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Blair Mcpherson

Blair Mcpherson


Blair McPherson was Director of Community Services at Lancashire County Council. He has worked as a Deputy Director in social services and as a senior manager in a large Housing Association. He has been a member of the Professional Executive Committee of three Primary Care Trusts and works closely with a range of organisations in the voluntary, community and not for profit sector. His management career started in Birmingham City Council where he acquired his passion for equality and diversity and his recognition of the need for high quality management. He is a regular contributor to the professional press with over 500 articles published. He is author of four books An Elephant in the Room: An Equality and Diversity Manual, UnLearning Management: Short stories on modern management , People Management in a Harsh Financial Climate and Equipping Mangers for an Uncertain Future published by


Recent activity

Blog Posts (239)

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Comments (162)

  • Comment on: Supplement: Everybody’s talking about integration but can the NHS deliver?

    Blair Mcpherson's comment 10-Apr-2015 2:40 pm

    "everybody is talking about intergration" but are they speaking the same language ? Do they mean better co ordinated health and social care services or do they mean an end to hoot all bed blocking? Do they mean providing people with the services they need in away they want or an end to arguments about who is paying for what? Have they just older people in mind or are they thinking about people with leaning disabilities and those with mental health problems. The issues are different, the issues are long standing but they also come down to money and co ordination. And does the talk of intergration include an understanding that health professional and social care professionals often don't speak the same language when it comes rights and risks are we ignoring the debate on the medical model v the social model which has informed much of the policy on disability over the last 30 years.

  • Comment on: Exclusive: Pay NHS directors £1m bonuses, says Rose

    Blair Mcpherson's comment 1-Apr-2015 8:28 am

    Must be an April fools joke.

  • Comment on: Debunked: Myths about NHS managers

    Blair Mcpherson's comment 31-Mar-2015 2:10 pm

    The NHS 's largest hospital trust in England is being put into special measures after inspectors uncovered serious problems including poor care, understaffing, rockbottom moral and a culture of bullying.This can have come as no surprise to the board, senior management team or wider NHS community since a report commissioned by the trust had previously found bullying and racial discrimination to be widespread. From Mid Staffordshire and Morecambe bay to the 21 trusts now in special measures two disturbing facts emerge, the culture of management bulling is not unique to Barts Health Trust and management is unable or unwilling to stop it. These are not new criticisms but the modern NHS is supposed to have long since moved on from it "macho management" past. Clearly it hasn't. The culture persists despite the heavy investment in management and leadership development. No doubt the extreme pressure trusts have been put under to deliver demanding performance targets whilst meeting ambitious efficiency targets has reinforced a management style based on imposing rather than convincing. Those at the top continue to talk of leadership being about taking staff with you and those responsible for management development emphasis good people management skills but the culture of bullying remains. This is totally unacceptable. The quality of management in the NHS is just not good enough.

  • Comment on: HSJ commission: Social care and housing are important to put older people first

    Blair Mcpherson's comment 25-Mar-2015 3:57 pm

    We have a lot of Residential care homes for older people most are in the private sector. We don't need them! We need nursing homes some of which should specialise in care for people with dementia and we need very sheltered Housing for people who need care and support. This is a commissioning issue which joint NHS and local authority commissioning should address.

  • Comment on: Reconfiguration: Play the long game for successful mergers

    Blair Mcpherson's comment 19-Mar-2015 2:09 pm

    There is a joke that goes ask an accountant what one plus one makes and they will answer " what do you want it to make?" The same could be said of mergers, proposed on the grounds of the financial benefits but supported by a range of hidden motives. Being too small, not having the infrastructure to compete, the finance director wanted a merger, the operations director wanted rid of the chief executive, the chief executive wanted a good severance package. Rumour had it the chair had given up the fight. The top jobs went to their staff we were slotted in. It was their chief executive heading up the new organisation, it was their chair heading up the board. Their head of communications, their head of HR and their head office that was retained. That's why the merger felt more like a take over. No redundancies, jobs for everyone who wanted to stay, salaries and conditions to be "harmonised" but not much harmony in the workforce, vacant posts remain vacant during the recruitment freeze, over work, unpaid overtime, people afraid to take their holidays in case their post was deleted or down graded in their absence, decisions imposed, concerns dismissed, uncertainty over whether your line manager would stay in view of the changes? It certainly wasn't perfect before but we never had this management bullying. An ambitious chief executive views mergers as away of enhancing their status in an area were size matters. One in three mergers, a cross all sectors, fail to deliver the anticipated benefits,bigger does not necessarily mean better or more efficient. Staff are usually seen as the problem as mergers are portrayed as a clash of cultures but if staff and patients "can't see the benefits " well it could be because they are't any for them. Economies of scale and successful Trusts encouraged to take over their failing neighbours we can expect mergers to become more prevalent in an environment driven by rising demand and financial austerity. When this happened in housing a 2012 Chartered Institute of Housing report found that cost, performance and size were not directly linked, that scale does not automatically provide efficiency and that mergers offer no guarantees of improvement.

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