To: Don Wise, chief executive

To: Don Wise, chief executive

From: Paul Servant, assistant chief executive

Re: Musical chairs


Dear Don

It’s strange how you don’t really notice people you work with regularly until something blows up. They just become unnoticed parts of the furniture. I suppose that’s why he’s called the chair..Sir Rupert has not pricked the consciousness of the trust since his appointment last year..

He is obviously well qualified for the job: Harrow, Balliol, Scots Guards, family bank in the city and membership of 13 quangos.

Who’s Who lists his hobbies as collecting walking sticks and sucking humbugs. His main contact with healthcare is through the family physician in Harley Street and he is keen on homeopathic remedies. This is a man who thinks ‘patients’ is a card game for people who can’t spell.

As I said, no-one would have noticed him were it not for the issue of the two gentlemen from Moscow. They have come to build, run and own an NHS elective treatment centre on our site.

The first we knew about this was when they turned up with their Bulgarian architect for a meeting with the chair.

This raised immediate suspicions, because it is the first time he has ever been known to have a meeting about hospital business since he started. The next day we got a call from the SHA to explain that a contract had been signed with Laundering Roubles Through NHS Hospitalski (Moscow) Ltd and the board must approve this at its next meeting. I pointed out they were here already and this call felt like Japan declaring war after Pearl Harbour.

Sure enough at the board meeting Sir Rupert sprung into action for the first time. He declared that he approved the plan to hand over trust assets to the men from Moscow and that the SHA will not accept any opposition to this plan.

He then informed us that we have no right to discuss or challenge what has been ordained by the SHA’s divine will, as expressed by ministers, who serve Her Majesty, who is appointed by God.

Divine retribution will be delivered through instant P45s.