I was idling my time away on twitter a few weeks ago and came across a blog by Dean Royles, the director of the NHS Employers.
It made me smile.
He bemoaned the fact that “Hardly anyone supports and encourages NHS managers, or shows any recognition or appreciation of the context they work in or the difficult, sometimes intractable challenges they face”.
His blog struck a cord with me.
We often describe managers as faceless bureaucrats, men in grey suits doing terrible things to make our jobs more difficult.
But any nurse who has had to juggle a Christmas off duty will know what it is to make difficult decisions. Hours spent deliberating, manoeuvring and negotiating and despite every effort no one is happy.
I don’t believe any of us came into healthcare to deliberately annoy and antagonise our staff.
I was speaking to a manager the other day who has spent 10 years building a team and service and the last 18 months dismantling it. Clearly staff and patients were angry but funding had been withdrawn and difficult decisions had to be made.
I asked why she didn’t leave and she described how committed she was to the last 10 years and the staff who had made it work. Despite the flak she was getting from those around her she felt she had to hang on in there for the good of the team.
So in the season of goodwill think about your managers and the difficult jobs they have. And to quote from Dean’s blog, “We have some – in fact, a lot of –brilliant managers doing a tough, demanding and mostly rewarding job that they love and care about”.
So if you have one of them, go on, buy them a Christmas present!