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Independents' Day

Former M&S boss drafted in to advise on NHS leadership

Fomer Marks and Spencer chair Sir Stuart Rose has been appointed by the Department of Health to advise on attracting and retaining top managers in the NHS in England.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt, announcing the appointment today, said this would help ‘transform the culture’ in under-performing hospitals.

Sir Stuart will be focusing particularly on problems at the 11 trusts placed under ‘special measures’ as identified by NHS England medical director Professor Bruce Keogh, plus a further three put under the measures since October.

He will also be advising on how NHS trusts can improve their organisational culture, through leaders ‘being more visible and in touch with frontline patients, services and staff’, the DH said.

Sir Stuart said: ‘Clearly the NHS is a very different institution from M&S, but leadership, motivating staff and creating a culture where people are empowered to do things differently are crucial to the success of any organisation, and I’m looking forward to helping in any way I can.’

A separate review led by Sir David Dalton, chief executive at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, will look at how to make best use of its best existing leaders - so-called ‘superheads’ - to spread best practice and take on struggling trusts or establish national networks as ‘beacons of excellence’.

Mr Hunt said: ‘Good care should never depend on your postcode, which is why Ofsted-style hospital inspections are so important. But the difference between good and bad care can often lie in leadership, which is why I’m delighted that one of the country’s most inspirational leaders has agreed to advise me on how we can attract and retain the brightest and best managers into the NHS so we transform the culture in under-performing hospitals.

‘We can also do more to exploit the extraordinary leadership in our best hospitals by making it easy for NHS superheads to take over struggling organisations. Sir David Dalton is one such leader, who with his team has turned Salford Royal into one of the best hospitals in the country.’

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Readers' comments (7)

  • How much is he costing? Of course selling clothes and food in a retail setting directly correlates to the NHS and providing mass healthcare in a state run monopoly.

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  • He's not being paid for this. I have no problem with a non-NHS manager advising on or even challenging currentNHS working practices as long as the values of safe, high quality and patient centred care are upheld. The moment we think we have all the answers is the moment we should be thinking hard about whether we are doing a good enough job.

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  • Sir Stuart is a brave man. I hope his retail experience will enable him to recognize the can of worms the politicos have handed him.

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  • There are lots of clinicians that could do a much better job than this man. I have nothing against him but his remedial understanding of healthcare is not exactly ideal. Fortunately, the Tories need a "yes man" who won't ask awkward questions about DOH so I guess paradoxically he is just the ticket.

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  • you can rearrange the deck chairs on the titanic, air lift the best crew onto the ship, repaint it, change the captain but the titanic will still sink if you don't change course.

    the supply element (front line staff) has been exhausted.

    you have to tackle DEMAND

    it will be interesting how long he takes before he gives up and whether he will have the integrity to come clean on the real problems.

    i'm fed up with all these we must be like john lewis, we must be like pc world, now it will be M&S etc

    look why not give paul dacre the job and be done with it.

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  • send in Chuck Norris

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  • @ anonymous 16 feb

    yeah totally, that's the best way 2 sort it out

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