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Love Story – the accidental remake


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Monday, 16 August 2010

Love Story – the accidental remake

Previous generations would never have guessed that to call someone a collaborator would one day be a compliment.

Collaboration is one of the chief virtues of the modern age.

The 1940s meaning of the term was different but not as much as we imagine. To be a collaborator today may also mean working with the enemy from time to time.

Witness the strange sight of PCTs and GPs abandoning their former adversarial roles driven by that most compelling of motives, self-interest.

PCT managers hoping for jobs as GP consortia managers need to forge more constructive relationships with their future employers, while GPs worried about the challenges of becoming full-fledged commissioners will need to ride shotgun with PCT colleagues until the time comes to take up the reins for themselves.

Whether Andrew Lansley and his advisers ever considered this harmonious outcome as they lit the blue touchpaper under NHS middle management is a moot point. A policy born in an era of austerity may do what the NHS golden age of funding ushered in by the previous regime failed to do -- and bring PCTs and GPs together.

Sadly there will not be time for these new friendships to blossom into lasting relationships. In the best traditions of the screen weepies, it is the imminent demise of one of the partners that creates the dramatic tension.

Do NHS managers deserve a lifeboat?

The government’s vision of a new, efficient NHS run by clinicians and responsive to the needs of patients depends on drastic reductions in managers. But it is not yet clear whether NHS managers will have a right under TUPE rules to transfer to similar roles in GP commissioning consortia. Should PCT people have an automatic right to a job in the new world? You won’t be surprised to learn that many in PCTs think that they should and that most GPs disagree. Full results of the survey will be announced next week, but have your say by taking the poll here.