The Department of Health is the second worst-performing government department, The Times told its readers at the weekend. It reported that the review by business leaders and public sector chiefs commissioned by cabinet secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell was damning about the DoH's 'lack of direction'.
The paper quoted the review: 'There is currently no single clear articulation of the way forward for the whole of the NHS, health and well-being agenda. Consequently, staff and stakeholders are unclear about the vision for health and social care and feel little sense of ownership of it.' The article says the review also states senior managers are not clearly accountable for their actions, saying the DoH 'lacks staff with skills in economic and policy analysis' and fails to learn from past mistakes.
The Sunday Telegraph told readers 'bonuses awarded to NHS bureaucrats have soared by nearly a third as thousands of health workers have lost their jobs'. It said nearly£1.5m was paid in bonuses to 231 'senior' civil servants in the DoH and related agencies in the last year, a rise of 29 per cent. It quoted Karen Jennings, head of health at public sector union Unison, who said the bonuses left frontline staff 'feeling like second-class citizens'.
The Daily Telegraph wrote of the 'fiasco over recruitment' leaving one in five junior doctors feeling 'suicidal' over the application system for training posts. A quote from a Royal College of Psychiatrists survey said 94 per cent of the junior doctors surveyed had been 'more stressed than normal' over the period.