Letter: NHS managers do not deserve to be reviled

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The Independent Online
Sir: Sandy Macara's letter (15 July) was very revealing. He denied scaremongering about the state of the NHS, and claimed that he and the British Medical Association spent the previous week reassuring patients that doctors are committed to the highest possible standards of care.

First, the BMA and the NHS are by no means synonymous and anything it says about the NHS can only be a trade union view of a major public service and employer. Second, Dr Macara implies that only doctors care. In a professional career that goes back to 1963, I have been aware that there exists in all disciplines in the NHS an enormous amount of dedication to the patients and to the service, and a respect for the medical profession that could, with considerable benefit all round, be reciprocated. Dr Macara's failure to include other groups, especially the hard-working and unjustly reviled 'administrators', undermines the credibility of his oft-repeated thesis.

For my NHS trust, the reforms have not brought the utopian dreams of limitless funding and ecstatic morale so beloved of BMA members with highly selective memories, but an opportunity to fight a good and often successful fight for the proper resources for each case and each service, for new operating theatres, for effective accountability to commissioners and GP fundholders via contracts, and to the public in our imminent annual report and meeting.

The patient must be made a thing of the past: we must welcome the informed, involved customer for our hard and properly rewarded endeavours.

Yours faithfully,

N. H. N. MILLS

Chief Executive

Llandough Hospital NHS Trust

Penarth, South Glamorgan

15 July

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