Published: 15/08/2002, Volume III, No. 5818 Page 31
Publisher: Beechwood House Publishing (in association with the NHS Confederation). 850 pages.£79.50 (NHS)/£99 (non-NHS). Annual and two-yearly subscription deals available. 01375-644 344.
The dust is settling after the biggest ever shake-up of NHS structures.But for a few weeks this spring, finding people in the brave new NHS of primary care trusts, strategic health authorities and vanishing regional offices was well nigh impossible.
Sympathise with the cheerful receptionist who answered the phone to an HSJ reporter with the name of her old (community) trust and, when asked if this wasn't a new PCT, said: 'Oh yes, That is right.They've changed the name again - but We are all the same people.'
Meanwhile, pity the staff of Binley's, the company that produces the indispensable Directory ofNHS Management. It must have taken heroic efforts to collate the information for the latest edition, yet Summer 2002 seems to have worked out the new structures and filled in the bulk of the details of staff working in them.
The opening section - mergers and dissolutions tables 2002 - shows the scale of the changes. In small type, it takes 20 pages to chronicle the demise of old, familiar names and the arrival of new ones.
Binley's has been publishing the directory for a decade: back in 1990, the internal market was in full swing and Binley's was listing the organisations that made competition work. In 2000, the directory has found it worthwhile to list 'shared services organisations'- five pages that suggest the new co-operative ethos is finding concrete form.
Otherwise, there are the familiar, yellow 'quick index'pages and the salmon-pink 'town index', which is destined to be particularly wellthumbed this year as a guide to organisations that now exist from Aberaeron to York.
There are the green maps of strategic health authority areas, the bulky white pages of trust listings, the multicoloured pages of Department of Health, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish and personal details.
Binley's is up to date and remarkably accurate. It will certainly be needed for another decade - whatever the NHS looks like at the end of it.