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Author Topic: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?  (Read 2014 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« on: September 01, 2016, 09:52:10 pm »
Wherever has the notion sprung from that an apology from some public body is enough to get them out of the mire when their actions have had serious repercussions?

Here are just a few from NHS Highland, but the same thing is repeated by police, politicians and public bodies all over Britain:

# NHS Highland sorry for delays diagnosing woman's tumour.
#Apology to brain damaged girl's parents who sued NHS for 10.5m
#NHS Highland apologises for failing dementia patient.
#NHS Highland apologises for care of premature baby
#NHS Highland apologises to dead girls family
#NHS Highland issue apology for patient's bedsore

Whoopee - someone has said sorry!!!   Some of the 'apologies' I've seen are said through gritted teeth, or with obvious insincerity.  Surely what the subscript reads more as is 'oh sh**, I've cocked up here, how can I save my own neck?'
Are people really satisfied that 'someone' has said sorry on behalf of a large institution, when their child has died, or been born brain damaged, some politician has lied through his teeth while in office, or someone's soldier son or daughter has been killed for lack of decent equipment?   Will they really think 'oh that's fine then, someone's said sorry' ?
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 09:58:00 pm by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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paddy1200

  • Joined Dec 2013
Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 10:18:00 pm »
With you on that one.
How can a government/institution apologise for things that have gone wrong. They do not speak on behalf of the wrong doers, people apologising for things that happened many years ago(maybe before they were born) really gets my goat, no sincerity or understanding of the consequences.It would be much better if they didn't bother.

Louise Gaunt

  • Joined May 2011
Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2016, 08:43:00 am »
It is just words, uttered purely to say something. In most cases, the apology is then followed by those two hackneyed phrases "lessons have been learnt" and " systems will be put in place to avoid this happening again" we all know nothing changes, the apology is meaningless, but the person in the suit wheeled out in front if the cameras has done their given job, shame they don't do their job away from the spotlight a little more effectively.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2016, 09:04:58 am »
In the end of the day whatever wrong they did may not be able to be corrected so suing may be the only way to ensure it doesn't happen again. It's a shame we've followed America into this "sue 'em" world

Yes, some may accept it - but others go the full mile and sue.  I sure would! 
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2016, 09:20:56 am »
Quite often, the victim of the failure says that recognition of that failure is as important as - or even more important than - compensation and learning lessons. 

Sometimes you hear of situations in which, even though everything that can be done to redress the situation has been done, the victim or the victim's family cannot rest because the Trust or whatever has not admitted their failure, and has not said sorry.

So I think the apologies are more about doing exactly that, fronting up to and publicly admitting, the failing, for the benefit of the victims of the failing, than for any misconceived idea that it lets the public body or other responsible party off the hook.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2016, 09:33:54 am »
I agree with Sally but I also think that we have to accept that sometimes mistakes will be made because that is human nature . Are any of us perfect? There are times when mistakes should not happen and times when they will. That might be very, very hard for those people left dealing with the consequences of someones mistake and no an apology will not right the wrong but what else can someone say?


Sueing doesn't stop something happening again but the threat of sueing stops lots of things from happening and people miss out so much because of it. Fortunately I think a more  common sense approach is now taken and you can't so easily sue for everything.








pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2016, 10:06:17 am »
The public apology can sound very hackneyed but it is recognition that something went wrong. Which has to be better than not recognising it as that is the first step of reducing the chance of it happening again. Sometimes there is a genuine dereliction of duty but for most cases I would take a 'walk a mile in their shoes' approach. It is easy to never make a mistake if you never do a job or have a responsibility at least these people have stepped up and tried to do something useful even if they occasionally fail.

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2016, 10:14:56 am »
I think a public apology, if mean't, must be accepted and fine they can't bring that person back. I believe sueing should a last resort, if it has been neglect or nastiness on their behalf then yes sueing is the way to go. Dad saw a woman in A&E once who had a broken arm which she had obtained from falling, or slipping rather, off a ladder in a shop, she said she was going to sue them because it never had yellow and black tape on the sides, now how is that their fault when she was the one who slipped on it? Sometimes sueing is not the answer, that money could go into something else which would benefit everyone. Sueing, although some consolation, it will not bring the person back, if died, who can compensate for that? Sometimes apologies are not enough, but why would sueing them make any difference, its not going to make up for that someone who has died is it? and it may be taking money out of care which could be going to treat patients who are in a similar situation as your loved one was. Although I do approve in some aspects, sueing is not always the way to go about it.
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2016, 11:38:54 am »
As for sueing, I think it depends on the circumstances.  In the case of a baby left brain injured because of a failure of a midwife, or the whole midwifery or NHS system, then that child as it grows is going to need extra care, which takes money.  That's worth sueing for.

Suing gets a bad press because of the cheats.  The scenario which comes to mind is the set-up car crash, where all of the 8 people in the cars in front of and behind the victim, claim to have back or whiplash injuries.  This earns them a load of cash, when in fact they have set up the whole thing themselves.  Shame on them.

Yes, I can see that for some people it really would help for those at fault to stand up and admit that fault and to recognise the hurt and injury they have caused.  I suppose it's the insincerity and futility of some of these so-called apologies - were I on the receiving end I would be incensed.   Say sorry on behalf of your company then brush it all under the carpet.

Where changes are made, they are often way too specific.  Maybe someone tripped over a box left on the floor, so from now on, no boxes are to be left on the floor.  This doesn't address the wider problem of general chaos and carelessness which may exist in the workplace of the company.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

   Five Freedoms
   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
   # Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease.
   # Freedom to Express Normal Behavior.
   # Freedom from Fear and Distress

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2016, 04:39:02 pm »
Britain has had sueing practice since before America was 'discovered'. There are documents from 100's of years ago about the worth of different animals and human limbs, etc, killed or damaged by others.

What you want to hear is "it was our/my fault and I'm sorry I made this mistake."
What often comes out is more of a convoluted, fence sitting "this was a difficult decision which had to be made under tough conditions and the hospital trust would like to issue an apology that the outcome involved the tragic loss of baby, etc."

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2016, 06:17:16 pm »
<<< hospital trust would like to issue an apology >>>

If you're into the finer meaning of words and grammar etc, and if you are a pedant as I am, then what that is saying is that they would like to issue an apology, not that they are apologising.  The usual word which would appear after that phrase is 'but'.  That's what I mean when I say 'when is an apology an apology'? That one isn't.  You have brought that bit up well, thanks Step Hen
« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 06:18:49 pm by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

   Five Freedoms
   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
   # Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease.
   # Freedom to Express Normal Behavior.
   # Freedom from Fear and Distress

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2016, 08:05:41 pm »
<<< hospital trust would like to issue an apology >>>

If you're into the finer meaning of words and grammar etc, and if you are a pedant as I am, then what that is saying is that they would like to issue an apology, not that they are apologising.  The usual word which would appear after that phrase is 'but'.  That's what I mean when I say 'when is an apology an apology'? That one isn't.  You have brought that bit up well, thanks Step Hen

I think you're assuming a higher degree of sophistication in use of language than is usually found these days.

But yes, if it were me that had suffered, and the wording was ambiguous, I wouldn't feel as good about it as an umabiguous one.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: When is a public apology an apology, and is it ever enough?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2016, 11:07:08 pm »
A classic in 'non-apology' is the video of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard 'apologising' for ignoring Australian quarantine and import on her toy dogs.  I did a much better job apologising for accidentally importing into California a BLT sandwich that I had bought at Heathrow. Now had I eaten it in transit it would not have been a problem.....

 

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