Letter: Hospital reforms leave emergency patients facing needless delays

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The Independent Online
Sir: With reference to your front- page report 'Extra cost of NHS changes challenged' (20 November), I, too, have a view on this, having worked for the NHS from April 1949 to January 1988.

At first I was employed as a radiographer, but later became a medical photographer in charge of a department serving five hospitals. I loved my work and was very happy until the last two years. In 1984, a new system was introduced, involving a system of 'managers'. It was apparently considered that if a man could run a branch of Sainsbury's, he could run a hospital. What actually happened was that over a period of years the number of office staff increased by leaps and bounds.

A few years before my retirement an area manager was introduced in our group. He, in turn, appointed a deputy manager, supplies officer, financial manager and personnel manager. All these people had deputies and also secretaries. There were thus 15 people employed where none had been before, all on inflated salaries, complete with office accommodation and electric typewriters.

The main function of all these individuals seemed to be to hold committees. The only result I ever noticed was a complete mucking up of the stores ordering system, and a considerable waste of time. In the end I refused to go to the committee meetings, and I believe the administrators were pleased when I retired.

There are more important things than 'increases in productivity' in hospital - care of the patient (and staff) is one of them. I see the Government is going to carry out 'a study'. Not another one?

Yours sincerely,

RAY TOOGOOD

Canterbury

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