Are there any administrators in the declining UK health services? We need more professionals, and we get managers.

The recent headlines on health service management numbers reveals the impotence of the politicians. The fact is that these are administrators who sore paid as managers. They need contraception and/or sterilization, rather than reproduction. Perhaps they are “cloning” in preparation for the thousands of new doctors they are recruiting from thin air…… are there any administrators? The emperors (politicians) have no clothes.

Chris Smyth reported in the Times 1st march 2018: NHS manager numbers up, but GP and nurses down. And he had warned us before, on 17th February with Hiring of NHS managers soars by over a quarter In  only 5 years.

NHS manager numbers have risen by a quarter in five years and are higher than before the implementation of reforms designed to cut bureaucracy.

The increase in administrative staff far outstrips that for doctors and nurses over the same period, provoking anger from health unions.

More than 6,000 managers have been hired since April 2013 when controversial reforms by Andrew Lansley, then health secretary, came into effect, abolishing more than 150 NHS organisations and making thousands redundant.

The Times has previously revealed that pay-offs for managers have cost £2 billion, with at least £92 million given to staff who were quickly rehired. They included a married pair of NHS managers who were given new jobs at the same hospital months after a redundancy settlement of £1 million between them.

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has defended the reforms on the ground that they had saved money by cutting bureaucracy. Yet analysis of NHS Digital figures by the Health Service Journal finds that manager numbers have grown almost without interruption since the reforms took effect.

The 26,051 full-time equivalent managers and senior managers in April 2013 grew to 32,133 in October last year. This exceeds the 31,041 recorded on the eve of the reforms in March 2013.

The latest figures include a 26 per cent increase in senior managers, who earn £77,653 on average, to 10,279. Ordinary managers earn an average of £47,459.

Nursing numbers have increased by 4.6 per cent since April 2013, to 287,147, but there is concern about the rising numbers of nurses that left the NHS last year. Doctors are up 11 per cent to 109,679.

Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nurses, said: “The public don’t want to see the NHS haemorrhaging nurses but hiring more managers. The health service must be well run but the majority of patient care is given by nursing staff. Standards are being hit as their number dwindles.”

Yesterday it emerged that managers in a hospital in Grimsby were drafted on to wards to help to deal with a shortage of clinical staff. They wore scrubs and gloves to help with making beds, collecting medicine and serving meals after nurses called in sick. The Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital insisted that they were not involved in direct patient care.

Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust think tank, said that the Lansley reforms, and subsequent attempts to unpick the least popular elements, had left the NHS with an “alphabet soup of new structures”.

“It’s not surprising manager numbers have gone back up again but the question we want to ask is not are there more or less managers, but is what they are doing adding more value?”, he added.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Not only are the NHS recruiting more senior managers, but they’ve also increased salaries at a faster rate than that of nurses. Taxpayers expect their money to be spent fairly.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “We have record numbers of dedicated frontline staff working on our wards while there are actually 3,600 fewer managers compared to 2010. We will continue to work with NHS Trusts to cut bureaucracy and red tape even further.”

And the recent article:

The NHS is losing nurses and GPs while senior managers are the fastest-growing group of staff, official figures show.

Demoralised frontline workers are quitting and there are not enough trained doctors and nurses to replace them, unions have warned.

Data from NHS Digital shows the equivalent of 283,853 full-time nurses in hospitals at the end of September last year, down 435 from 12 months earlier. There is mounting concern about higher numbers of nurses quitting the NHS because of rising workloads and stagnant pay.

GP numbers were down 742 to 33,062 despite a government pledge of a 5,000 boost to the workforce by 2020. Figures showed that public satisfaction with GP services hit a record low last year.

Managers were up 3 per cent to 21,673 while senior managers, paid an average of £77,653, were up 7 per cent to 10,282.

Janet Davies, head of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “It feels to front-line nursing staff that, in a cash-strapped NHS, they have become an easy target for cuts. It will be galling when they see senior management burgeoning too — now officially the fastest growing part of the NHS.”

Candace Imison, of the Nuffield Trust think tank, said: “The NHS actually spends relatively little on management compared to other countries, so I’m not too worried by the relatively small increase in the number of managers. What does worry me is the GP and nursing numbers. This isn’t a question of the NHS intentionally reducing numbers. We haven’t trained enough in recent years and there is no strategy in place which will guarantee that changes.”

Many NHS bosses are more concerned about the difficulty of recruiting trained staff than about money. Official estimates say the NHS could need another 190,000 frontline staff over the next decade.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “NHS staff are our greatest asset and whilst there are now record numbers working in the NHS, investing in our workforce will continue to be a top priority. That’s why we recently announced the biggest ever increase in training places for both doctors and nurses, as well as helping existing staff to improve work/life balance and work more flexibly.”

This entry was posted in A Personal View, General Practitioners, Nurses, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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