It has been reported by several newspapers this week that Broomfield hospital in Essex is looking for a 'Turnaround Director' - a cost-cutter if you like, someone who will be paid up to £1,000 a day, nearly double the salary of the prime minister and nearly seventeen times the pay of a newly qualified nurse.
Last year the UK spent some £91 billion on health, a department that has seen dramatic rises from the £35 billion spent on it in 1997. It is perhaps the most profligate department in the whole of Whitehall with many stories of waste and extravagance. Yet in a time when there are near 25% cuts across the board, Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Service Trust (no doubt in the spirit of value for money) thought that bringing in a hugely expensive consultant would fix everything. It is the people on the frontline who know where the waste is and it is these very people the managers should consult if they wish to eliminate it - although I think many workers at Broomfield would suggest firing the Turnaround Director for a start!
But for now we will focus our attention on the plethora of non-jobs floating around the job sites this week. Northamptonshire County Council is in search of a ‘Business Change Manager’ (£34,549 - £38,961) to help them implement £3.6 million of cuts by managing the difficulties brought about by ‘change’. Savings have already been identified, why not save another thirty-four grand by just telling staff to get on with it? Meanwhile the borough of Lambeth is asking for a ‘Democratic Services Officer’ (£25,515 - £33,306 pa) who will ‘advise on and support different methods of community involvement’ fully utilizing the ‘specially designed democratic engagement tool[s]’ at their disposal. Obviously taxpayers now need to fund their own advisor to help them find their democratic voice.
Without further ado I will now move on to this week’s winner – based in the lovely spa town of Harrogate whose council are advertising for a.....
£15,725 - £16,830 per annum
The Turkish Baths & Health Spa is one of only three Victorian Baths currently operating in England. Recent improvements have added up to date spa and treatment facilities as well as enhancing and refurbishing the baths themselves.
The Turkish Baths & Health Spa achieved the finals at the British Beauty & Spa Awards 2009 for the category of Day Spa of the Year.
You will be fully qualified Beauty Therapist with experience of working in high profile salons or spas. You will be working as part of a team on a rota system, which includes evening and weekends. It would be an advantage if you were trained in any of the following product houses: Germaine de Capuccini, Comfort Zone, Jessica Nails and Fake Bake Gold. This is not essential, as training will be given.
For more information please contact Graham Holman, Manager, on 01423 556736
Immediately this is a slight break with tradition - there is nothing wrong with people who work in the leisure and beauty industry, but a council-owned spa is not really in local taxpayers’ interests.
Why is it still in public ownership? By definition public enterprises are not-for-profit – they just stumble along costing lots of money to run, rarely breaking even, and don’t usually re-invest their ‘operational surplus.’ If the baths were taken out of the feather-bedded world of the public sector into the real-world private sector, than perhaps the profits could be used to re-invest into the business, expand operations and most importantly create more jobs (and give their website some much needed beauty treatment – which was last done, it seems, in 2004).
Like many local councils, Harrogate’s operations have become a bit unsightly – I suggest a pluck here and wax there (complete with manicure) will make resident’s council tax bill look that little more attractive.