Letters

I suspect that many health service managers reading your comment on Greater Glasgow health board chief executive Chris Spry's resignation ('When getting a life means getting out of the firing line', page 19, 26 April) found themselves nodding in agreement. Highlighting this issue is essential, but more importantly seeking ways to resolve the problem is crucial.

One of the reasons for increased pressure on NHS leaders is society's quite justifiable demand for an individual in an organisation to take responsibility for that organisation's actions. It would be unacceptable to revert to the faceless corporation persona so commonly used as a shield in the past.

However, this 'off with their heads' approach is neither helpful nor sustainable, and is at odds with the philosophy underpinning governance.

Those who have cause to complain - be it staff, users, health authorities or others - should be seeking resolution, not resignations.

One further word of caution.

In the 1970s and 1980s the cupboard marked 'nurses' was full and overflowing, but faced with unsustainable pressures and poor job satisfaction, many voted with their feet and left the public sector. Likewise that box marked 'NHS managers', which is currently well stocked and abundant, could suffer the same fate unless the warning signs which you highlighted so succinctly are acknowledged. Looking for solutions to this dilemma is surely the next step.

Sue Southon Bromley