Asking how the ratio of management to front line staff has changed at a public hospital seemed like a straight-forward question.
In this era of obsession with hyper-efficiency, you’d think the Ministry of Health, the Local Health Integration Networks and the hospital boards would be asking this question, and asking it regularly.
Doesn’t everyone want more live bodies actually delivering diagnostics, acute care and rehab?
To be fair the Ministry breaks down data by what they describe as “unit producing personnel” (UPP) and those whose “primary function is the management and or support of the operation of the functional centre” (MOS). Oddly the terms themselves suggest that managers don’t actually produce anything, which is much further than we would certainly go. (Note to managers reading this – are you really okay with these terms?)
If all this confuses you, apparently it does for hospitals too. There have been past complaints about the consistency and subsequent validity of such data. In our recent survey of the changing ratios of managers to front line staff, several hospitals opted (with our permission) to give us the UPP/MOS data instead of interpreting themselves who was in fact a manager.
Conducting what we thought was a basic freedom of information request, we received data in various formats and continually got the question: what is management?