Monday, 31 August 2009

The Lesser-Spotted NHS Manager

Unless the NHS has developed a Romulan cloaking device there can be no rational explanation for the absence of managers in the wards and corridors of our hospitals. I’ve yet to see one of these exotic beings on my particular ward during my stay here. Don’t get me wrong; I have seen the lesser-spotted NHS manager before at other hospitals… but only very occasionally.

If you want to know what one of these creatures looks like then allow me to describe the species in a little more detail. Their breeding ground is a small hatchery just outside Kings Lynn where they are raised before being dispatched to the hospitals throughout the UK. Their habitat is shared with the nesting grounds of the Greater Red-haired Receptionist, another rare and even less sociable breed found in GP surgeries up and down the land. There is only the one species of lesser-spotted NHS manager and as there is little variation spotting one shouldn’t be too difficult.

So, how do you recognise this rare creature? Well, to begin with, sex is a pretty good indicator. The species is exclusively female, comfortably plump and matures in its early to mid forties. The plumage is a man-made twin-set with the occasional frilled white frontage and ever-present spectacles on a chain. Head feathers vary in colour but normally range from garish aubergine through to peroxide blonde. The feathers are constantly preened and usually held in place by a cocktail of various stiffening chemicals and dyes. There’s one essential feature that makes spotting the manager really simple… the presence of a clipboard in the crook of the arm at all times.

As far as the call of the manager goes it’s very muted indeed. The species finds it difficult to communicate and only becomes really vocal when reporting to superiors or dismissing patients’ complaints; otherwise she remains stubbornly silent.

The only action I’ve ever seen one of these creatures perform is the running of a finger along a door ledge as it checks for the presence of dust. This is followed by avid box ticking before said manager glides noiselessly from the ward, exiting as a small wisp of vapour in the fashion of a vampire.

Expert opinion is divided on the true function of this shy creature although they are known to have few if any natural predators and therefore their numbers have increased considerably in recent years and show no signs of decline.


  1. Bring back the greater starched ward sister, noted for her magnificent front and stern attitude to interlopers

  2. As one of my med school professors used to say, "Never argue with a wide-bodied nurse."

  3. Hehe, I love it... The Greater Red-haired recepetionist. I am glad you are at least able to see some humour in your situation. I worked in a hospital kitchen part time when I was studying and I was honestly ashamed at some of the "food" I had to serve up to the patients. Why do we always feed people who are stuck in dire conditions like hospital or long haul flights the worst things. When many of the hours are usually spent just waiting for that one small novelty of the day.

    Anyway, thanks for you blog. I am really enjoying reading it :)