I appreciate the disappointment Brian felt about the programme and the programme makers. However, I would argue that there are some critical defects with the approach that says much about the 'Gerry Robinson' style.
He gave no credit to the top team in the trust and paid scant regard to the board and the role of non-executive directors. He also failed to explore the wealth of evidence on good practice, such as all day lists and the pooling of waiting lists.
The challenging question he should have explored was 'Why is it so difficult to get organisations to learn from evidence?' Perhaps one of the answers is that Gerry wants chief executive officers to be the sole focus of performance improvement and staff empowerment!
Bill Sang, healthcare consultant.
Better practices needed
A riveting programme made even more interesting by the negative comments from the chief executive officer. One thing that was not addressed by Sir Gerry, nor could we reasonably expect it to be, was the blatant disregard for hospital superbugs.
If good infection control practices can't be demonstrated when your are appearing on TV, what hope can any of us have for any kind of improvement? A brilliant example of some consultants considering themselves to be beyond reproach?
The TV coverage very clearly showed a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at work in the operating theatre wearing an ethnic style leather and metal pendant necklace over her theatre gown. This in the same week that a leaked NHS document told us of the failure within the NHS to meet targets set for the reduction of MRSA and C. difficile.
If the chief executive officer at Rotherham makes any changes at all following the three part TV series, he should begin with a change at the helm of theatres so that someone is strong enough to ask the consultant to take off her jewellery before entering the operating theatre.
Jean Lewis, patient forum member linked to Nottinghamshire County Teaching PCT.
Naivety of executives
This response from Brian James is in line with how he appeared in the in the TV programme. He has a belief in process that typifies many of the executives I have met in my local trust through my work as a public member.
They have a naive belief that if you have a policy and process in place, everything else will flow as if governed by some universal law of management.They really don't seem to understand that it's results that count; policies and processes are required, but they are a means to an end. The magic ingredients are leadership and drive from management.
When Gerry Robinson persuaded Brian James to show a personal interest in one of the initiatives, things happened faster then ever before. The surprise that Brian James showed was incredible. In all his experience in the NHS he obviously hadn't seen any other chief executive lead from the front either.
The letter from Brian James is shocking, depressing and so sad. As they say: he just doesn't get it.
Ed Beadle, Public Member, North East Wales trust.
A narrowly missed opportunity?
I am a commissioning manager for a PCT and I felt that one of the most frustrating aspects of the programme was the very narrow perspective taken ,especially given the title of the show.
It was only in the last episode that the issue of money really came up, and even then it wasn't explored properly.
I thought that having contacted the financial representative at the local PCT, Gerry was beginning to go in the right direction. However, he stopped short by just discussing the specific projects he was looking at for one particular trust, and made no attempt to understand the wider picture.
He also made no reference to the politics (with both a big and a small 'P') of the NHS, or the very patronising/dismissive reception he had from Patricia Hewitt. All in all, I felt it was a missed opportunity.
Anne Thompson, Commissioning and Performance Manager, West Sussex primary care trust.