It’s a slam-dunk that Labour will form the next administration.

Well, maybe.

In 1992, Labour’s Neil Kinnock was widely expected to win and the polls gave him a lead through the campaign. What happened? The Tory, John Major squeaked home.

Labour were too confident and voters didn’t feel they could trust Labour’s economic management.

This was history repeating itself.

Back in 1970, Harold Wilson was expected to win comfortably but again, the electors felt anxious over economic management and that lead to a surprise victory for the Tories.

In 2017 the conservatives, under Theresa May were expecting to win decisively but we ended-up with a hung parliament.

That was all about how a lot of older Tory voters and their families felt about the so-called ‘dementia tax’.

Labour had a to-do-list that a broad base of voters felt need doing but a leader they felt nervous about.

Much of Corbyn’s, manifesto has become policy for the conservatives …

• Broadband in every home (Covid has accelerated installations)
• Plans to take-back key utilities into public ownership (The trains have been and water looks next)
• Extensions to child care (Sunak is scrambling to get this done)
• Increases to NHS and mental health funding (Happening now)
• Promises to cut waiting times for treatment (On Sunak’s do-or-die list)
• More affordable housing (Big push on social housing)
• More police officers (BoJo did that)
• Addressing social inequality… levelling up (Michael Gove is on the case)…

What is there to take from that? Four things;

It’s easier to lose an election than it is to win it.

You’re not PM until the removal van delivers yer bed to Downing Street.

What needs to be done, gets done, eventually… and a good idea is a good idea, red or blue.

And of the four, the most important… feelings matter more than facts.

When government ministers on the telly get challenged about something or other, they reply with numbers and facts. ‘We’re investing billions in this or that’ and ‘millions more are getting millions more’.

All facts. Undeniable facts.

Talking billions to people like you and me who measure things in tens, hundreds and occasionally thousands, means nothing.

They over-look feelings.

When Silly-Boy is asked about the future of the NHS we get facts about how he’ll find £millions to pay NHS people to work evenings and weekends to bring down waits. It’s a fact, he’ll raise the money to do it.

He’s overlooking feelings.

Telling NHS people they’re expected to work evenings and weekends, when they have family commitments, travel issues and are already knackered means at best, nothing and at worst… stuff-it.

‘Feelings’ are about how people connect. Feelings are emotions and at the core of our motivation.

Hospitals and GP surgeries across the UK are paying a record £4.6bn for agency personnel and another £5.8bn for doctors and nurses and staff to do extra “bank” shifts, effectively overtime, to plug gaps in rotas.

Undeniably, overtime payments will be welcome for some but remember, they can easily push people into a higher tax band and there comes with that, the question; is it worth it?

Nurses, in particular, many whom build their lives and families around the three-twelve-hour-days shift system, and a couple of extra shifts in a care home, might struggle.

You can’t open half a hospital, its about the porters, the canteen, estates, parking, security, imaging, diagnostics, clerks and everyone who makes the work of doctors and nurses work. The overtime bill could be colossal.

It’s a fact; the NHS has to get waiting list down. How the people tasked with the job feel about doing it is something else.

And the public?

Many will do overtime and understand the dynamics of it. It’s discretionary, people can’t be forced to do it. Does it ‘feel’ like overtime will reduce the seven-plus millions waiting?

Doesn’t this feel like a problem that needs a more solid solution than enough people volunteering to do a bit extra?

For sure, Trusts Boards will be subject to political pressure to bring down waiting. In turn, they’ll pressure managers who will pressure staff to work more hours. If they won’t or can’t, that’s when the bullying starts.

That’s a fact.

News and Comment from Roy Lilley
Contact Roy – please use this e-address roy.lilley@nhsmanagers.net
Reproduced at thetrainingnet.com by kind permission of Roy Lilley.