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McKinsey: NHS managers 'least clinically qualified' in developed world

By Alisdair Stirling

UK hospital managers are among the least clinically qualified in the developed world, according to a new report by managment consultancy firm McKinsey.

A study looking at management quality in hospitals in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, France and Sweden found best management tended to result when managers had a clinical qualification.

Fewer than 60% of managers in UK hospitals were found to have a clinical degree, compared to more than 90% in Sweden, and the UK had the lowest proportion of managers with a clinical degree in all the countries surveyed.

The research, by McKinsey and the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, assessed management practices at nearly 1,200 hospitals in total.

Other key findings from the report included:

  • Improved management procedures in hospitals were associated with significantly lower mortality rates and better financial performance.
  • Larger hospitals and private providers are better managed.
  • The bottom quartile of hospitals delivered disproportionately low health outcomes.
  • The UK delivers strong management performances relative to its health expenditure.

The report said GP commissioners should consider how they gained access to top-performing hospitals for their patients.

'In an era of GP commissioning and patients choice this may become particularly important in attracting and retaining patients and the funding that comes with them,' it said.

Managers in UK hospitals were found to be among the least clinically-qualified in the developed world Managers in UK hospitals were found to be among the least clinically-qualified in the developed world

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