‘A fight has broken out between a couple of balding, geeky, thin male strategy directors who are trying to stab each other with Montblanc pens’

To: Don Wise, chief executive

From: Paul Servant, assistant chief executive

Re: Wildlife


Dear Don

Things have taken a rather weird turn down at the new SHA headquarters.

After my initial meeting with Dean Dean (I know, his parents thought it was cool! His dad’s called Dean too! - he prefers ‘Mean Dean’) the new chief executive and I hung around chatting with some of the public health bods before the wine reception.

It made me wonder, why on earth do these public health docs look so unhealthy with their loose skin, sunken eyes, un-ironed clothes and comfortable shoes?

Natural groupings were emerging and I could easily imagine David Attenborough peering at us from the bushes and describing the different species of manager who had descended on an oasis in the Serengeti:

‘This remarkable scene is a rare opportunity to witness NHS managers in their natural wild habitat. Over to the far side is a collection of squat females and males sharing common attributes of stunted development, poor fashion and aversion to bright lights and loud noises. These creatures - known collectively as primary care trust chief executives - are shunned by the rest of the species and appear to mimic each others’ behaviour blindly.

‘On the other side of the gathering, a fight has broken out between a couple of balding, geeky, thin male strategy directors who are trying to stab each other with Montblanc pens, if you listen carefully you can just hear them shouting at each other: I could have been a chief executive you know; I could have been a contender.

‘As the evening progresses, the sun sets and the shadows lengthen, and we become aware of a group of turnaround directors lurking in the shadows, detectable only by their red, glowing eyes and especially pungent droppings.’

I’m interrupted from these thoughts by Mean Dean Dean - so mean they named him twice - grabbing my arm and saying, ‘Paul, mate, been lookin’ out for ya fella. Got a little project I want to show ya.’

To be continued…