OU on the BBC: Can Gerry Robinson Fix The NHS? - About the series

What does it take to make an institution like the NHS work efficiently and effectively? Sir Gerry Robinson takes up the biggest challenge of his life as he offers his wealth of business experience and advice to the Chief Executive of Rotherham General Hospital. Find out about more about the series.

By: The OpenLearn team (Programme and web teams)

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Gerry Robinson Copyrighted image Copyright: Production team

Earlier this year, management-guru Sir Gerry Robinson was set a challenge. To reduce waiting lists at an NHS Trust in Yorkshire within six months and with no additional funds at his disposal.

The former Chairman of Granada and Allied Domecq admits: “I had absolutely no idea what I was taking on. I knew it was going to be tough but it was one of the most difficult challenges I have ever attempted”.

Gerry worked with the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, based at Rotherham General Hospital.

The Hospital is a successful one. It has achieved three star status for the fourth consecutive year but the modern, competitive NHS is a marketplace where patients can choose which hospital they attend. Brian James, Chief Executive of the Trust admitted: “If 5% of our patients choose to have operations elsewhere, we could be in trouble. It is a question of survival”.

With an annual budget of £140m; 3,300 employees and over 400,000 patients a year passing through the Hospital, the Trust is a large organisation by anybody’s standards but Gerry maintains that the principles remain constant.

“Any business, no matter how large, can be made to work well. I knew nothing about the medical profession but good management is good management – whether you’re running a corner shop or a large hospital.

“I was working in a hospital in Rotherham but the ideas we were trying could be applied across the NHS to any hospital, anywhere in the country”.

The three episodes form a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the modern day NHS and a large modern day hospital. The cameras show a hard-working, dedicated staff and the issues and situations that form their busy working lives.


Can Gerry Robinson Fix The NHS? in more depth: