NHS specialist teams must be varied

New teams of specialists sent in to help failing NHS Trusts must include experts with a variety of management skills, including HR, union leaders have warned.

The ‘turnaround teams’, announced by NHS chief Sir Nigel Crisp earlier this month, will include specialists from the health service and private sector to provide more support to Trusts and health authorities struggling with financial deficits.

Details about the make-up of the teams, the type and length of project, and how much individuals will be paid, are still vague, but they are expected to focus on finance.

John Restell, chief executive of health service managers’ union Managers in Partnership, said it was important the teams included a range of specialists, and not just finance professionals.

“We need to see more about what their terms of reference will be. It’s not just a financial exercise, it’s about running services and meeting other delivery targets,” he said.

The Department of Health (DoH) said the teams would look at ways of improving efficiency, in-cluding better management of staffing costs, smarter procurement or the sharing of back-office functions.

A DoH spokeswoman said it was too early to say whether there would be any HR expertise in the specialist teams.

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