Friday, 2 December 2011

Rats or Birds?

One of the signs that something is wrong in an organisation is when several senior managers leave of thier own choice in a periods of a few months. A recent article in the Guardian Newspaper highlights a case in the Barts Hospital in London UK. The guy in question has worked at the place as a skilled surgeon for many years. Suddenly he finds it an unacceptable place to work! There have been several instances of senior administrative and clinical staff (5 out of 14 orthopedic surgeons) finding employment at an alternative location more attractive. Is it rats leaving a sinking ship or is it birds flying away before an earthquake? Has someone broken the spiritual backbone of the place? It is very difficult and expensive to repair a damaged corporate psyche. Maybe there is a programme of cuts using an experienced aggressive "Turn Around" Director?

The same kind of thing has happened in the North Staff's hospital. Now the administrators had to draft in Army Medics to keep their A&E  department running. Professional medical staff such as surgeons and specialist nurses will be caution about joining to work at a hospital with a damaged reputation.

It is a pity, because BARTS does some good clinical work caring for the patient. For example they're the only hospital actually checking the safety standards of surgical instruments. See the worrying Panorama programme in July 2011. They also do good work in research in Prion infection on surgical instruments. Perhaps the problem is the way the administrators engage with the clinical staff? Is there a climate of bullying? Are we getting value for money from these highly paid administrators?

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