back to article NHS IT boss walks out and steps back

Christine Connelly, chief information officer for health, has resigned ahead of a shakeup of the department. In a statement she said: “The Department of Health faces a major reorganisation of its top structures that will result in fewer Director General posts. I have been reflecting on whether I would wish to go for one of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    ... so, so wrong!

    "Executive Director of Operational Excellence in the Efficiency and Reform Group"

    ... so, so wrong - surely an oxymoron?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Oxymoron, or ......

      Efficiency and Reform Group = Make sure you run the clock-on-for-work transaction in as little time as possible........Solution: Use NFC cards.

      Operational Excellence = the task of making sure the transaction goes smoothly........Solution: Wipe down the card reader with a damp cloth.

      Executive Director = Da Boss.

      Therefore, by definition, she is the cleaning lady's boss!

      With apologies to all cleaning ladies.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    This woman's CV is a list of failed megaprojects.......she won't find it difficult to get another job in the UK.

    1. PeterM42

      Morons in charge of the Funny Farm

      Senior managers for the FAILED ID card project and the FAILED NHS computerisation - Where do they get these people? Are they FAILED managers from the private sector?

      Doesn't anyone get references or at least do some BASIC checks on their competence?

      Or is it, as we suspect, "jobs for the boys (or in this case girlies)"

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Fixed it for you ...

    "I have been reflecting on whether I would *get* one of those roles and decided that I *would* not."

  4. AgentSumSucker
    Thumb Down

    Do they never learn

    Atlast I thought maybe they'll get some one in who can take control of a £12bn project and who has a history of excellence and delivery.... bope instead the recruit some one involved in the ID Cards..... sweet jesus will this country never learn

  5. b-a-r-k-i-n-g-m-a-d

    Public sector!!

    Be like someone I know - get made redundant from one part of the NHS with a generous voluntary redundancy (VR) package to take up a job doing effectively the same just 3 weeks later - on more money!

    If you get VR from the public sector you should not be able to get another public sector job for at least 2 years or they should be able to claw back the VR payment.

    Public sector!!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      No only Public Sector.

      How many failed and not so failed 'Leaders of Industry & Commerce' move from one company board to another and receive a handsome reward for doing so without any loss of previous pension or remuneration? I'm not saying this is acceptable, even in a profit centred environment.

      This is the model that the public sector have copied from the corporate sector because 'if you want the best you have to pay (for) the best'. Now, if I look at the upper levels of the Civil Service, the Banks and large UK energy corps & PLC's I suggest to you they are not 'the best' or we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now.

      The problem here is the idea and concept of 'entitlement' that too many senior management have. When they're actually crap at their jobs (Peter Principle failures) but move on, or get moved on, and get more or the same Joe Public rightly get P..d off but have no power to do anything about it and teh Politicians wont because too many of them want/need to become part of it.

    2. Hector K Spankthrust III

      Generous VR Really??

      Not sure where your friend works but where I am we were offered MARS (mutually agreed resignation scheme - not VR, no, no cough cough) where the package was 50% of what you would get if you stuck it out and made them make you redundant...... Really doesn't sound like much of a win to me.

      You also don't mention as to whether it was with the same organisation, I suspect not. The NHS cannot be considered to be one big company, its made of separate legal entities so getting a job with another trust is akin to getting a job with a different company, you wouldn't want to be restricted from working for two years after being made redundant in the private sector would you?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Efficiency and Reform Group?

    Now that the word 'reform' has become a euphemism for corruption, incompetence and the slavish application of political dogma, how can it be compatible with efficiency?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was just talking about her to a mate at the NHS

    No offence to her because the same is true of many men I know, and I've no reason to assume she's not a lovely person, but according to Linkedin she graduated in 1980, presumably started in Sept that year, and just four years later was in her first management job.

    How can we reliably have people controlling projects with less than four years actual work experience of real development.

    The world is full of people who just want to be in management because they can't cut it on the floor.

    I'm very wary of people who have careers consisting of management jobs in companies so big they can afford to hide subjective and perhaps politically able, but technically useless people.

    Again, I repeat, I don't accuse her of this, but I've seen the scenario quite a few times.

    1. David Neil


      She might actually be a decent manager. A decent manager has to be able to play the politics of their organisation, otherwise some other bugger will shaft the team, but they should also know when to take the advice of the technical people they manage.

      To flip your closing line around, I've come across many technically gifted people who ended up in management positions and had the people skills of a bag of lettuce.

  8. David 39

    The Pioneer Saloon

    "The title of executive director of operational excellence in the Efficiency and Reform Group"

    You think she could have come up with a more efficient title

  9. Huey


    "executive director of operational excellence in the Efficiency and Reform Group."

    That has got to be made up how many b*llsh*t words can you have in one job title. Does even one of those confer anything about what is involved? hmm thought not.

    "Prior to that she worked on ID cards at the Home Office."

    Ah that explains it. She really needs to hide that from her CV.

    1. kain preacher


      That title sounds like something made up for and over the topic comedy show. Hear Benny hill theme music, oh wait Benny hill was not meant to taken seriously .

  10. banjomike

    Efficiancy and ID cards

    Hm, someone who has worked in Efficiancy at the NHS and in ID cards at the Home Office obviously has a really impressive track record.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Seagull managment

    And Another seagull moves on.

  12. D Moss Esq

    Gaping hole left in the Cabinet Office

    Is operational excellence in the Cabinet Office so unimportant that the executive director thereof can simply be yanked out at a moment's notice to replace the DP manager at the NHS?

    This is an extraordinary decision of Ian Watmore's (Mr Watmore is the government's Chief Operating Officer, no less), Is Mr Watmore losing his touch?

    Let's hope Katie Davis isn't losing hers. Eight years they had, round at the Identity & Passport Service (previously the UK Passport Service (previously the UK Passport Agency (previously the Passport Office))), eight years of unstinting political support and open-ended budgets for the ID card scheme, and what did they have to show for it at the end?


    That was one heck of a strategy, Ms Davis, it took some doing but if there is one place where you can replicate that success, Connecting for Health is it.

    Best of luck.

    Meanwhile, applications are sought for the post of Supreme Allied Director of Operational Excellence at the Cabinet Office (SADOE-CO). Previous experience a disadvantage. My CV is already there. Are you a man or a mouse? Apply today!

  13. mamsey

    How many?

    “The Department of Health faces a major reorganisation of its top structures that will result in fewer Director General posts."

    So how many Directors General does the Department of Health actually need?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    I spent three days working for the NHS

    It was a complete clusterfuck disaster -- management and IT all over the fucking shop.

    I just got up and left.

  15. Ascylto
    Big Brother


    She worked for the Home Office on ID Cards.

    She didn't see the train coming then so why should she see it now?

    Still, £200,000 a year plus a fat pension and lump-sum will help a little!

  16. D Moss Esq

    Accenture v. the Communist Party of great Britain -- who is Katie Davis?

    LinkedIn tells us that Katie Davis, the temporary replacement for Christine Connelly, got a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, 17 years and 8 months later she became Director of Government IT Profession in the Cabinet Office, then Executive Director of Strategy at IPS, and then Executive Director, Operational Excellence, Efficiency and Reform Group back in the Cabinet Office before yesterday's translation to the Department of Health.

    Where was she, you ask, during that silent 17 years and 8 months?

    Come on, you can guess.


    Oh, OK, she was a "Partner in Accenture's Customer Relationship Management practice from 2000 with operational responsibility for management of this area of the business. Specialised in the management of large-scale IT-enabled business change programmes, with experience across all phases of the delivery lifecycle".

    There now, that wasn't hard, was it?

    Ian Watmore was Chief Executive at Accenture UK. James Hall had previously been Managing Partner at Accenture UK. Together, they led Accenture into an NPfIT contract and lost several hundred million pounds for the firm. Watmore moved to the Cabinet Office. Hall took charge at IPS, where he ran the ID cards scheme into the ground, with the strategic assistance of his ex-Partner Katie Davis, who then moved back to work with her ex-Partner Ian Watmore at the Cabinet Office.

    Under Sir David Nicholson at the Department of Health, this will be the first time in 24 years and 4 months that Katie has not worked for an Accenturion. It's going to be a shock. On his Wikipedia entry, it says: "Nicholson joined the NHS on graduation, and then the Communist Party of Great Britain. He remained a member of the CPGB until 1983". Apart from strategy, what will they find to talk about?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ha revolving doors

    Was the position advertised, and the correct EU recruitment procedures followed? Just *one* person on the interview panel with a modicum of common sense would have blocked this appointment.

    But, hey, it's all part of La Ronde: highly paid posts - and pensions - for people who fail at everything they do while the proles carry on struggling.

    And Accenture? Formerly Anderson Consulting. They couldn't find their way out of a paper bag. But they'd sure charge the Earth for their failed attempts.

  18. D Moss Esq

    The multi-billion pound question

    In 2006 Accenture walked away from its NPfIT contract with a provision in the accounts for $450 million of losses. As reputations go, that’s tarnished.

    It is thanks to Richard Granger that that $450 million was on Accenture’s books and not the British Exchequer’s.

    How things have changed since he left.

    Accenture handed over to CSC. They have learnt to bumble along, failing hither thither and yon and, under Christine Connelly, it really didn’t matter, they got paid anyway. Same with BT.

    Which will Katie Davis be? That is the multi-billion pound question. A Granger? Or a Connelly?

  19. D Moss Esq

    The last word in excellence

    Will Ms Davis make a good CIO at Connecting for health?

    While we are waiting for the future to unfold, we can only divert ourselves with an examination of her record to date.

    1. She is currently the Executive Director of Operational Excellence at the Cabinet Office. Do we have more operational excellence since her advent, yes or no?

    2. Before that she was the Executive Director of Strategy at the Identity & Passport Service. Was it a good strategy, yes or no?

    3. Before that, according to the Telegraph [1], she wanted to set up a public service IT academy. Do we have a public service IT academy, yes or no?

    4. Before that, same source, she worked in the Delivery and Transformation Group, all something to do with the Transformational Government initiative. Has government been transformed, yes or no?

    5. In his report on DEFRA’s Rural Payments Agency [2], David Hunter lists the members of the RPA Board. And there, almost the last line of Mr Hunter’s 75-page report, is Ms Davis, Non-Executive Director, MIS, Change. Was she a successful non-executive director, MIS, change, yes or no?




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