'Andy Burnham makes some thoughtful points about how managers can improve their own publicity'
Over the past three months, HSJhas raised the volume on a message that has always been at the core of our beliefs.
Our campaign, 'Managers Make the Difference', closes this week with an endorsement from health minister Andy Burnham. Given Mr Burnham's brief from the prime minister to create an 'engagement and communications plan' for the service, that recognition has particular value.
Mr Burnham makes some thoughtful points about how managers can improve their own publicity: in particular he highlights relations between MPs, local government overview and scrutiny committees and managers as critical to good decision-making.
HSJchose to shout now about the importance of management because we feel that too many managers are getting an unfair deal: easy victims of cost-cutting, scapegoats for government policy, faced with ever-increasing pressures while lacking political support and proper investment in their own development.
We hope that we have offered some support when all the evidence shows you are feeling undervalued, uninformed and demoralised. More than that, we hope we have provided you with some of the information - and ammunition - to defend management's corner and to learn the skills to progress. We thank you for the part you have played in making the campaign such a success. The resources from the campaign continue to be available at www.hsj.co.uk/managers
makethedifference, and a final selection of signatories to our charter appears in this week's Feedback.
There is plenty more that managers need to support the running of strong organisations. The Audit Commission's report on the NHS accountancy regime (news section) calls for an end to resource accounting budgeting - the lethal doublecounting of deficits for acute trusts which fall in the red. That is not a decision the Treasury would take lightly. But tough decisions aren't just for managers: if the government is serious about getting the NHS on an even keel, determined action to free organisations from the millstone of historic debt is critical to their future success.