My mission statement

The times we are working in now need a great deal of accelerated change and there must be no negotiating that down. So my mission statement for this part of my consultancy career is to be clear that there needs to be and will be a lot of change from the work that I do with individuals and organisations and if organisations don’t want that, then it is probably best to go somewhere else.

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Do Medics need MBAs?

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Paul on 30-09-2010

The Government plans to bet the whole of the NHS on the belief that GPs can deliver a business model that can buy £60 billion of NHS health and improve value for money for the NHS as they do so. Given the size of this spend in this industry it is to be hoped that GPs understand how to operate in a business this size.

It is undoubtedly the case that GPs know how to run businesses. They have been successful for sometime. But the size of this enterprise is different and they will need skills that can work businesses with a turnover of £200-300 million pounds – hundreds of times bigger than the normal GP practice.

That is why the publication of a new book “MBA for Medics” in September is so timely.

The authors Emma Stanton and Claire Lemer are part of the very new generation of doctors that are determined to rewrite the way in which their profession works with management and business. Of course they want to be great doctors and improve the health and well being of their patients, but they recognise that they will be much better equipped to do that if they can develop the NHS as its senior managers.

Modern doctors recognise that world class health care requires first class organisation, and it’s probably the case that that first class organisation needs them to take much more responsibility. The management of the NHS created the experience of some doctors from previous generations who could feel that the organisation of the NHS was somebody else’s business. And one of the reactions to management being distant from them is that when things go wrong in the NHS then there are other people – NHS bosses – to blame.

One of the inevitable consequences of GP led commissioning is that GPs are going to have to lead the management of the commissioning consortia. Of course there will be others with a range of skills who work for them, but the leadership and responsibility will be the doctors’.

This book is for those doctors who recognise that if they want to provide the best care for their patients they need to understand what senior managers do. Some of these doctors are going to want to take an MBA and gain the ability to manage through a formal qualification. Others will want to learn how to be a management leader through the experience of management in the NHS.

Still others will want to become entrepreneurs in the emerging and different health care markets. How do you understand what a market is in health care? How do you shape services for that market? What is the business model that you might develop for those services?

The future of the NHS will be created through doctors becoming responsible for managing large parts of the service. Other doctors will want to run their own organisation that will deliver new services to the NHS.

Whatever their managerial future, this is a book that could help.

Not the least because Emma and Claire are so determined to make that future, rather than let it be made by the present.

MBA for Medics by Emma Stanton and Claire Lemer
Radcliffe Publishing 2010


5 Responses to “Do Medics need MBAs?”

  1. Interesting blog on the management expertise required by upcoming GP’s. Well good luck god knows they will need it! Would be tad sceptical about leaping into bed with the MBA and the Business school culture. It has not served the NHS well so far if current management practices are to be taken as evidence. poor leadership . poor management and poor organisational reflexes at PCT level don’t exactly fill one with confidence do they? In fact i would go so far to say that GP’s and there staff should avoid the whole MBA thing completely.. if you want good management advice and training seek out the best . Chris ham at the Kings Fund has been leading the way for 20 years.

  2. Nice to see that medicine is regarded as being such soft option subject these days. That medics have so much time on their hands that they have to do a second job. God forbid that they could spend all their time doing medicine, I means, that would demean them so much, right?

    Those who can, do. (They bloody well should do, too.) Those who can’t, manage those who can.

    Why can’t we simply accept that experts should concentrate on what they are expert at? Managers manage, doctors do medicine. As a patient I want the medic treating me to be an expert. If I find that s/he has an MBA then I will change doctor because I do not want someone who thinks that they know all that there is to know in their field that they have time to play at being a business person too..

  3. For several generations – going by A levels results needed to get in to medical school as an indicator – doctors are, and have been, the cleverest people in the country. The idea of them becoming managers of the health service as well as doctors is based upon the belief that the cleverest people in the country could carry out two things in their lives at once. Clinical practice and managing health services.
    Many of us think they are capable of doing those two things.

  4. Good post. The fundamental truth in healthcare is that it is clinicians’ decisions, and mostly by doctors, that drive cost and determine service pathways and outcomes.

    Lansley’s plans are a massive gamble, at a time when the number one focus should be a productivity drive. But a hearts-and-minds strategy to engage doctors in management is fundamental to a thriving NHS.

  5. […] his blog, Paul Corrigan repeats a familiar and widely-held view of the NHS commissioning reforms: The […]

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