A personal letter is to be. sent to. all NHS staff from the health secretary, Frank Dobson, asking for ideas on how the NHS might be better run.
The letter is part of the Government’s current initiatives designed to involve NHS employees in the management of the service, and improvements to it. It follows the threat of dismissal of poorly performing NHS board members.
Announcing the move in the House of Commons, Dobson said he had “always believed that if you want to improve the way jobs are done, the first people to ask are the ones actually doing the work”.
His letter states: “The NHS needed more money and we’ve found a lot more. The NHS needed better working relationships with local social services and things have really started to improve.
“The NHS needs a modern working environment and we’ve made a start on that with action to reduce assaults, to make shift patterns and hours more family friendly and real action on equal opportunities. That’s not just for people who work in the NHS. It will also benefit patients and carers in the long run.”
Dobson’s personal address goes on to encourage NHS staff to write to him and air their views and concerns: “I want to give all of you working in the NHS the chance to put forward your ideas and make sure they are taken seriously.”
A separate letter from NHS chief executive Alan Langlands has been sent to chairmen and chief executives of all health authorities and NHS trusts.
It provides preliminary information on how £417 million is to be targeted and distributed throughout the NHS in England.
Langlands said £320 million would be allocated to health authorities against agreed targets for reductions to in-patient waiting lists.
Advice from waiting list task forces will help regional offices agree targets and allocations to tackle specific problems.
“There will be rewards for those who hit their targets and sanctions for those who do not. These will apply to health authorities and NHS trusts to ensure the delivery of the Government’s commitments,” he added.
The main allocations to health authorities were made at the end of April.