The Rose NHS Leadership Review: time and tools will tell


Lord Rose, of M&S fame, is a man who has been credited in the past with providing all of us with pants.


So it was symbolic that he was asked to look into Leadership in the NHS. As Roy Lilley summarises accurately and amusingly on his always thoughtful blog, this is a report that doesn’t do frilly, but does do functional.


A lot of the conclusions are breathtakingly blunt and simple. So much so that we struggle to see why they have not be acted upon before: one vision; one communications strategy; sort out the data; reduce the regulators; streamline the training; get better management.


Most clinicians, if they have time to read it after sending the weekend posting selfies in between their 7 day shifts, will rejoice that it has been said as openly and bluntly as this.


But will anything happen?


The really troubling thing is that no one doubts the message or the motivation. No one will argue against anything the good Lord suggests. In fact I can guarantee we will have reams of support messages, speeches, conference workshops and tweets praising the recommendations and demanding that “something must be done”. But not much will


Why?


Time and tools.


People need the time to do this. A root and branch review, some mergers, overarching culture change, simply cannot happen while we are doing the day job. People just don’t have the capacity or head space to make this happen. We don’t need a task and finish group or a think tank to plan this – we just need people freed up from their work to actually implement it.


And people need the tools. This is not a straightforward task. We need the management systems, the information systems and the up to date and reliable technology to put it all in place. We need an understanding of strategy as a complex but not necessarily complicated process that we can enact and embed.


Time and tools. If M&S had a watch and DIY section, then surely these would have been mentioned.




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