9th March 2015

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You could have done it
News and Comment from Roy Lilley

You will have to travel to a small Turkish village to see one. Halfeti. They grow in tiny numbers and owe their rarity to unique soil conditions where ground water seeps from the Euphrates and creates unusual pH levels.


In the early spring they bloom dark red and during summer they fade to black and become the Black Roses of Halfeti.


They are an endangered species. Their natural habitat has been uprooted to make way for a dam. Despite attempts to save them they are rare and seeing a Black Rose is a once in a lifetime experience.


Horticulturalists say a truly black rose does not exist. Many a hybridizer has tried and failed. The nearest they get is a deep purple.


However, forget all that. There is a much rarer member of the Rosacea family that has never seen the light of day. We know it exists but it is locked away. Perhaps its beauty reveals such truth that the world, inhabited by mere mortals, could not withstand the bright light of verity that emanates from its gentle petals. Perhaps its thorns are so barbed it is too perilous to touch.


We know the name of the variety. It is the Rose of Monewden. Monewden is in Suffolk; do not confuse this rose with the procumbent 'Suffolk Rose'. Our rose is unique and more commonly known as the Stuart Rose. You may be more familiar with the title; The Rose Report.


The report was commissioned a year ago; February 2014. LaLite in his on-off relationship with NHS managers asked Stuart Alan Ransom Rose, Baron of Monewden, the former M&S boss, to tour the NHS and write a report;


"... to advise the Government on turning around failing hospitals, asked to examine how to improve the organisational culture in under-performing hospitals and ways to recruit talent from inside and outside the NHS... "


Rose did tour some hospitals and I have spoken with Chief Executives he met. They report him affable, incisive and full of admiration for the delicate hand that senior NHS executives play. Nevertheless, perplexed at the labyrinth that is today's health service.


Rose is no stranger to the highs and lows of personal and business fortunes. At 26 his mother committed suicide. It is reported that he only sees his elderly father once a month for lunch. Rose is divorced. A complex personal life wrapped around building and saving huge businesses won't come as anything new to NHS managers. He and we have a lot in common.


So where is his report? I have a confession to make. Such is the reach of our readership there are few documents that 'don't come my way'. The H&SCAct risk register is proof enough. However, the Rose Report is, so far, beyond reach. I wonder why? I do know the report was finished in December last year.


I also know the Rose's report condemns how the NHS is managed and also suggests that the H&SCAct has made things worse.


How can we get our hands on it? Rose received no payment for writing the report. However, I am told his out-of-pocket expenses were reimbursed and he was provided with some secretarial and administrative, back-office support.


Can we then claim the report was funded by the taxpayer? If we can it would be simple to obtain a copy by applying for it under the auspices of the Freedom of Information Act.


The DH knows how simple that would be and the risks they are running by obfuscating the report. So what are they hiding and on what grounds? Does the DH have a defensive Plan B?


Yes, the DH says the delay is due to the reach of the report being extended to encompass the impact of the 5YFV. Not according to my sources who tell me Rose is furious that his report is effectively shelved until after the election. If he really is furious he should publish it himself.


I know the Rose' report will describe a cadre of usually under qualified, confused management, more often administrating befuddling, un-evidenced change.  Unstable, pushed from pillar to post, coping with meaningless targets, bureaucracy and delivering more and more care for less and less resource. 


It will note the average tenure for a ChEx is about 27 months and no one wants to take on the job, there are around 20 ChEx posts vacant. 


How do I know? Because we don't need a Rose, or a Lilley to write this; you could have done it. 


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>>  I'm hearing - the TDA can't be wound up because there is not Parliamentary time so to do.  But, it is going to be downsized and rolled into the back office at Monitor... who have been manoevering for this for some time.  After the election Monitor could well be cut, too.
>>  I'm hearing - former Bucks Trust ChEx Anne Eden is leaving to join the TDA; she must have been recruited to help with the packing.
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