The recent review of Brent primary care trust raises more general concerns regarding how senior managers in the NHS are judged. Since the publication of the Code of Conduct for NHS managers I have witnessed misuse of it on many occasions, writes Ray Rowden
When it comes to NHS managers there is no truly independent body to investigate and I have seen flawed process several times. A health manager is too often called before what I can only describe as a kangaroo court where the rights enjoyed by clinical professionals are denied and process is far from clear. In essence, a manager's reputation can be damaged with impunity as public bodies can publish what they like, claiming qualified privilege.
Health managers have no problem with being accountable within a clear code, just like clinical professionals, but where they face serious charges against a code, which may damage reputation or, worse still, affect their ability to earn a living, there should be a robust and totally independent means to investigate and make sound judgements.
Managers in Partnership would welcome more discussion on these issues. If the current code of conduct and its application remains in place there is a real risk that it will become discredited and some lawyers are likely to become very rich.
Ray Rowden, acting national officer, Managers in Partnership