Hub and spoke?

Fine by me, as long as I’m a hub. Shared back office? Fine by me, as long as it’s mine, mine, mine, mine, mine.  Thus spake the half day SHA facilitated workshop aimed at encouraging the warring tribes to bury the hatchet long enough to negotiate a collective discount on the price of paperclips.

Not that we actually know how much we spend on paperclips or that we would share the information even if we did, the former due to coding variation and the latter because the sharing of such information is against the omerta of the procurement fraternity. An omerta created, maintained and sponsored by the Unholy Alliance of the NHS Suppliers and the Infantry of Representatives, with the generous support of the UK sandwich industry.

Shared payroll? The sin that dare not speak its name following the merger of the two PCT departments in 2008 and the non-payment of NED expenses for three straight months. Shared HR?  Usual problem of where to get HR advice on getting rid of the director of HR. Shared IT departments? If history teaches us one thing…

OK, looks like it’s time for another pop at pathology. Not including histopathology. Or not including cellular pathology, to be more precise. And maybe not microbiology, what with MRSA and all that on-the-ground stuff that requires the kind of advice that will get you through a winter bed crisis or two. So we’re talking chem path. Well chem path reagents, really. And a journey to the very heart of the procurement omerta. Which move us neatly to pharmacy. Hang on, we’re doing that already.

As I’ve said before, in times of trouble go with what you know. We need a workshop, a debate on subsidiarity and the role of the SHA commercial board and perhaps a quick blamestorm at NHS Supplies. And meanwhile, can you see if those procurement boys can get us barrel loads of fiddles and a few one way flights to Rome. Omerta permitting.