Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Money and the NHS

We are forever being told that the NHS needs more money to cope with its ever increasing workload and that all possible economies have been made.

Is this true? Economies may have been made, but the waste appears to continue.

A typical response to any comment about the high salaries of senior administrative staff is that they have to be paid to attract the necessary talents. But is this so? This report from yesterday's Daily Mail surely says it all.

A builder who built his life on 'staggering lies' has been jailed for two years after making more than £1 million over the course of a decade by pretending to have a PhD to become chairman of two NHS Trusts.

The Walter Mitty style health chief fudged his CV in 2004, adding a doctorate which he did not have, and became the chief executive of St Margaret's Hospice in Taunton, earning nearly £100,000 a year.
He chaired the Torbay NHS Care Trust for nearly ten years, from 2007 to 2015, before becoming the chairman of the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust in April 2015. 
But more interesting is the statement that he was said  to have beaten "117 rivals to become chair of Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust."

Surely all this demonstrates the poor quality of the people at the top. With 117 candidates for the post, he was deemed to be the best by the selection committee! Surely this says as much about those who chose him than the man himself. Then perhaps we should also ask about the qualifications of the staff working under him; if he is the best (as no doubt some of the senior staff would have applied for the posts), how good are they?

There are some 200 or more NHS Trusts in the UK, it would be interesting to know about the qualifications of those holding the senior management posts in all of these. How many more totally unqualified people are at the top of some of these trusts? How many got their jobs because of "The Old Pals Act"? How many more hold the posts because they submitted a false CV, or were promoted to a post for which they were not qualified?

I suppose of more concern from a prospective patient's point of view, a relevant question is "How many doctors within the NHS are not really doctors and totally unqualified to treat patients?" If a trust can't be bothered to check up on  a candidate for appointment as chairman, how well does it check candidates for medical roles?

Surely a wide-ranging enquiry is called for into the NHS recruitment procedures and their effectiveness.

1 comment:

  1. Why do we need so many managment boards anyway? They appear to be a fad in the public service.
    I once worked for government and these boards became an epidemic.
    I checked the performance indicators used by the board for our area and one in particular didn't make sense. Eventually I concluded that the other indicators worked against this, impossible surely? So I tracked down the board member responsible for delivering this target and they told me that they got criticised every meeting for not achieving it.
    Then I had a go at the chairman. At first he was in denial but when I explained what the target really meant he suddenly saw the light. "You are the first person in seven years to have brought this up". So meeting after meeting they drew their salaries, tut-tutted at the figures and thought no more about it.