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Sunday 16th June 2019

NHS is undermanaged

18th May 2011

A major study has reached the conclusion that the NHS is not overmanaged.

The King’s Fund Commission on Leadership and Manager in the NHS has found evidence to suggest that the health service in England was over administered but it could not find any substantive evidence to show that it was overmanaged.

The findings have now prompted calls for the government to reconsider plan cuts to administration and management.

The King’s Fund report concluded: “There is no substantive evidence that the NHS is overmanaged. There is appreciable evidence…that it is undermanaged – even if some of that management may not always be highly effective and is centred on the wrong things.”

The government is seeking 45% cuts to management to tackle bureaucracy and duplication and a document accompanying the Health and Social Care Bill set out a "one third real reduction in administrative spending by 2014/15".

Commission chair and King’s Fund chief executive Chris Ham warned the NHS may lose control of its finances if too many managers are cut.

He said: “There has already been a loss of experienced leaders… that is to be regretted if we don’t now have in place people who have been in the NHS before when finance was tight.

“If the government wants to cut back on management costs it has to look at how those costs arise in the first place.”

The commission felt that the targets for cuts were arbitrary and it was government ministers and the Department of Health to “re-think” the cuts.


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