When the opposition challenges the Minister's claims in the House that administrative personnel in the health sector have been reduced by 11%, he too quickly agrees to an independent inquiry. Sir Humphrey's solution is to offer the chairmanship of the inquiry to someone hoping to score brownie points with the government. The Minister is concerned when he learns that a brand new hospital has been open for 15 months and has yet to admit a patient despite having over 500 administrative personnel on staff. His attempts to either open the hospital to the public or cut the administrative staff, are blocked at every turn until he comes up with a unique solution Written by
Did You Know?
Unbeknownst to the writers, there were at least six NHS hospitals or major wings of hospitals that, like the fictional St. Andrews Hospital, had no patients. One in Cambridgeshire had only one patient: the Matron (head of nursing staff) who had fallen over some scaffolding and broken her leg. See more
Sir Ian Whitchurch
[to Sir Humphrey
First of all you have to sort out the smooth running of the hospital. Having patients around would be no help at all.