Having ascertained in my last blog that your form-filling is a frustrating hindrance, let me interrupt it for just a moment with another thought on all that horrible admin.

We appear to have arrived at a situation where interims are now employed to zap through the day job, leaving permanent employees to shuffle the, dare I say it, brown stuff.

Associates employed on a day rate are at liberty to log off at 5 or 6 o'clock, waving bye bye sweetly as the rest of you trail through the rubbish that gets in the way of your being able to take the marvellously decisive action you do. Or don't, more likely. Why has this come about? And what does it mean for patients?

The why of it, of course, includes regulation to some degree. But it's not the only culprit. Much of it is about attitude. An accepted part of any senior role, private or public sector, includes adherence to legal requirements, and all organisations in the country are subject to audit in some shape or form.

Where the private sector gets it right is in being able to ensure compliance with key legal requirements and health standards whilst minimising the burden on staff. What do we need to do in the health service to achieve the same end? And where should interims fit in to this? Answers on a postcard please...

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