Letter: Management levels in the health service

Sir: Paying for good management in the NHS is not something to be ashamed of, but your report of a tenfold increase in the salary bill for NHS managers is highly misleading (5 September). In 1987 only the top two or three staff in each health authority, for a total of 800, were counted as 'general management'. Now 'general management' is taken to include about 13,000 managerial staff, down to those earning pounds 14,000 a year. These are not new posts but a reclassification of jobs. Pay for these managers has actually risen 21.8 per cent since 1989, when the new system was introduced.

It was a shame that the Secretary of State for Health was unable to give this simple explanation of the figures. What has actually caused any unnecessary growth in 'bureaucracy' is the Government's drive to commercialise the NHS as new managers are appointed to run a damaging market system.

Yours sincerely,


General Secretary

National and Local

Government Officers Association

London, WC1