Letter: Only consensus approach will save the NHS

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The Independent Online
Sir: Involving doctors in management is what the new NHS is all about. If Jeremy Lee-Potter (Comment, 20 January) has missed that point and sees this merely as window dressing or tinsel, no wonder he feels out of step with the recent changes in th e service.

Of course, there will be concerns that both doctors and managers will share, but what is needed is a consensus approach rather than futile attempts to lay the blame at each other's door. Luckily, there are many consultants who are working well with NHS managers, respecting each other's professional perspectives and putting the patient first.

If consultants are to be free to pursue their professional activities, it is essential that they are backed by equally professional managers. And, quite rightly, they should be rewarded locally for successful team working.

In today's rapidly changing NHS, there is no room for old hierarchies and certainly not for inflated egos from either managers or doctors. Dr Potter's lions and donkeys analogy is unfortunate from any vantage point.

Yours faithfully PHILIP HUNT Director National Association of Health Authorities and Trusts Birmingham