim and ask her why she is active in the Kingston and Surbiton CLP. Last October she was writing about how important it was for Labour to win the next election. Typical holding response though, that does little to address the accusations of dishonesty.

UPDATE: St George’s Tooting are investigating Unison “nurse” Jane Pilgrim. No comment until tomorrow though it seems.

Unison "Nurse" is Privately Pocket Lining Too

Remember our good friend Nurse Pilgrim? She’s the taxpayer-funded, full time Unison union-worker who made up details of a meeting with Lansley that she didn’t attend. Well it appears that whilst we pay for her to work for a trade union she’s lining her pockets in the private sector. Not content with depriving St George’s Tooting of a frontline active nurse, Jane Pilgrim has her own private consultancy firm Pilgrim Way:

“Pilgrimway” beleave [sic.] that Staff engagement and happiness produce productive and successful companies and services. Our consultant “Jane Pilgrim” is an award winner in partnership working and has been able to lead successful staff engagement projects, in the NHS to improve customer care ,work relationships and create great places to work.

We are able to offer packages designed for your needs:-
Team Building
Customer Service Training
Staff Engagement workshops”

Guido’s first thought was “do St George’s know about this?”. Well he hopes this is news to them, but has a feeling they tacitly endorse it. Especially given Alan Thorne, the hospital’s absurdly titled and salaried “Director of Transformation” (paid around £95 – £100,0000 last year) is featured in a photograph on the site:

Thorne and Pilgrim work closely together at St Georges. Do they have a private professional relationship too? Given she’s a burden on the taxpayer full-time, one fellow Unison figure pondered to Guido how this outside consultancy is possibly compatible with her day job? Sadly Nurse Pilgrim is still not talking to Guido. Time to go above her head…

Unison's Taxpayer-Funded Lansley Smearer

Jane Pilgrim is a “nurse” at St George’s Hospital Trust in Tooting, though hospital insiders say she has not worked on the front-line for a very long time. That is because she is the a full time  Unison representative, paid for by the taxpayer not to do her real job. A TPA report into this loophole that the unions exploit said that St George’s was employing 1.6 union officials at a cost of £43,000 to the taxpayer.

So what does Nurse Pilgrim do for this money? Well her CV describes her as “Award Winning Partnership Project Leader”, or in other words, exactly the sort of fodder that should be cut. When Labour were in power this “Award Winning Leader” (and Labour party member,) spent most of her time organising “Staff Safaris” to John Lewis and Wagamamas to “motivate, empower and inspire“, while we picked up the tab. Now she has a new role…

Since May Jane has popped up all over the place attacking the government, she even threatened to go on strike, not that she’s a real nurse. On Monday Jane got a whole headline and piece in The Standard:

Nurse brands Andrew Lansley ‘a liar’
A nurse and Unison representative for St George’s Hospital today branded Health Secretary Andrew Lansley a “liar” for promising frontline employees they would be protected when he met staff before the general election. Jane Pilgrim, 53, a nurse for 33 years, said: “Mr Lansley visited the hospital and told us we would not be affected. He lied to us.”

But the problem for Jane is that some people have a better memory of event in late summer 2009. Sources at the hospital have confirmed that Jane “boycotted” the meeting for political reasons, refusing to meet the then Shadow Health Secretary. Those that did attend say far from Lansley saying there would not be cuts, he infact stated that “he could make no promises and it would be up to local management”. Other people in the meeting have confirmed this version of events.

Jane and her guilty conscience were very sketchy about explaining all this on the phone until she had checked with the regional Unison bod Michael Walker. When Guido called back she point blank refused to engage and threatened an “investigation”:

Could that be because she lied to the Standard?

So here we have a taxpayer funded official, with a pointless job, who has a track record of defending pointless spending, using her position to accuse her ultimate boss of being a liar based on a meeting which she boycotted because she was so politically partisan she could not bring herself to attend.

Why should the public pay for a union smear operation?

UPDATE: Unison’s delightful head of press Mary Maguire seems to awknowledge she doesn’t have a leg to stand on:

‘Fraid it doesn’t quite work like that Mary.

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