Intended for healthcare professionals

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Views & Reviews Personal View

An unusual visit to court

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 10 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1377

Rapid Response:

Who needs them?

Dr Paul Tomas of the University of Glamorgan was featured on BBC
Wales this
week (the programme was made in Wales so obviously not fit for UK wide
consumption), He believes public services do not need managers and almost
proved his point somewhat spectacularly in persuading workers in Blaenau
Gwent to manage themselves (a few bin men resisted).

His argument is persuasive, particularly in light of this Trust’s
attitude to one of its valued staff. One point that clearly came across in
Thomas’ programme was that management often behave as though the work
force are there to serve them. When will NHS managers learn that they are

to serve patients and the staff that care for them.

It is been my experience that NHS managers (many former clinicians)
have a
callous disregard for patients and staff. Companies such as Four Seasons,
Google and Starbucks (whatever you may think of them) maintain high
productivity by valuing their staff.

Managerialism as practised in many Trusts and Health Boards is a cult
and is
destroying the NHS rather than strengthening it. It is time it was seen
what it is.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 March 2010
Richard Bartley