What is 'General Management'?
In 1983/4, the Government led by Margaret Thatcher and her Health Minister, Kenneth Clarke, introduced General Management into the NHS to provide a ‘bias for action’ and more rapid decision making. I applied for and didn’t get my first possible GM post in Colchester – this gave me a taste for this role and I succeeded in getting the Unit General Manager Post managing the Mental Health Service in Somerset where my post was to develop community care services and thereby close two large, old Victorian asylums. I then moved to Cheltenham in 1989 to run 5 acute medical hospitals in Cheltenham and Cirencester.
These two jobs were both exciting and challenging and introduced me to managing large organisations and budgets and showed me how the individual conflict I saw in my patients could just as easily be represented by conflict with organisations - both individual and organisational conflict can be intractable, but with positivity and effective compassionate communication and leadership, can be resolved.