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The root cause of professional cynicism regarding Mr. Milburn's new
way is awareness that the NHS needs such large cohort of managers in order
to deal with the enormous and growing amount of bureaucracy that the
Department of Health and its child organisations demand. Having lived
through several previous cycles of NHS reorganisation, my personal view is
that until such time as the DoH recognises this problem, we are unlikely
to see any cut in the amount of paperwork.
There is very little in Mr. Milburn's speech to indicate that a
significant reduction in command and control is likely, so I don't agree
that he should be given the benefit of the doubt. In evidence, I point to
his "abolishing" of the Regional Offices. As ever, nothing Mr. Milburn
says is quite what it seems, and in this case "abolish" means "reduce by
50%". All I can say is thank God this man is not in charge of abolishing
anything important, like slavery.