To: Don Wise, chief executive

To: Don Wise, chief executive

From: Paul Servant, assistant chief executive

Re: Ahoy

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Dear Don

This is a quick note of appreciation to thank you for inviting me to join your crew in the NHS Regatta last week. It was a truly invigorating experience and your skippering was masterful in frustrating circumstances. No reasonable person could blame us for the faulty boat that caused us to come 50th out of 50.

Indeed, your considered argument that we could have done worse were. it not for your leadership was lost on. no-one.

It is on reflection that I appreciate the qualities of our executive crew and how you were using the regatta to develop team and leadership. qualities. As a training exercise, the team learned so much.

An early lesson for us all was how important communication is, as exemplified by putting the director of strategy in charge of the radio and navigation. How different might the result have been if he had shared the route with you.

Equally, having the medical and nursing directors in charge of the mainsail and jib respectively provided an abject lesson in the necessity of having our sails rigged to complement each other.

I think the estates director could not have had a better health and safety refresher course and will not forget the life jackets next year.

Although it has to be said that he did redeem himself by helping the search and rescue helicopter haul your PA to safety after the boom launched her into the Solent.

The Regatta Ball was an eye-opener, with every sort of NHS creature imaginable represented.

It was lucky we had the finance director with us when those busybodies from the PCT came over with the rule book to dispute our seamanship. He was able to demonstrate that our activity was well within agreed limits.

I presume it is with them in mind that the chief medical officer has announced a review of venous thromboembolism. It’s about time we dealt properly with clots in the NHS.