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EDITORIAL – 4th December 2020


My youngest son has experienced an eventful academic year thus far, as has every child of school age across Britain and, even, the world. C-19 has not only massively affected lessons but also the full fabric of school life and, of course, social interaction. I have watched him wrestle with anxieties, angst, relationships, successes and frustrations – much of it played out on social media and the inevitable Zoom ‘party’ events. I know that he has struggled at times and I would imagine that people reading this with children of their own will empathise and concur.

It was therefore delightful this week to see that his shoulders were raised a little, his demeanour more confident, a smile once again occupying the lower part of his face.

My gentle questioning over family supper revealed the answer.

“We’re shooting a video at school. We are not allowed to sing together so we are doing Shakin’ Stevens ‘Merry Christmas’ in sign language. It’s going to be broadcast on Parentmail instead of the Christmas Concert.”

Of course, within moments all of us were being taught the various gestures, with varying degrees of success, it must be said. If you’d like to learn how to do it, click here. There you are, you’ve still got a couple of weeks to nail it!

The entire story led me to contemplate how a small idea, action, gesture or example of thoughtfulness can transform a human being. I think that we, too often, we forget the impact that the little things have on our daily lives – positively or negatively. Words can boost and they can drain – and we get the opportunity, every day, to choose which words we use. Select them carefully.

Albert Mehrabian, as managers within Royal Wolverhampton and Walsall Healthcare know well owing to their IHM training workshops last week, looked at the means by which we give and receive information and the emotional ‘like’ that we infer. He came up with 3 numbers:

7, 38, 55

7% of the information that we receive comes solely from the words which are used, 38% from the tone, tenor, tempo and emotion with which they are delivered, and 55% from…. body language. The key is that the messages must be congruent, that is the 3 channels must be consistent. Saying ‘I don’t have a problem with you’ whilst avoiding eye contact and shifting nervously from foot to foot is incongruent, for example.

So, my editorial this week asks you to think about your ‘small stuff’ leadership. Take time to absorb the details of behaviours, actions and outcomes of the people whom you lead. Think about the way in which you respond, acknowledge and recognise them. Consider your vocabulary, body language and emotions. There is never a bad time to take a break, reflect, and improve. I have heard the expression ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ and I understand the sentiment, but to my mind, if we are wanting to improve as leaders, the small stuff is always a great place to start. We are all in the business of boosting people’s confidence and ability.

I’ll look forward to watching my son’s sign language version of Merry Christmas and I’ll enjoy the look on the children’s faces, I’m sure. I’ll also raise a glass to the teacher who refused to acknowledge that a small event, in the big scheme of the C-19 response, should be ignored this year. Moreover (and they may never know this) they were responsible for making my son smile. That is a very worthy thing to achieve.

Stay safe, stay strong, and thankyou for the brilliant work you are all doing.

Jon Wilks



This week Lateral Flow Tests are being made available to care homes, new visiting guidance has been released and there is excitement about the COVID-19 vaccination. All very positive right?

Providers are swamped, new guidance being fired out relentlessly. Leaders and managers are scurrying to make sense of it all – what does it mean for us, how we will manage it, how will we find the staff capacity, how on earth will we pay for all of this? Family carers are desperate to see their loved ones. Some haven’t seen them in person since March, others (myself included) have been lucky enough to see them in person but of course, no physical contact. A few providers have led the way on handholding and hugs visits (nicknaming the tests as a ‘hug in a box’) and the videos will bring tears to your eyes.

It’s vital that providers feel confident and ready to advance visiting in a way that is suitable to the people they provide care and support for. No one size fits all. As long as you start from a position of wanting to support face to face visiting where possible and communicating with family carers regularly. I do struggle with the ‘I won’t allow it’ attitude.

As for the vaccines, they are causing anxiety about consent, capacity assessments and best interests. A document is being produced by DHSC legal advisors to support with that, we’ll share it as soon as we can. In essence though, the person actually administering the vaccine is ultimately responsible, but they will likely ask care providers for support on capacity assessments and best interests.

On the 1st of December, we launched our national campaign #ThanksForCareWorkers at the FAB Thank You Show (if you missed it, I highly recommend you watch it on catch-up, I’m still smiling from it). We’ve teamed up with The Care Workers’ Charity, National Care Forum and Thank and Praise to show how critical care workers are to society and encourage the public to show their appreciation by posting messages on a virtual thanking wall, as well as gaining much needed donations for the Care Workers’ Charity. Please do take a look and share widely.

As ever, thank you for all that you do.

Jane Brightman

General Manager for Social Care



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During these very challenging times for the NHS  we recognise that there will be a need for managers and staff to be able to reach out to colleagues to chat/talk through the issues they are facing on a day to day basis.

The IHM WhatsApp Support Group is a buddying system which aims to help members do just that!

Please click here for more information!

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Beware the sting in the pension tail………

The NHS has always relied on the goodwill of its staff and associated members to provide the best service it can under extreme conditions. This will include staff agreeing to work additional hours in order to meet the gap in care being demanded and during the current pandemic, and has never been truer or tested as hard. The extra work is usually recognised and rewarded through the pay-packet of the health professional.

This article, prepared exclusively for IHM members by Haines Watts, Chartered Accountants, explains how the extra pay may create an unexpected tax burden on the recipient because the extra pay increases their final pension entitlement.

Click here to read the entire article


Our joint campaign aims to shine a light on the inspirational people making up the UK’s two million care workers, looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our society. 

Please click on the image above to read about the campaign in full.  

The IHM is delighted to announce a formal partnership with specialist communications agency Highland Marketing. Highland will be helping the IHM in publicising forthcoming campaigns, events, reports and conferences as well as providing valuable advice and guidance.

Please make a note in your diary!

GIANT Health Event

The GIANT Health Expo takes place next week on 1st and 2nd December. The IHM has a stream at 9am on 2nd December entitled ‘helping health and social care managers to manage technology’. This is a panel discussion featuring experts from the world of digital health technology and GIANT has generously agreed that IHM members can attend the GIANT Expo for free!

Go to the GIANT website and sign up for the full price all access ticket (usual cost £495) using the discount code ‘IHM’.

Academy of Fabulous Stuff 
Thank You Show

NHS, Health, and Social Care staff are doing fabulous work during the pandemic, and now is a good time to say ‘THANK YOU’.

On 1st December, 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm the Academy of Fabulous Stuff is planning a fabulous free event for everyone working in health and social care which will include amazing acts to entertain, lots of fun, and wonderful (and famous) people saying ‘Thank You’.

This is a family show so you can watch and share the sentiments and entertainment with your children.

You do not need to register, the show will be streamed online:  https://www.fabchangeday.com/fab-show/

Please make a note in your diary!


Here at the IHM we recognize that we need to support the professional careers of our members through the provision of ongoing education and development in order to provide them with the necessary skills to face the challenges of leadership in the modern health and social care sectors.

With this in mind we are pleased to introduce a series of online short courses which are designed to fit around busy working lives:


You can find further information about these and other personal development opportunities under our Personal Development Menu.