1st October 2015

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New Health Chat

1st December King's Fund 5.30pm

Janet Davies CEO and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing.

Discusses the future of nursing, safe staffing, Vanguards and the 5YFV

This will be another sell-out   Tickets... here.

Alive and well in the NHS
News and Comment from Roy Lilley
There was a time when they were supposed to be blue-ribbon, the crème-de-la-crème. Now I think the brand has gone down the toilet.
There is no real difference between and 'ordinary' Trust and an FT in performance terms. Technically, FTs can dispose of assets without the Secretary of State's consent and they can borrow. Neither seems very likely at the moment.
All Trusts can buy their stuff where they want to and have their own pay and conditions. Neither seems very likely at the moment.
All Trusts are in the financial do-do and the CQC is determined to demoralise everyone, FT or not. Let's face it, with a handful of exceptional exceptions; a hospital is a hospital, is a hospital. The DH, the CQC, Monitor, the TDA and all the rest avalanche everyone with their incessant demands whatever and whoever you are.
Late in the game the Tinker-Man woke up to the fact that the TDA was something of a Dodo and stuffed them up the back passage at Monitor Towers.
The TDA was unable to create a stream of hopeful FTs. All their coaching and grooming and managerial topiary just couldn't do it. Even bungs and beatings didn't work. So; was the TDA a failure or did they, just like the rest of the NHS, run out of steam?
Did Monitor set the bar for transition too high? Monitor was originally just about the money. Following the Stafford affair they became interested in quality and managed to find a phone number for the CQC.
Becoming an FT, the prerequisite being able to balance the books and the precursor, employing enough staff to be safe, became a circle that couldn't be squared.
Impossible, unmanageable, too difficult? The TDA was headed up by a finance bloke. David Flory.
Flory enjoyed strong support in the finance community and the DH saw him as a safe pair of hands, nevertheless, his elevation to ChEx of the TDA came as a surprise to many.
Whatever the causes; financial, environmental, bad luck, wrong timing, stupid policy, the weather or they lost their lucky rabbit's foot the TDA have not covered themselves with glory.
Their tone has been both praised as sympathetic and deprecated as bullying; take yer pick.
David Flory decided enough was enough and he bailed out; 'decided to step down' was the language used. Not sacked as he might have been for running the TDA into a cul-de-sac, or made redundant as the TDA has obviously run its course... no, as far as I can see, he just 'stepped down'.
Only recently have we learned that his departure has been made sweet sorrow by a £400k+ goodbye bung. Accounts from the TDA show that he was paid a salary worth about £210,000, (plus pension benefits) and on top of this, he received a settlement worth around £415,000 after finishing his 'fixed-term' appointment.
The TDA's Board report said:
'David Flory received a termination payment within the band £410,000-£415,000 , in accordance with a settlement agreement agreed on completion of a fixed-term appointment set out in 2012'.
Who agreed this in the first place I have no idea but if you happen to get a whiff of fermenting money it will probably be David Flory's aftershave as he drifts by in his Bentley Continental on the way to the bank.
At a time when NHS workers have been denied a pay rise, agreed by their Pay Review Body, no one is supposed to earn more the Prime Minister and austerity means we have to use both sides of a piece of bog roll... how can Flory be allowed to walk away with his pockets stuffed with fifty pound notes?
I think the idea that no one earns more than David Cameron is preposterous and to be honest, I can see (but not agree with) how ministers wanted to throttle-off public sector pay, but I cannot see how a young man, like Flory, perfectly capable of working in a new role, can smash and grab the NHS. This makes Ned Kelly look like a shop lifter.
A bit of me says 'good luck for getting away with it' but a bigger bit says this is unjustifiable, indefensible, inexcusable, unwarranted, gratuitous and unforgivable.
For the Tinker-Man to sanction this pay-out waves two fingers at three hundred thousand nurses and AHP workers, belittles junior doctors and says to the public.  Surely it's time for the Health Select Committee to discover something very wrong is alive and well in the NHS.
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>>  I'm hearing - there are some really serious concerns at the DH about the deteriorating NHS finances.
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