Health leaders call on politicians to treat NHS managers with respect

Thu 04 Dec 2014

MiP and Health Service Journal challenge ‘scapegoating’ of NHS managers

Leading clinicians and patient campaigners have joined us to call for a change in attitude towards NHS managers during the run-up to the general election, claiming “unfair criticism is “damaging to the interests of patients.”

The demand is made in an open letter published in The Times today (4 December). The letter is signed by some of the country’s foremost clinical leaders, including the chair of the British Medical Association, as well as the heads of the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Former health secretaries Conservative Stephen Dorrell MP and Labour’s Alan Milburn sign the letter, as does the country’s most respected HiV/AIDS campaigner Sir Nick Partridge.

The letter has been organised by the healthcare managers' union MiP and Health Service Journal, the country’s No1 title for healthcare leaders.

The signatories call on politicians of all parties to treat managers with the same respect they would accord to other members of the NHS workforce and to acknowledge the essential job they do for patients and the public.

The letter states that “NHS managers are as dedicated to the service as any other group of staff” and says that the signatories find it “regrettable” that managers are so often  “made scapegoats when concerns arise”.

The letter states: “It is especially worrying that ill-informed allegations and the use of lazy stereotypes tend to peak at a time of increased public interest in the NHS” such as the run-up to a general election. It warns politicians: “There is no justification for singling out managers.”

The letter is signed by:

  • Dr Mark Porter, chair, British Medical Association
  • Dr Maureen Baker, chair, Royal College of GPs
  • Sir Simon Wessely, President, Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Peter Carter, chief executive, Royal College of Nursing
  • Sir Nick Partridge, chief executive, Terrence Higgins Trust
  • Alan Milburn (former secretary of state for Health)
  • Stephen Dorrell MP (former secretary of state for Health and chair of House of Commons select committee)
  • Cathy Warwick, chief executive, Royal College of Midwives
  • Karen Middleton, chief executive, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • Sir Michael Rawlins (former chair of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)
  • Sir John Oldham, chair, Independent Commission on Whole Person Care
  • Dr Clare Gerada (immediate past chair, Royal College of GP’s)
  • Paul Farmer, chief executive, MIND
  • Jeremy Taylor, chief executive, National Voices (leading patient body)
  • Jon Restell, chief executive, Managers in Partnership
  • Alastair McLellan, editor, Health Service Journal

 Full text of the letter is available here: Open letter

For more information or to request an interview with Jon Restell or Alastair McLellan please contact Sarah Kemp on 07738 740831 /

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