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.