Another interactive post! I was recently asked for help by a regular library user. He had just been elected to a grand post on a grand committee. While up on all things medical he was in need of some help finding information on the policies and politics. This is the list I gave him, with a few embellishments.
Most Trust's these days have their own website. Essex Rivers has one, so has the Mental Health Trust and the local PCT. These should hopefully give you names of senior managers, a strategy, perhaps some financial information and other basics about the Trust as an organisation. There is also the Strategic Health Authority.
The National Library for Health has a section on health management, explaining everything you need to know in short documents. The King's Fund has a useful collection of information, including some nice briefings on key issues (although beware a slight bias towards all things London).
The Department of Health, of course, is the bit that churns out a lot of the policy and documentation. They have a whole section on management issues. Everything new on the site gets mentioned on this page, and the latest "policies and initiatives" for secondary care also have a page.
The BMA have information on health policy, NHS funding and "system reform". Just bear in mind that the BMA is a union and so may have a not entirely unbiased view of things...
Current hot topics are Lord Darsi's review of the NHS and (for medics) the Tooke report on modernising medical careers.
Heath policy is always big in the news, so keep your eye on the BBC and on a couple of newspapers - perhaps the Guardian and the Telegraph, to keep abreast of the issues. There is also a section on the on the library current awareness page on local Trusts in the news.
Finally, for a grounding in the how and why of where we got where we are today, there are plenty of books in the library on the history, the whys and wherefores of the NHS.
Image (c) creative commons