LETTER:NHS managers need commitment

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The Independent Online
From Dr Robert Page

Sir: Although Chris Ham ("The grey suits deserve better treatment", 10 June) is right to draw attention to the need for high quality administration in the NHS, his suggestion that "the suits" currently directing our health service deserve praise rather than criticism rings hollow.

What he fails to highlight is the way in which too many of our NHS managers have been imbued with the ideas of Friedman and Hayek rather than Tawney or Titmuss. As a result, they have failed to understand how high-quality NHS care is dependent on non-exploitative, solidaristic, participative working practices.

The NHS needs secure salaried administrators with a commitment to both patients and staff, rather than "performance-related" managers whose perennial search for market advantage leads them to create so much unnecessary discord in one of our most cherished public services.

Your sincerely,


Lecturer in Social Policy & Administration

University of Nottingham


12 June