Ipswich Hospital bucks trend

A LEADING cancer consultant has accused the NHS of wasting too much money on managers but at Ipswich Hospital they are bucking the apparent trend.Dr Maurice Sleving said in a pamphlet published by the Centre for Policy Studies that there were 269,080 managers, administrators and support staff working in the NHS in September 2001 compared to 266, 170 qualified nurses.

A LEADING cancer consultant has accused the NHS of wasting too much money on managers but at Ipswich Hospital they are bucking the apparent trend.

Dr Maurice Sleving said in a pamphlet published by the Centre for Policy Studies that there were 269,080 managers, administrators and support staff working in the NHS in September 2001 compared to 266, 170 qualified nurses.

But Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said that this is certainly not the case at Heath Road, with just 14 per cent of the pay budget given to managers.

She said that 86 per cent of the budget went on front line staff such as nursing staff, clinicians, health care assistants and science and technical staff who are all vital for the running of the hospital.

Ms Rowsell said: "The reality for us is that the managerial staff are there to support our clinicians."

In Dr Slevin's broadside he stated that the NHS is "on the brink of implosion with not enough nurses and too much money being wasted on managers.

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But a Department of Health spokesman said the figures were misleading as there were 26,000 managers in the NHS.

The other 184,000 non-medical staff were people such as secretaries, receptionists and even gardeners or painters.

In March last year there were 358,380 qualified nurses in the NHS, which was 40,000 more than in 1997 and numbers were continuing to rise.

He said: "It is not true to say there are as many managers as nurses - there are 14 nurses for every manager."

"There is one manager for every 10,000 patients.'

Dr Slevin, who works as at Barts and the London NHS Trust and has a private practice, said there had been a £407 million boost in cancer spending yet many units had not received all the allocated funds.

The Department of Health spokesman said a tracking system had been set up to monitor where cancer funding had gone to ensure it was reaching patients.

Nigel Edwards, policy director of the NHS Confederation, which represents managers, said management and administration staff were the "backbone of the NHS'.

"Far from being bureaucrats or pen-pushers, managers and administrative staff, including receptionists, medical record clerks and secretaries for consultants, all play an essential role in supporting clinicians and enabling them to get on with the job of providing high-quality patient care,' he said.

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