Published: 27/05/2004, Volume II4, No. 5907 Page 36

Adrian Connolly is general manager of BUPA's Redwood diagnosis and treatment centre in Surrey

Monday 12 April: When I arrive, senior nurses Nina and Jenny brief me on the admissions so far this morning and the administration manager updates me on forecast admissions for that week.There are operational matters with partner and customer Surrey and Sussex Healthcare trust as there are extra patients to list at short notice.

The next task is to review my team's proposals for staff salary increases.We have a mix of NHS-seconded and BUPA staff, and must operate two aligned but separate pay and reward policies.

My first appointment this afternoon is to meet the Department of Health to discuss the way medical staff training is affected by the fact that Redwood is now carrying out a significant proportion of local elective healthcare. I meet with our deputy finance director and the NHS trust's head of patient access to discuss the patient volumes we are expected to deliver for the next three months.We recognise there is a mismatch between demand and short-term supply and agree on actions.

Tuesday 13 April: Straight into team leader briefing session.Most pleasing of all, we give some awards to staff in recognition of specific achievements and good ideas. It is time to meet some of the surgeons in theatres.Visibility is important as I have been off site recently; I have deliberately set aside time to be in theatre and endoscopy.

Wednesday 14 April: In Edinburgh as part of a group of senior managers who are reviewing market forecasts we have developed and what it means for the company.

Thursday 15 April: In London to review month-end results and contract year-end performance with the financial controller.We will be meeting with the NHS formally next week to finalise the current contract's year-end position.There will also be the small matter of agreeing the year-end balancing payment.

Conference call with BUPA's NHS business development team to follow up on action points from earlier in the week.The lead general managers are giving the team an update on the capacity they have in each hospital.

Friday 16 April: A key task is to prepare for next week's steering group meeting with NHS partners.We need to finalise the arrangements for the patient satisfaction survey, which is vital feedback for us - we compare our results to other BUPA units and NHS patient surveys. I find time to agree the agenda items for next week's senior management team meeting as well as review some of our routine health and safety/governance reports.

Time to meet my PA.There are bundles of mail to review and sign and plenty of telephone calls to return.As it is Friday, I want to get home in time to see the children who will want to tell me about all the adventures they had this week. I wonder how they compare to mine!