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Telling it like it is (or how to adopt an air of resignation)


Blog headlines

  • What White people don’t see
    26 November 2020

    This year’s Black History Month (BHM) has, unfortunately, in its shadow another example of why campaigns like this exist.

  • Primary Care: Why don’t we talk about Racism?
    20 November 2020

    Rita Symons is an ex NHS leader who is now a leadership consultant, coach and facilitator. Her work is mainly in the NHS and she is an associate for PCC offering facilitation, coaching, strategy development and team development activities. She is a concerned but hopeful world citizen and combines work in the NHS with a board role in a non for profit organisation and an interest in writing.

  • Primary Care and the Health of the Public
    12 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • What now for primary care
    4 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • Boosting your resilience
    30 October 2020

    The last year has been a difficult one, who would have imagined last Christmas that we would have been in lockdown, with the NHS seriously tested by a global pandemic. So much change has happened and the resilience of people working in and with health and care services has been seriously tested. Resilience is our ability to deal with, find strengths in and/or recover from difficult situations. Its sometimes referred to as “bounceabiliy” – but bouncing in what way?

  • Link of the week: National Cholesterol Month
    23 October 2020

    Every month or week of the year seems to be an awareness week, October has more than its fair share.

  • New redeployment service offers talent pool of motivated, work-ready individuals
    15 October 2020

    People 1st International have shared some of the work they are doing to support people displaced from industries due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There is an opportunity for health and care services to benefit from this workforce.

  • Link of the week
    9 October 2020

    Article published in the BMJ looking at the ability of the health service to quickly bounce back to pre-Covid levels of activity and considers if it is desirable.

  • Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective
    2 October 2020

    This week Jessie Cunnett, director of health and social care at Transverse has shared this article.

  • Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective
    1 October 2020

    This week Jessie Cunnett, director of health and social care at Transverse has shared this article - Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective.

  • Celebrating innovation in eye research
    24 September 2020

    This week Julian Jackson from VisionBridge has shared a report on eye research.

  • Link of the week: Comprehensive Spending Review and Covid-19
    24 September 2020

    This week we are sharing a blog that outlines the funding pressures and uncertainties faced by the health and care system

  • Risk stratifying elective care patients
    10 September 2020

    This blog has been shared by MBI healthcare technologies. As services are starting to treat routine patients those on waiting lists are making enquiries as to where they are on the list, and if they are still on the list.

  • Link of the week
    4 September 2020

    This week the link we would like to share are reflections from physiotherapy students on placement at Alzheimer Scotland https://letstalkaboutdementia.wordpress.com/

  • Link of the week
    28 August 2020

    This week we would like to share a blog published on the Mind website about being a BAME health worker in the pandemic.

  • Remote clinical triage model
    20 August 2020

    This week we are sharing how a remote clinical triage model was implemented at Tollgate Medical Centre. This has been shared with us by Sarah Portway, a Nurse, and Clinical Services Manager at Tollgate Medical Centre.

  • Can the Community Pharmacy become the gateway to integrated care in the NHS?
    13 August 2020

    The NHS is a continually evolving innovative demand led public service the role of the Community Pharmacist is becoming the public face on a journey to the more responsible public engagement in the personal care of individuals and their family. There are currently over 11000 Pharmacies many are single or small chain service providers, while multiples occupy the urban shopping centres and more densely populated conurbations, the value of the rural High Street can’t be understated.

  • Crunch time for patient involvement
    7 August 2020

    There are new challenges for primary care, which could really do with patient input. Mike Etkind, chair of a PPG and founding member of his PCN’s patient group, recognises the size of the task clinical directors have managed over the last few months but identifies two particular issues where patients have a necessary and valuable contribution, that need to be addressed now – the 2020 vaccination programme and primary care from a distance- total triage, remote consultations, and the use of telemedicine.

  • Link of the week - Visionbridge
    31 July 2020

    The link we are sharing this week was submitted by Julian Jackson, Visionbridge.

  • Links of the week
    23 July 2020

    This week we are sharing two articles with you.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Telling it like it is (or how to adopt an air of resignation)

We spend a lot of time worrying about the dignity of patients but rarely spare a thought for the feelings of chief executives ejected from their posts with humiliating regularity.

They face ridicule, embarrassing pay-offs and, in extreme cases, re-employment and the dismal prospect of another trip round the board.

When your turn comes, don’t be fobbed off with any of the stock excuses. No one seriously believes you want to spend more time with your family. Nor will they be convinced by your long-suppressed desire to do more gardening or the appeal of unspecified new career opportunities. Use any of these and you rob yourself of the chance to go out in a blaze of mediocrity.

Why do we keep doing it? What is the purpose of the euphemistic, cliché ridden note pinned to the victim’s body? 

“She was pursuing a life-long interest in plank-walking when she decided to step off and explore the bottom of the ocean.”

“He was cleaning his sword when he felt an irresistible urge to find out what it felt like to fall on it.”

The cover story is ostensibly designed to spare the feelings of the individual and allow them to move from one career blunder to the next with a bit of dignity, but actually it is part of the punishment.

The flimsy narrative spun by HR or corporate communications, presented as a face-saving kindness, merely confirms that the departing chief executive is not only incompetent but a ludicrous excuse-monger.

All that remains is for the chair to issue a statement of mock regret.  “We are sad that so-and-so has decided to leave, but very pleased that he will now have time to get to know his children and tend his allotment.”  

This is followed by faint praise for so-and-so’s “achievements” and “lasting contribution”.  There is no need to mention the balls-up that got him sacked: it has already been splashed across the newspapers.

There is a better way. A full-frontal declaration of culpability is a winning tactic for anyone in the firing line. “I was the responsible officer. It happened on my watch. It’s only right that I should go. I’d like to make it clear that the great work of this organisation is more important than any personal regret I may feel. Did I make a mess of things? You bet.”

Conclude with “I’d like to thank my fellow directors for their unfailing loyalty and support”, which emphasises that they haven’t shown you any.

A frank admission of guilt will always get you off, however heinous the crime. Your failure will no longer be unforgivable but heroic. We all love a repentant sinner.

It may be counter-intuitive to take responsibility, but the more you protest that it’s all your fault, the more readily suspicion will attach to your mealy-mouthed colleagues on the board. Never let anyone forget they were there.

Draw attention to their blamelessness at every possible opportunity. It’s nothing less than the treacherous bastards deserve.

Careers editor: Julian Patterson


Owen R Rumble
Owen R Rumble says:
Jan 29, 2016 12:58 PM

"For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men."
"Julius Caesar" Act 3, Sc. 2, William Shakespeare.

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Jan 29, 2016 01:17 PM

Et tu, Owen?
On a slightly different tack, here's a relevant notion for NHS managers, not to mention Lord Carter and his paymasters:
"I'll take fifty percent efficiency to get one hundred percent loyalty."
Samuel Goldwyn