3rd October 2016

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Matthew Syed - author of 'Black Box Thinking'
Special half-price deal for IHM members
In conversation with Roy Lilley
25th October 2016 - King's Fund - tickets here.
News and Comment from Roy Lilley
Everyone's growing a beard.
Mostly, they look ridiculous.  An excuse for not shaving.  But, you can be hairy if you want to.
There are few who look good in a beard.  Suddenly, for charity or a fit of middle age whatnot, they shave... come to work looking like a car with the chrome stolen.  A Sofa, without the cushions.
Jesus had a beard.  Maybe, if Gillette had been around he would have been clean shaven?  Razor companies have made a fortune out of not shaving.  They sell (for 80) the George Michael Super-Duper 300X, beard trimmer.  Chins are big business.
Stubble; rarely a good look... got up in a rush, can't organise your life.
A moustache is another matter.  Moustaches; not fashionable... but deliberate.  The bits that grow either side and below, have to be attended to.  Topiary is required.  Deliberate grooming.  Symmetry, measurement.  Hours in front of the mirror.  A moustache is an affectation.
A moustache tells you something about the wearer.  The chair of NHSE Malcolm Grant is a wearer... since the start we lovingly called him Le Tache.  His tache has a Le Mesurier, lounge lizard undertone.  My Dad had one!
At his first public outing, at a Confed Conference, some years ago, Le Tache insulted hospital consultants by suggesting they were absent, playing golf.  Predictably, the consultants saw him off and he rowed back.
He later compounded his stupidity by telling the health select committee he didn't use the NHS... he has private healthcare arrangements.  I deduce he is not the NHS' greatest fan.
Since then he has, mercifully, kept out of the headlines.  Doubtless, occupied, manicuring his hirsuite appendage.
... until a couple of weeks ago.  He popped up again with another barrage against hospital consultants... he wants to mandate them to declare their income from private practice.
I thought management of NHS consultants and Trusts were within the purview of the Jim Reaper, not NHSE?  Le Tache looks like he is digging, to settle his grudge with the consultants.
Since 5th July 1948, consultants have been allowed to increase their income by working, part time, for the private sector.  How much they earn is a matter between the consultant and the tax authorities.  

You may not like it but, these days, NHS Trusts are encouraged to increase their income from the private sector.  Getting them to do more 'private' is controversial but brings in extra cash.
Why should we know what consultants earn?  Other than the curiosity of envy there is no reason.  If surgeons are fiddling their time, neglecting their duties, it's a matter for their medical director and the Board.
I'm wondering, if, to disguise his bitterness about consultants Le Tache is camouflaging his inquiry by dragging NHS managers, plus Band7 and above, into his row.
Managers and nurses will be obliged to declare if they are bought a lunch costing more than 25, or given a gift of more than 50.  Why these amounts?  Why not 23 and 45?  Or, 75 and 150?  I guess that's all Le Tache thinks us lessor mortals are worth.
Le Tache, wants to trim the 'excesses' of the NHS.  Except, I know of no manager who has time for lunch.  I'm guessing Le Tache does
I'm yet to speak to a manager who has had a gift of more than 50p, never a nurse enjoying anything for fifty quid.  The Tache is measuring us all by his yardstick.  A week at the frontline might do him a power of good.
The Seven Nolan principles are clear, pre-date Le Tache and look good to me.  The most powerful givers of gifts, Big-Pharma, have the most stringent rules.
I think Le Tache will grow a beard waiting for his bureaucracy to add anything.  Trusts and most NHS employers have codes of practice.  The behaviour of staff a matter for the employer.  Le Tache wants to codify them for no purpose, other than a love of bureaucracy.  
We know people will do the right thing if we trust them, have faith in them and believe they come to work for the right reasons.
Le Tache would strangle us with his bureaucracy, suck more taxpayers hard-earned away from front-line care to fund his vendetta with a service, by his own admission, he doesn't use.
Malcolm Grant needs to get over his prejudices and accept he is not the new Martin de Porres neither is he St Aelred
Maybe Grant needs to take his grudge on the chin and not drag everyone else into his peccadilloes.

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Matthew Syed
Former Commonwealth Table Tennis Champion and author of Black Box Thinking

Half price tickets for IHM members
25th October
King's Fund
This is what I'm hearing;
if you know different,
tell me here
>>  I'm hearing - to expect a flurry of GP surgery closures in the next 6 weeks.
Dr Rodney Jones 
New Analysis
The Elephant in the Room and rising Emergency Admissions 
Need inspiration, a good idea or solve a problem
Dr Rodney Jones
More excellent analysis
This time the number of critical care beds.
Cuppa-builder's read.
Dr Sir Sam Everington
Barrister, doctor, leader.
In conversation with 
Roy Lilley
He was even a 'rough-sleeper' and charged with making fraudulent job applications to highlight discrimination.  The first medic on the scene after the 7/7 bombings.
This will be a really interesting evening.  Medico-politics, the future of Primary Care.
Tickets for IHM members half price.