NEWS: Private-sector recruitment backfires. . . An end to 'quasi-commercial' language. . . How to axe managers. . . Messy, miserable staff must go

Recruiting health authority members with private-sector skills has backfired, according to a report by the King's Fund for the Department of Health. Co-author Chris Ham said HAs needed people with links to their local communities and who tended to come from local authorities or voluntary organisations. The DoH has banned council members from sitting on HAs and urged the recruitment of candidates with 'business-like skills'.

The 'quasi-commercial' language used to discuss the internal market reforms should end, said Bill Darling, chair of the National Association of Health Authorities and Trusts. Words like 'markets', 'contracting' and 'competition'helped create 'the erroneous impression that the NHS is becoming a commercially driven organisation'.

The Scottish NHS Management Executive has sent advice to health boards on removing middle-ranking and middle-aged managers who face 'difficulty in adapting to new ways of working'. It suggests an 'action checklist'for terminating managers'contracts including an agreement to release a 'positive public statement', and 'access to a range of confidential career counselling'.

Doctors and unions have criticised Brighton HA for spending£2,000 on a newspaper advertisement promoting the benefits of the internal market reforms.

The campaign was the idea of the HA's new chair, John Spiers. He said he had chosen the most cost-effective way of telling local people about 'the successful changes in Brighton'.

Staff at Guy's and Lewishamtrust risk losing their jobs on their appearance or attitude. Proposals for choosing which 92 staff are made redundant to meet£6. 8m of cuts suggest those who are 'messy, grubby, or who look in a bad mood'should be rated 'poor'and those who smile at 'customers'would win a 'good' rating.