"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Too Many Managers in the NHS

This was the clarion call of the Tories during the election. In fact at a hustings the Tory candidate wheeled out the tired on statistic that in 2009 the increase in the number of managers rose five times more than the increase in the number of nurses. This was his justification for cutting the numbers of managers in the NHS. Unfortunately, the format of the hustings did not allow me to put him straight on this nonsense statistic.

First, managers make up 3.6% of the NHS workforce. Yet ONS figures say that for the UK work force overall 16^ of working people are managers.

Second, the numbers of managers in the NHS goes up and down. In 2004 and 2005, for example, the number of managers went down. So why carp about an increase?

This last point has been highlighted by recent figures from the NHS Information Centre that says that

"The NHS employed 1151 fewer managers and senior managers in March this year than in April (a 2.8% fall)"

Have we seen the Conservative government congratulating the previous Labour government on this "excellent" reduction in the number of managers? No, of course not. The fact is the rise in NHS managers in 2009 was used politically, and Lansley knows damned well that to keep the NHS running under his damaging privatisation plans he needs managers. This fall of 1000 managers will make Lansley sweat.

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