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Supporting people and leaders

A 2020-25 strategic priority

The workforce crisis in health and care poses the single greatest risk to access to and quality of care. We will support leaders in all parts of the health and care system to address staff shortages and work alongside them to develop compassionate and inclusive cultures that enable health and care staff to provide the best possible care. We will support leaders, organisations and systems to collaborate to deliver change and ensure that people working in health and care are able to make best use of digital technologies.

What do we want to achieve?

The aim of the programme is to create a healthier, more inclusive and effective health and care workforce.  We will do this by combining leadership support and organisational development with our knowledge of health and care policy to:

  • encourage the development of compassionate and inclusive workplace cultures

  • support leaders individually and collectively to develop their leadership practice

  • influence policy and work at system level to deliver the transformational changes needed across health and care.

What will the programme focus on?

During 2024 we will:

  • continue to focus our leadership and organisational development practice work on the conditions required for leaders and their teams to successfully operate within and across organisational and system boundaries

  • focus on the need for compassionate, inclusive, and diverse workplace cultures and the conditions required to address the health and wellbeing needs of the workforce

  • refresh our thinking about clinical leadership and the support needs of ICS leaders as they take on greater responsibility for people planning and transformation

  • continue to develop our understanding staff shortages, the driving forces behind them and how they can be addressed

  • continue our successful programmes of work to support leaders working in the voluntary and community sector.

Resources and key projects

Catch up with some of the programme's reports, projects and resources.

  • Leadership and organisational development

    We are here to help with every step of your professional development. Explore our latest thinking about leadership or browse through our courses and resources below.

  • An introduction to leading with kindness and compassion in health and social care

    Develop your understanding of how to lead with compassion and kindness within the health and social care sectors on this free online course delivered in partnership with FutureLearn.

  • Workforce race inequalities and inclusion in NHS providers

    Despite having a diverse workforce, ethnic minority staff in the NHS continue to experience worse levels of bullying and a lack of opportunities for career progression. This report looks...

  • The courage of compassion

    This report, commissioned by the RCN Foundation, explores the causes and consequences of poor mental health and wellbeing among nurses and midwives, and seeks to identify solutions to th...

Contact us to find out more about this work

See our other priorities

  • Foundations of health and care

    'The foundations of health and care' is one of our strategic priorities. We'll provide analysis, explain key issues and the landscape of the health and care system.

  • Healthy places and communities

    The purpose of our work on healthier places and communities is to support effective place-based working that leads to improved health and wellbeing.

  • Tackling the worst health outcomes

    The programme will work with people with lived experience, communities and services to improve health and care for people with the worst health outcomes in England.