The Handbook's advocacy of an analytical and comprehensive approach too, poses questions concerning better information, a subject long close to a special interest of the Trust. It also incorporates lessons of general applicability to a number of substantive areas such as financial information for management, as well as quality control.
At the same time the subject suggests the need for exploration of newer forms of managerial co-operation. There is indeed scope for innovative co-operation between Units and Districts when it comes to tendering and contracting, or for the aggregation of the activities of Units before requesting bids in pursuit of potential benefits from economies of scale and other such factors.
Such innovative practices, like better management in general, requires tangible skills and therefore raises important questions of education and training, as well as invoking the need for greater understanding of all that is involved, on the part particularly of those given to take the way of easy rhetoric rather than the critical paths which lead to greater productivity.
The size of the managerial task should not be underestimated. The preparation must be done thoroughly and for this reason politicians and authorities in the higher tiers of management should be cautious about setting unrealistic targets.
Nuffield Trust (1984) Health services management: Competitive tendering in the provision of domestic, catering, and laundry services.