Tribal allegiances

One interesting concept to arise from the independent Hillsborough inquiry is the role of “tribalism” in both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service in obfuscating the role of police failure in the disaster (your report, 17 August).

Unfortunately, this very same tribalism in the health service is one reason why elderly care, and particularly dementia care, has been allowed to be neglected for so long.

Thus, whenever a report is published highlighting abuse and neglect in elderly care, members of the medical tribe (doctors as well as nurses) resist the criticism, which invariably leads to the neglect and abuse persisting.

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Hence I can safely predict that before the end of the year we will have another report on 
the abuse and neglect of elderly patients.

Homosapiens like to think of ourselves as intellectually sophisticated and progressive, but we invariably regress into primitive tribal allegiances when attacked or criticised.

Loyalty is to be lauded as a character trait but easily drifts into blind tribal allegiance.

Neil Sinclair

Clarence Street

Edinburgh