On 6 October 1983, Roy Griffiths, deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Sainsbury’s, wrote a letter to the Rt. Hon. Norman Fowler, MP, Secretary of State for Social Services. In 24 pages it set out the conclusions of his inquiry team on the managerial structure of the National Health Service (NHS), the largest employer in Britain. The team consisted of three other members — Mike Bett, Board Member for Personnel at British Telecom, Jim Blyth, Group Finance Director of United Biscuits and Sir Brian Bailey, Chairman of the Health Education Council. They were assisted by three civil servants. The team had only been appointed in February of the same year so it was, by the yardstick of government enquiries, a rapid piece of work. It began: ‘This letter is not intended to be a major addition to the already considerable library of National Health Service literature’. Instead, it presented its recommendations in the form of ‘management action to be taken by you’.
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