I write as an non-executive director from a disbanded primary care trust. Seen from here, the appointment process to the new PCTs was a farce.
My chair applied as a NED for the new strategic health authority but received a standard rejection letter from the recruitment consultants, thanking the applicant 'for their interest in the NHS'.
None of the NEDs in our PCT were called for interview, although all had applied to the new one, and had got through the first sift. This could not have been a reflection on our performance in office, as we were one of the better PCTs in our county. Nor was anyone living locally appointed, which means our area now has no representative on the board of the new PCT.
The first act of the PCT was to announce that they were scrapping plans for a new hospital in our patch. It would appear that the new chair did not want anyone on the board who might stand in the way of this retreat.
The new chair does not live in the area covered by the PCT. Previously she had run a PCT which was one of the bottom 11 performers in the country.
Is it any wonder that we discarded NEDs feel upset?
This feeling is not limited to the non-execs but applies to the total workforce. They have been through a bruising six months and continue to work in the face of 'at risk' letters. Perhaps HSJcould, after the dust has settled, commission an informed review of workforce management during the multiple changes suffered since the Salmon Report.
At some stage, management and the government must learn that morale has fallen at each transition. Many thanks for your excellent journal.
Annie Elliot, deputy director, clinical performance support unit, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Healthcare Workforce Deanery.