Friday, October 22, 2010

The story of the NHS rowers - Tony Benn

“There was a boat race between a Japanese crew and a crew from the National Health Service (UK). Both sides practised long and hard and the Japanese team won by a mile. So the NHS ...faced with this problem setup a working party which reported that the Japanese had eight people rowing and one steering and the NHS had eight people steering and one rowing.

So they brought in management consultants and the management consultants confirmed the diagnosis, suggested the NHS team be completely restructured to make it more efficient, more cohesive, streamlining and all-round better performance. A strategy document was drawn up and the recommendations encouraged restructuring for the entire organisation.

As part of the restructuring, a number of appointments were made including three Assistant Steering Managers, three Deputy Steering Managers, a Director of Steering Services and the rower was given an incentive to row harder. They had another race, this time the NHS team lost by two miles, so management laid off the rower for poor performance, sold the boat and gave the Director of steering services a large payout for making the ‘hard decisions’ and concluded they had too many management consultants and not enough managers!"

A story from Tony Benn.


  1. Just change the letters to "HSE" and you get the idea

  2. Greater transparency urgently required in the criteria used to determine pay rises, bonuses and perks for senior NHS Staff.

    All lower paid staff expected to take a pay freeze for two years,while senior NHS workers continue to receive up to 5 per cent of the total of the very senior manager's pay bill in bonuses.

    Sinn Féin need to publically call for an end to the bonus culture in the Health service and demand that senior Health staff be put on the same pay scale as other Health care staff.....