The Gerry Robinson TV programme illustrated the differing systems in NHS and private hospital operating theatres. In the private sector time is money, and so the rate tha cases are moved through theatres is much greater. There are no hold-ups, such as waiting for the porter to bring a patient from the ward. They just get on with it. It also brought out the 'institutionalised inefficiency' of the NHS. The operating theatres at Rotherham General are unused on Friday afternoons, and Sir Gerry was told that the local PCT couldn't pay for more efficient use of a 'precious resource' like this. He went to the Finance Director for Rotherham PCT, and then to Patricia Hewitt, only to discover that the money was not available to keep the operating theatres running on Friday afternoons. The chief executive, Brian James' attitude to Sir Gerry was quite ambivalent. Helen Mooney gave one side of that in her article, but you should have seen the smile on Brian James' face when Sir Gerry told the trust board what a great job he was doing. And the support that Sir Gerry gave the Chief Exec when they tried to break down the barriers to communication between management and the consultants was considerable. I thought the programme was very insightful. I thought it showed how we often make the management of the NHS into an incredibly difficult task, when the truth is it's actually quite straight forward. It's just hard to battle against all the barriers, or as Sir Gerry told the Board, 'the bullshit'. Adrian Tomlinson, studying for an MSc in Health Services Management at Birmingham University.
The Gerry Robinson TV programme illustrated the differing systems in NHS and private hospital operating theatres. In the private sector time is money, and so the rate tha cases are moved through theatres is much greater. There are no hold-ups, such as waiting for the porter to bring a patient from the ward. They just get on with it.
It also brought out the 'institutionalised inefficiency' of the NHS. The operating theatres at Rotherham General are unused on Friday afternoons, and Sir Gerry was told that the local PCT couldn't pay for more efficient use of a 'precious resource' like this. He went to the Finance Director for Rotherham PCT, and then to Patricia Hewitt, only to discover that the money was not available to keep the operating theatres running on Friday afternoons.
The chief executive, Brian James' attitude to Sir Gerry was quite ambivalent. Helen Mooney gave one side of that in her article, but you should have seen the smile on Brian James' face when Sir Gerry told the trust board what a great job he was doing. And the support that Sir Gerry gave the Chief Exec when they tried to break down the barriers to communication between management and the consultants was considerable.
I thought the programme was very insightful. I thought it showed how we often make the management of the NHS into an incredibly difficult task, when the truth
is it's actually quite straight forward. It's just hard to battle against all the barriers, or as Sir Gerry told the Board, 'the bullshit'.

Adrian Tomlinson, studying for an MSc in Health Services Management at Birmingham University.