End Game will not hear it said that the new NHS commissioning system is exactly the same as the old one, except with less money and a few doctors getting in the way for the first year or so.
Commissioning support units, for example, are nothing like anything that existed in the earlier age of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities.
Ample evidence of this is provided by NHS South CSU, whose new website features an exciting use of absurdist principles on its “meet the team” page.
Not for this innovative quasi business the usual dismal headshots. No – here’s performance director Mark Smith, gurning over two chess men, one of which has been coloured luminous green. And there’s managing director Keith Douglas, tossing a ball in the air while holding a mug with his own name on.
Chief finance officer Simon James, meanwhile, is pictured engrossed in a copy of Roald Dahl’s Completely Revolting Recipes.
And at the bottom of the index page there’s a speech bubble with nothing in it.
Were End Game not a massive fan of CSUs we would have wondered what on earth they were playing at, and might even question how seriously they’re taking… well, anything really. But since it’s them, we warmly commend this innovative use of disconcerting, dreamlike imagery. We hope it will shock local commissioners out of stale ways of thinking and subvert the normal conventions of what is considered possible, or appropriate, or indeed dignified among senior NHS managers.
Although we do wonder how this reflects on NHS England, which is hosting CSUs for the foreseeable future.