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Light side

Location, location, location

It appears that somewhere in the higher echelons of the NHS exists a student of history. Or perhaps, more likely, simply a lack of self-awareness.

NHS Property Services, which owns 10 per cent of the health service estate and rents out 3,500 properties, raised eyebrows in June when HSJ reported it was consolidating its offices with a £1 million-plus move to a prime spot near the Bank of England.

Not least, in these austere times, on the question of whether such a move could really represent “best value” for taxpayers (although the plans will apparently cut costs).

The sympathetic observer can in any case see the attraction of renting at the “prestigious HQ building” 99 Gresham Street, whose slogan is “Connect with the best.” The building also includes “best in class end of trip facilities” including a shower area inspired by the infamous “Madchester” Haçienda nightclub.

In many ways the site is perfect for an NHS body that disposes of tens of millions of health service property each year. 

Not only is it convenient for City lunches and nightclub-themed showers, but the choice of Gresham Street, named after the 16th century founder of the Royal Exchange, seems a fitting home in an era of accelerating health service asset sales. 

Lord of the (sand) Flies

HCSA members... Are you tired of your humdrum day-to-day life? Then roll up, roll up!

It’s that time of year when TV producers hunt medics to feature in “Lord of the Flies meets Bear Grylls meets Darwin’s survival of the fittest.” Still need convincing? Former The Island contestant and Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Daniel Quemby provides glowing testimony after his five weeks living with sand flies.

“I was bitten 500 to 600 times and each time brings up a blister the size of a 5p piece. It was all day, every day,” he recalls affectionately.

If this appeals, simply visit www.theislandwithbeargrylls.com to apply (at your own risk). Don’t forget to send a postcard. 

Cause for contrition?

Correspondence arrives from a member who feels this column’s depiction of management consultants in the NHS is unfair.

It could be he has identified the real cause of the wall of silence greeting efficiency tsar Lord Carter’s demand for cases where “not only had they analysed an issue but they had solved it.”

Our member observes: “Did he expect them to do this additional work for free? This episode indicates that management consultants know their own value and are willing to protect their professional status. Perhaps we could learn from them.”

Touché, sir!