Something I agree with…

Something I agree with…

‘Seventy seven men and boys were employed as Leather-dressers and Glove-cutters, 40 boys employed as Dusters and 1,111 women employed as Sewers. Skins dressed annually were 80,000 and 18,000 skins of dressed leather were imported. From these were made and exported annually, 23,504 dozens of pairs of gloves.’

That little historical factoid comes from 1823 and the place was Hexham.

It also has a very good Hosptial, that I have had the great good fortune to visit. It was first built to treat wounded soldiers during WW2.

Through various iterations it was rebuilt using the PFI and later became (I think) the first Hospital to buy itself out of the deal, having made a unique arrangement to borrow money from the local authority.

Famous for making gloves, famous for super healthcare, famous for busting a PFI and famous for being BoJo’s bolt-hole, on the day the sleaze-busters were after him and… famous for not wearing a mask during a visit to the Trust.

As the Hexham Chronicle put it;

‘… [BoJo] has come in for criticism after being accused of “irresponsibly parading” around a North East hospital without a face covering on.’

Oh dear.

BoJo wouldn’t be the first boss to break rules and it can create problems, down the line, when a poor example is set.

I’d bet the farm, today, some luckless nurse or security person will challenge a member of the public to ‘wear a mask, please’, who will come back with a gob-full of ‘BoJo didn’t so I ain’t gonna…’ It just makes life that bit more difficult.

What do you do, when the boss breaks the rules?

First, check the rules. Be clear, what are they. Since 19 July 2021, there’s been no legal requirement to wear face coverings in indoor settings or on public transport.

However, BoJo’s guidance continues;

‘…We expect and recommend that members of the public continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet.’

Elbow bumping with nurses in an empty corridor? Well, there is this;

‘Infection Prevention Control guidance ‘advises’ that patients and visitors across ‘all healthcare settings’ should wear a face covering…’

The DH press-wrigglers and dissemblers claimed BoJo wore a mask in ‘clinical settings’. Sorry folks that doesn’t add-up to ‘all healthcare settings’.

But, you can see the problem. The rules aren’t ‘rules’ they are ‘advice’. 

Not crystal clear and if you are the type of boss who wants to be a wriggler… there is room.

Second, ask the boss if she or he believes they may be breaking the rules. Clearly not in the case of Mask-Gate.

Third, ask the boss if they realise the impact of their behaviour. For most people the splash of very poor publicity across Tuesday morning’s papers, would damage their company brand and their own credibility.

BoJo’s behaviour has left the Trusts having to field compliance questions and I doubt he’s bovvered.

Polling by IpsosMori, published on Monday, showed BoJo’s personal rating has plunged to its lowest level since he stepped through the door of No10. 

If the boss don’t care what people think… it becomes an even tougher call.

Four; talk with colleagues, get their view of the boss. Ensure you are being objective. Ministers circle the wagons around BoJo as they are all enthral for their jobs, so that’s not much help.

NHS Providers and the Confed could write to Number Ten asking for ‘compliance with the spirit of the guidance, on ministerial visits, please’. I doubt they will… but I’ll stump-up for the stamp if they do.

Five; try to figure out why the boss behaves badly. Is it just a personality issue or are they running away from a problem… like poll ratings or sleaze busters.

All this is standard stuff and assumes you are dealing with a normal boss. The sort that has a clear vision, tells the truth, is supportive, decisive and able to inspire confidence. Someone who can earn respect and does the right thing.

Without all that, you are just wasting your time.

However, interviewed, by local reporter Georgia Langdon, BoJo described Hexham General Hospital as an

“…amazing model of how to do things and how to get things right… ” … well, that’s something I can definitely agree with!

News and Comment from Roy Lilley
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Reproduced at by kind permission of Roy Lilley.