It’s Never Easy These Days: the Candid and Often Comical Memoir of a Hospital Manager

Anecdotal accounts of nursing and midwifery in days gone by are popular in books and TV.

Similar reminiscences by hospital managers are much rarer, so this slim volume is to be welcomed in helping to complete a more realistic view of how the NHS functioned.

Moaning about managers is a common currency among clinical staff, but their unglamorous role in ensuring that buildings are fit for purpose, supplies have been ordered and despatched, and the budget is spent wisely, are critical to the effectiveness of any health system.

The author began his management career at the age of 22 when he was put in charge of the medical and surgical stores for a group of hospitals. As he had little idea what a catheter was, a steep learning curve was essential.

A long career in a wide range of posts saw him coping with the challenges posed by independent sector and NHS hospitals in the 1980s and 90s. Everything from the smooth functioning of the car parks to the soothing of surgical egos passed across his desk.

This book will provoke wry smiles of recognition from those who remember this period, and will enlighten those who are more recent recruits.

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