1 min read

Editor’s blog Friday 20 August 2010: Management consultants and drugs

In the new world of the White Paper, local government is to have a significantly extended say in healthcare and commissioning, as the local democratic aspect once envisaged for PCTs. So this pick-up in today's Telegraph of a management consultancy report that local government staff waste 2/3 of their day might cause a few shivers down Con-Dem spines.

Now reports of this kind are very often special pleading bollocks of the first order of magnitude. (Its methiodology isn't too unrespectable: apparently, "The researchers surveyed 1,855 managers and supervisors including 173 individuals from local government.There also carried out a further 376 day-long observations of staff, of which 36 were in councils.")

But one finding is at least worthy of note - the managers surveyed apparently spent only 3% of their time monitoring the activity and performance of their staff. The report describes local authority managers managers being “observed busily carrying out administrative tasks, while outside their office their staff were clearly under-utilised”?.

For a more sceptical take on the power of management consultancy, The Independent's Johannn Hari summarises some of the moles from the mainstream industry in this amusing and disquieting feature. Still, 30% is a Nice Round Number, no?

And The Guardian's Sarah Boseley picks up The Lancet report on the pricing of Herceptin. Definitely worth a read and a think.