23rd August 2016

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Ed Smith
Chair of Not-Monitor, or whatever it's called.  In conversation with Roy L
Good conversation, networking and a glass of wine.  What's not to like!  This will be a full house.  
If you are intending to come, get your tickets organised!.
You get what you pay for
News and Comment from Roy Lilley
How did you do with the Olympics?  I know, I know... I said I wasn't going to watch... but I did.
There is something hypnotic about excellence, mesmeric about success, compelling about winning.
I fear, for the next few months, PowerPoint presentations will be littered with sporting references and scattered with Olympic Rings and anecdotes.  You can get a template here!
I try to avoid them.  It's not that I am against distinction or don't admire effort... I just can't make the connection.
I know an Olympian.  A fragile looking young woman.  She bends like a willow, is strong like an ox and has the determination of the champion she is.
Her days comprised of waking, training, school, training, school, training, homework, sleeping, waking, training, school, training, school, training, homework, sleeping... repeat. 
Weekends; competition, homework, training, sleeping... repeat.  Ice baths, media training, dope-testing, kit-fitting, photo-calls, travel, competing... repeat.
A wire-frame body made of tensile strength steel, washboard ab's and bi's and tri's to die for.  Stamina beyond description.
A life of nutrition, physio, massage, video-playback, coaching, repeat...
You have no idea how much effort goes in to making a champion.  The pressure it puts on family life.  Mums and Dads who have driven aspiring champions the length and breadth of Britain and beyond.  Spent fortunes in petrol, wear and tear, cheap hotels, weekends and leave-days swallowed up.
My Olympian was a trampolinist.  Now, retired, she stars in Cirque du Soleil in Vegas.
The hours of practice, the days of repetition and weeks of denial and effort.  You have no idea.
Success and failure lived on a EuroTramp bed.  Hours, days, weeks, months of preparation, duplication and rehearsal for a future measured in ten bounces.
Anyone who tries to compare, link or imply there is any connection between management or leadership with the Olympics is just plain sofa-lazy.
So, if you see the Olympic Rings on a PowerPoint, get up, walk out. Whoever it is, they have nothing to say.  Unless they are an Olympian.  In which case, move forward in your seat and hang onto the very word.
They dedicate their lives to one moment in history.  They train and train and train for fleeting moments in the spotlight.  Hours preparing for that moment.
Management is entirely different.  From day one you hit the ground running.  With almost no preparation, no training you'll be unpicking, unravelling and undoing problems and conundrums left by your predecessor or dumped from on high.
Doing more for no more.  Expecting no less from much less.  You will fail.  Make no mistake you will fail.  

Like the Olympians you will fall-off, collapse, get tripped, fouled, be downright unlucky and even cheated.  Unlike the Olympians who will be applauded for their pluck, heroic effort and courage... you will be traduced, pilloried and denounced as an idiot.
Managers have to get it right, all the time, every time.
In the world of sport, failing to win is devastating for the loser but often turned into heroism by the spectators willing them on.  They were unlucky... better luck next time... they have learned from this... all part of their development.
Olympians have fan clubs and followers. 
Managers are seen as the enemy but what health services can function without planning, strategy, financial balance, flow management, procurement, organisation and foresight.
Quick to criticise, what commentator really understands the pressures of delivering up and managing down.  How many managers, even the most senior, can chose their agenda.
Something like 20% of Trusts have no permanent boss and that is more than worrying.  Management, less and less willing to voice their concerns and make known the failings of the services they run lest the 'failings' are seen as their failings.
Olympians were the great gods who lived, remotely, on the top of a mountain in the time of the ancient Greeks.
Managers are the practical people who live in the lowlands of reality, the here and now. 
Has the Olympics got anything to teach us?  Yes...
The investment in getting the GB team to Rio is eye-watering.  On average each medal has cost 5.5m.
What it teaches us is;
  • investment pays off, 
  • training rewards you, 
  • excellence has a price...
....and you get what you pay for.   
  Contact Roy - please use this e-address
Know something I don't - email me in confidence.
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Ever wondered why it is so difficult to recruit in some parts of the country?
This is a really good, must read about the north-south-divide.
Cuppa builders and have a look.
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 ...and takes me to task about dropping targets and going back to clinical priorities.
He asks; 'which one is God?'
Excellent must read
26th Sept Kings Fund  5.30pm.
Ed Smith 
Chair of Not-Monitor 
(I must find out what they are called!)
Great evening in prospect.  He has a huge experience and a raconteur 
Plus the usual wine and networking. 
Tickets here
This is what I'm hearing;
if you know different,
tell me here
>>  I'm hearing - enough stories about CQC inspections that would give me material to write a book.  I wrote about them (again) yesterday and by lunch-time I had had nearly 50 emails complaining about them plus a very detailed analysis of an inspection that turned out to be a farce.
Patently they are not fit for purpose and something is going very wrong with inspections.  The CQC say they are changing but that is always their answer.  No one is accountable.
And, anyway look how fast the old failing Monitor was turned around by a new Board.
I can't do anymore than report what I find.  Really it is over to you.  Contact your MP.  Tell them how upsetting and disruptive it is to have inspections that are poorly conducted, take months to be published and are wrong.  Nurse, NED or ChEx... speak to your MPs.  You are entitled to have your say. Until the Tinkerman and his faceless gang get it in the lobbies they wont be bothered.
Please.. Just Go Do It!
Need inspiration, a good idea or solve a problem
>>  Governors battle - to keep a ward open here, more here and here. And particularly here where the response to an FoI seems wrong. I get this type of plea for help all the time and feel powerless.  Why don't senior Trust managers sit down with their antagonists and have a conversation.  After all, it is 'our NHS' not just theirs!