Non-job of the week

May 04, 2011 11:22 AM

We have long said Political Advisers are non-jobs. Now it seems one of them agrees with us. This is from someone's Twitter profile, giving details of their job description:
Labour Political Adviser. It is an unnecessary role, proven by the fact that many councils operate perfectly well without them.

To save their blushes, I am not going to name this person, but I assume they are trying to be sarcastic - perhaps even witty - as they quote from our report last year. Of course, the truth is many councils do operate perfectly well without political advisers. It's a warning to those who tweet. You never know who's watching, and they may not always be as kind as us and protect your anonymity!

Every person I speak to who works on the frontline in the NHS repeat the same phrases. "If you want to find waste, look no further than here." "There would be more money for patient care if it wasn't for the excessive number of managers."

During last year's general election campaign, Nick Clegg commented that there were the same number of managers in the NHS as there were beds. I have long thought the NHS is in danger of collapsing under the weight of its own bureaucracy.

Here is an example. This job is advertised on the website www.jobs.nhs.uk. Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) is looking for an Improvement Manager.
People from different cultures and backgrounds make Brent's community thriving and exciting, and our staff reflect and enjoy this diversity. Here at NHS Brent / Brent Community Services it is our job to meet the healthcare needs of this vibrant area of NW London. If you want to join our team in delivering a more responsive and effective health service in Brent, we want to hear from you.

This role is part of Delivering Management costs across North West London for the Brent and Harrow sub-cluster. The role is in a new team working with GPs in Brent.

Please note that the job description for this role is a generic to all band 8a roles in the North West London Cluster, in addition to the job description candidates should make reference to the additional role specification. Applications should indicate candidates' skills, knowledge and qualifications required on both of these documents.

So at a time when the government is reining in spending, Brent PCT creates a new team. I am not an expert on what all these managers do, but those who work in the NHS tell me many of them either don't understand the jobs of those they are managing, or are simply not needed. I think the job of  Performance Manager falls into the latter category. Surely there are enough managers already and the staff understand their jobs?

Staying in Brent, the council is looking for a Chief Information Officer, paying a very handsome £91,869 - £108,084 a year. Here is an extract from the job advert:
In the spring of 2013 our new community focused Civic Centre will open in Wembley. Colleagues working for the council, local residents, businesses and voluntary groups will be dependent on you to deliver a state-of-the-art IT environment.

The efficient use of information and technology is critical to the council working more efficiently and you must be someone who can develop and sell their ideas and who can deliver major projects on time and to budget. The clock is already counting down. Are you the person we are seeking?

Reporting to the Director of Finance and Corporate Services, this is an exciting opportunity to lead what is acknowledged to be one of the most innovative IT teams in local government.We've already implemented a modern low cost IT platform but there is still much to do.

So there we have it.  A new community focused Civic Centre; an information team delivering low cost solutions. All must be well in Brent. When you look at the budget the council passed two months ago, it appears not. Cuts to early year's education and libraries, to name but two, yet the council can still afford swanky new buildings, and pay a six-figure salary for a Chief Communications Officer. Once again we have a council not focusing on delivering core services. Instead, it would rather deal in grandiose schemes and jobs.We have long said Political Advisers are non-jobs. Now it seems one of them agrees with us. This is from someone's Twitter profile, giving details of their job description:
Labour Political Adviser. It is an unnecessary role, proven by the fact that many councils operate perfectly well without them.

To save their blushes, I am not going to name this person, but I assume they are trying to be sarcastic - perhaps even witty - as they quote from our report last year. Of course, the truth is many councils do operate perfectly well without political advisers. It's a warning to those who tweet. You never know who's watching, and they may not always be as kind as us and protect your anonymity!

Every person I speak to who works on the frontline in the NHS repeat the same phrases. "If you want to find waste, look no further than here." "There would be more money for patient care if it wasn't for the excessive number of managers."

During last year's general election campaign, Nick Clegg commented that there were the same number of managers in the NHS as there were beds. I have long thought the NHS is in danger of collapsing under the weight of its own bureaucracy.

Here is an example. This job is advertised on the website www.jobs.nhs.uk. Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) is looking for an Improvement Manager.
People from different cultures and backgrounds make Brent's community thriving and exciting, and our staff reflect and enjoy this diversity. Here at NHS Brent / Brent Community Services it is our job to meet the healthcare needs of this vibrant area of NW London. If you want to join our team in delivering a more responsive and effective health service in Brent, we want to hear from you.

This role is part of Delivering Management costs across North West London for the Brent and Harrow sub-cluster. The role is in a new team working with GPs in Brent.

Please note that the job description for this role is a generic to all band 8a roles in the North West London Cluster, in addition to the job description candidates should make reference to the additional role specification. Applications should indicate candidates' skills, knowledge and qualifications required on both of these documents.

So at a time when the government is reining in spending, Brent PCT creates a new team. I am not an expert on what all these managers do, but those who work in the NHS tell me many of them either don't understand the jobs of those they are managing, or are simply not needed. I think the job of  Performance Manager falls into the latter category. Surely there are enough managers already and the staff understand their jobs?

Staying in Brent, the council is looking for a Chief Information Officer, paying a very handsome £91,869 - £108,084 a year. Here is an extract from the job advert:
In the spring of 2013 our new community focused Civic Centre will open in Wembley. Colleagues working for the council, local residents, businesses and voluntary groups will be dependent on you to deliver a state-of-the-art IT environment.

The efficient use of information and technology is critical to the council working more efficiently and you must be someone who can develop and sell their ideas and who can deliver major projects on time and to budget. The clock is already counting down. Are you the person we are seeking?

Reporting to the Director of Finance and Corporate Services, this is an exciting opportunity to lead what is acknowledged to be one of the most innovative IT teams in local government.We've already implemented a modern low cost IT platform but there is still much to do.

So there we have it.  A new community focused Civic Centre; an information team delivering low cost solutions. All must be well in Brent. When you look at the budget the council passed two months ago, it appears not. Cuts to early year's education and libraries, to name but two, yet the council can still afford swanky new buildings, and pay a six-figure salary for a Chief Communications Officer. Once again we have a council not focusing on delivering core services. Instead, it would rather deal in grandiose schemes and jobs.

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