Published: 20/06/2002, Volume II2, No.5810 Page 20
Many health service managers believe that the government holds them in low regard. A supposedly even-handed approach often appears to mean carrots for the medical staff, while the stick is reserved for those with management jobs.
The experience of the chief executives interviewed for our cover feature (pages 28-31) suggest that things are particularly tough at the top.
The government has always denied that it uses managers as scapegoats, of course, but now the country's most senior politician has decided to make his support of managers explicit and high profile. Tony Blair has recognised the role of 'creative and effective management' in the NHS through the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Health Care Management (see page 19). It is a very welcome and encouraging sign.
The prime minister's award is the ultimate prize in HSJ's Health Management Awards. The awards, now in their 21st year, have more categories than ever before and seek to highlight both the scale and importance of the health management task.
But only you can make these awards a true reflection of the innovative work being done by health service managers and their colleagues. So if you believe you are involved in something worth shouting about, then request that entry form now. And if you are one of those hard-pressed chief executives, seek out and encourage entries from your team.
The PM, for the moment, has done his bit - now it is up to you.