This afternoon the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published Sir Gordon Messenger and Dame Linda Pollard’s full report into NHS leadership, as ordered by Sajid back in October. The full report calls for major reforms across management and hiring, the part that caught Guido’s eye is the call to reduce the proliferation of diversity and inclusion managers – some on six figure salaries – that have cropped up over the last few years. Something Guido has been campaign against for months…
While the report itself generously refers to these well-remunerated staff as “dedicated experts“, and recommends that they be phased out as existing managers develop their own expertise and wisdom on diversity, Saj himself was far more damning. Ahead of the review, the Health Secretary called for “urgent” action to improve NHS leadership – and that started by cutting back on “waste and wokery”:
“In my view, there are already too many working in roles focused solely on diversity and inclusion, and at a time when our constituents are facing real pressures around cost of living, we must spend every penny on patients priorities. As this report sets out it should be the responsibility of everyone to encourage fairness and equality of opportunity which is why we must reduce the number of these roles.”
He later appeared at the despatch box after PMQs to reiterate the point, with Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting inevitably claiming the announcement is designed to “throw red meat” to Tory backbenchers. “Red meat” in this case obviously meaning ‘save the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds’.
A DHSC ally tells Guido:
“We will cut waste and wokery where we find it. We have a responsibility to the taxpayer to make sure their money is being spent on their priorities. Today’s landmark report sets out how we are going to improve leadership because the best leaders will save money in the long run by increasing productivity and efficiency.”
Better late than never, although we’re still waiting on the action plan. How long until all this is implemented? The Saj is pragamatically seeking to shift diversity and inclusion responsibilites onto HR managers and away from militant social justice warriors. There is plenty to do; there are currently 9 diversity manager vacancies up for grabs on the NHS job board at the time of going to pixel…