Are there parallels between administrators on the high street and in the NHS?

Following the demise of Jessops and HMV, Claudia Tomlinson looks at whether there parallels between administrators on the high street and in the NHS.

The UK has recently been lamenting the decline of long established high street businesses that have gone into administration, particularly in relation to the ensuing impact of job losses, and lost goods or services to customers.

The introduction of a Trust Special Administrator into the NHS in 2012 to manage the deficit at South London Healthcare was an unwelcome precedent likely to result in similar poor outcomes for the stores, its staff, and local area.

The fate of stores such as Jessops and HMV are particularly hard as their staff are part of the community and have largely been unceremoniously dumped out of the jobs, a harm that will impact their families and prospects. This has led to some desperation among Jessops’s now unemployed staff.

Like Jessops, the Trust Special Administrator (TSA) made a recommendation South London Healthcare NHS trust be dissolved.

However, Michael Kershaw (the special administrator) is using the process to restructure all main NHS health services in south east London, including significant reduction of emergency care and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital.

In his final report, he stated:

“The TSA has concluded that these sites cannot be made financially viable in the current service and organisational arrangements. To continue in this form would require the Trust to be sustained indefinitely by cash support from the Department of Health.

“In view of this, recommendation 5 proposes a necessary reorganisation of services across south east London.”

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt and the special administrator were due to meet with local MPs to enable the former to make a decision on the report recommendations by February 1st.

What is clear from the campaign against the loss of these services from Lewisham Hospital is the primary concern is about the loss of vital health services. However, there is another layer of meaning and benefit for communities about loss of services where they had positive and memorable experiences.

It is very nice to be able to go a hospital to have your baby, which is the same place you had your previous children, and where you mother gave birth to you.

As well as changes to roles, movement to new jobs, or possible redundancies for NHS staff, and loss of services, there will be a wider impact on the community, of hospital closure or loss of key services.

Most hospitals draw a large number of volunteers from the local community, people who want to give something back and help others. Additionally, many NHS trusts have developed their own charities to provide vital funds to add enhancements to patient experience, and increasingly, important hospital equipment.

Hospital volunteers and charity fundraisers gain key benefits from pursuing their activities. Many are retired, some with disabilities or long term health conditions; some are socially isolated; and some are unemployed young people seeking experience to help them into work or further training.

They act as welcomers to greet and guide anxious arriving patients; they are meal companions feeding vulnerable patients; and they are befrienders visiting isolated patients. They also perform a range of administration, and semi-skilled roles in the NHS offices, that have been progressively stripped of paid staff since 2010. For no financial reward, they are saving the NHS many millions that it would cost to pay them.

Loss of hospital departments and hospitals has a major impact on volunteers who are often in their roles for much longer than staff, and hold a lot of organisational memory.

Networks, relationships and communities, frequently described as social capital, grow up around hospitals, and are therefore put at risk at risk with closures, much in the same way as post office and high street store closures.

David Cameron is introducing a change from April 2013 to systematically ask all NHS patients whether they would recommend a service they have used to friends and family, if they need the same care or treatment. But what do these recommendations mean when an administrator is introduced to manage an NHS trust with problems and makes drastic recommendations against the interests of patients and communities?

Securing economic efficiency and sustainability in the NHS is essential, but this needs to be clearly aligned to the needs of the community. PwC, the administrator for Jessops, and Michael Kershaw, the special administrator for South London Healthcare NHS Trust, are proceeding with a business focus, not considering the broader impact or fall out of their courses of action on communities and people.

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12 Responses to “Are there parallels between administrators on the high street and in the NHS?”

  1. LB

    But that’s the problem with people like you. You don’t consider all the consequences.

    You’ve draw a boundary, and inside the boundary are all the bad or good things that you want included. Meanwhile anything else, well its not going to happen because you’ve excluded it.

    e.g Lets take the state pension. You’ve taken all the contributions for state pensions, civil service pensions etc, and spent them. A lots gone on the NHS, A good thing you’re claiming. What about the pensions? Its a debt, its needs to be repaid, with interest on top. What about that? Not a concern. Someone else’s problem.

    Well the problem is that you can’t pay them. All this spending has come at a cost, and the cost is no pensions will be paid. The debt is too large for the tax. The debt is too large even if you took all earnings in the UK, 100% income tax, to pay.

    Meanwhile, patients are being starved to death by that friendly nice, NHS. Compensation? Bugger off, you’re a victim.

  2. Danny Halas

    No, you’re so wrong I don’t know where to start. Spending money on a health system like the NHS saves the country money in the long run. The American equivalent Costs three times as much, and for the moment doesn’t even cover everyone. Whereas the NHS is the cheapest system in Europe by any measure.

    Short-term savings like the closing Lewisham Hospital may seem necessary to you but consider the fact that closing the hospital will cost the taxpayer 195m and leave 750,000 people with only one A&E ward. Also the recent refurbishments cost over 12 million and now the empty buildings will be sold for 17 million. The damage done to the NHS doesn’t seem worth it to me and is probably going to cost more money down the line.

    The idea that one of the biggest economies in the world can’t afford basic health services for its citizens is absurd. But you’re right it’s about boundaries, the government doesn’t mind spending billions of pounds on a reorganisation to privatise the system or lavishing tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, and cutting corporation tax. Left foot forward is just arguing that that money could be better spent on curing sick people.

    It’s a right wing myth that the Labour government overspent on health, you guys always seem to forget about the bank bailouts and the global financial recession. It’s always good to put this in context, pre-credit crunch the Labour government had actually more than halved the Tory debt they inherited in 1997, and John Major ran worse deficits in 1994 than Gordon Brown in 2010 according to the IMF. It’s always good to put this in context.

  3. Newsbot9

    That’s right, you object to people being treated in the first place.

    And yes, keep on lying about the pension. It was always intended to be funded out of current revenue. And they’re not a debt, they’re a liability. You’re the one who is refusing to pay tax, treating it as someone else’s problem. YOU are the one who is looking at our entirely normal, for a western country, pension liability and opposing paying it.

    Keep on killing!

  4. Newsbot9

    He objects to people not paying him for care, Danny.

  5. LB

    And how much out of the NI have you saved for those people’s pensions?

    The answer is nothing. You’ve run up debts of 5,300 bn. A 26K a year worker could have had a fund for their retirement of 560,000 pounds if you hadn’t looted it.

    Meanwhile, 20-80,000 a year killed by the NHS. Negligence, starvation, wrong drugs, just plain killing.

    It’s not a myth and you are lying though your back teeth on the reductions of state debt.

    Put the numbers up. How much does the state owe for its borrowing, its PFI (Lewisham being a good example), Pensions, losses on guarantees.

    If you want the context.

    Bank bailouts, 30 bn, most of which was that idiot Brown buying shares in bankrupt banks. Should of let them go to the wall. So that’s the loss. What about the profits? 35 bn on penal rates of interest. 220 bn of taxes in 4 years. So what about the bank bail out? Since the money has gone to the government and not the other way round, its the banks (in reality their customers), bailing out the bankrupt state.

    Meanwhile, what about the state finances?

    1,100 bn of borrowing
    5,300 bn of pensions debts
    400 bn of PFI
    100 bn of nuclear decomissioning
    Expected losses on guarantees such as BT Pension fund, Post office pension fund, …

    [Even the customer compensation scheme is an insurance policy with premiums paid by other banks, not the state]

    7,000 bn of debt for past accruals. ie. Stuff paid for up front, but not delivered, or stuff delivered with the bill still to come.

    So what’s the context? That 7,000 bn only has 1,100 bn on the books. The rest is a pure Ponzi.

    So what’s going to happen. You’ve swapped short term delivery of Lewisham, for no services in the future. You’ve defrauded people out of their pensions, by spending all their money and leaving a debt that can’t be paid.

    550 bn a year won’t service a 7,000 bn debt when you are spending 700 bn a year.

    Like a 2 year old in Sweet shop, you want it now and you will lie when it comes to paying the consequence.

    It’s someone else that run up the debt or ate all the sweets. Not you, even though you’ve chocolate plastered all over your face.

    Come one, tell us what you’ve done with people’s pensions contributions?

    Own up that a 26K a year worker is out by 430,000. Stand up and be proud and tell them that they are going to have to go on welfare? Stand in the same room, when you have to tell them you can’t pay their welfare.

  6. Newsbot9

    Correct, it’s designed to use current funds. Well done.

    Keep on using your fraudulant figures, thief. Keep on trying to incite people to commit violence, yet another crime, based on your fraud, Keep on arguing that healthcare for the poor is wrong. Keep on arguing that only your offshore cash deserves protection.

    You are determined to borrow more and more to collapse the economy, of course, so you can reduce wages and probably get slavery back, knowing your hatred of the 99%. You have poisoned the sweets out of malice, years ago.

    The UK government, of course, lower lower state pension commitments than the average European country. And try suggesting to Germany that they’re bankrupt – they’d laugh in your face, and rightly so.

    And yes, keep on refusing to tell them yourself, coward, that you are trying to murder them. You can’t admit your plans to murder millions, yellow…

  7. LB

    You still can’t tell people how much is owed for the state pensions by the state.

    Well, 5,300 bn pounds.

    Taxation at 550 bn, spending at 700 bn can’t pay for that.

    So the states not going to be able to pay.

    That’s the reality, running a ponzi is going to push people into poverty.

    Now the one bit of truth in your statement, is that pension debts in the UK are lower than in Europe. Given that the UK is bust, and they have higher debts and no assets too, what can you conclude from that?

    It’s going to go bust in Europe first.

    France is going south fast, and they have large pension commitments. Greece has gone already. They couldn’t pay, so they have been slashing like mad. The latest wizz is cuts, but back dated. So you don’t get any payments until you’ve paid for the money you had received. Pretty vicious of a state to do that to its citizens Not a banker in sight.

    As for murder, its a socialist speciality. Like the Milliband’s grandfather, father of Adolphe. He was a huge fan. Their father Adolphe, thought 20 million killed a price worth paying.

  8. LB

    The UK government, of course, lower lower state pension commitments than the average European country


    Ah that argument.

    Europe is screwed, that must mean the UK is safe.

    Hmmm. Lets see. Your sister’s pregnant, so you can’t be pregnant. Balance hey!

    Or is it that Europe is more pregnant that the UK, or is it more bankrupt than the UK.

    Can you be a ‘little bit pregnant’?

  9. LB

    The borrowing is paid out of current taxes. Interest and principle.

    Pension is paid out of current taxes.

    Both are liabilities.

    You’re not asking the right question. That’s how big is the liability, and can it be paid out of taxes.

    For that you need to know the total liabilities of the state.

    That you can’t provide the answer, and deny that it even has to be paid, leads me to believe that either you’ve stuck your head up your backside on the matter, or you’re trying to defraud people. A civil servant reliant on the cash coming in, so are prepared to hide the debts off the books.

  10. Newsbot9

    Of course I am. How many will you murder so you don’t have to pay tax?

    I can provide it, have provided it, you dismissed it. You’re the one claiming it doesn’t need to be paid, politician. Get your head out the public trough and go to jail for your fraud!

  11. Newsbot9

    Europe’s doing better than the UK, so no surprise where YOUR money’s going. You’re the one screwing around as well as everything else I see.

    And you’re the one killing the mothers, so…

  12. Newsbot9


    And that’s right, you refuse to pay tax. Your ponzi scam against the British is typical of your foreign scum, raking in billions in corperate welfare.

    Europe is and will be fine. France is far better off than the UK. And you completely mischaracterise the changes in France, of course, which are far less radical than the changes here where you get to die, slowly.

    Greece could afford to pay, they just

    And I see, you want to kill 20 million like your idol. Got it. And of course your bankers are hidden behind your fattened murderous ass.

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