Praise to the HSJ

This week’s 9 March edition of the Health Service Journal really did the trick for me in covering the resignation of Nigel Crisp, and other important issues:

1. Loved for example this Crisp quote in a piece starting the News on the resignation:

“But Sir Nigel insisted: ‘Patricia and I got on very well. We have a very straightforward relationship. I am sometimes surprised by the amount of gossip that the NHS finds time for.” Erm, ever get the sense that the people at the top have no idea what the culture of an organisation is on the ground floor. Well, that quote for me summed it up. It also says to me the guy didn’t really (despite the fine words) care about what was really going on. Keeping reality at arms length is fine, but I expect a little more from the CEO of the NHS. No wonder his staff picked up the vibe and things eventually started to unravel. Perhaps the new CEO will be a little bit more street smart (aka: emotionally intelligent)?

2. For example a nice paragraph on Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt and latest post-White Paper consultation:

“Perhaps it was just the free sandwiches, but one bold woman had the temerity to ask of the health secretary ‘if we are going to be invited back to see if all our proposals are going to be acted on?’Cue a raucous round of applause and one unusually spontaneous politician. ‘Doing this has never been done before – we will have to find some money for more cups of tea,’ joked Ms Hewitt. ‘Let’s do this, I guess in a year’s time.’

“Closing the conference, Ms Hewitt admitted she was ‘a little taken aback’ by the request, but repeating the trick next year was an ‘absolutely brilliant’ way of holding her department to account.”

3. But really liked the piece by David Woodhead which explained excellently the problems of communication between public sector organisations: “I had failed to fathom what was not being said. I had not recognised the silent collusion or understood its effects. This was my greatest learning yet.” Maybe this guy should be the next NHS CEO (he has the street smarties)?