Development of leadership and talent in the NHS vital during economic downturn

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Commenting in response to plans announced today by the Department of Health for a new National Leadership Council, The King’s Fund’s Director of Leadership Karen Lynas said:

'During these times of economic pressure and organisational destabilisation, it’s reassuring that the government is taking the development of leadership and talent in the NHS seriously. It's crucial to have good leadership at all levels and this remains the key to transforming the NHS and delivering high quality services for all patients. For this to happen we need to see significant investment in the development of those who will lead the NHS over the next 10 years.

'The big challenge for the NHS is clinical re-engagement – medical and nursing staff have felt disempowered, devalued and frustrated in their efforts to provide the quality of care patients deserve. The task facing the Council is therefore a challenging one.

'But there is welcome recognition in the government’s approach that the answer is not to be too centralist and that the development of leadership talent should be about freeing up the service to get on with it. The opportunity here is for the Council to be a catalyst for change, rather than a manager of process – we look forward with interest to seeing the progress of this work.'

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Notes to editors

  1. For further information or interviews, please contact The King’s Fund press and public affairs office on 020 7307 2585, 020 7307 2632 or 020 7307 2581. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.

  2. The King’s Fund is a charity that seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved. Using that insight, we help to shape policy, transform services and bring about behaviour change. Our work includes  research, analysis, leadership development and service improvement. We also offer a wide range of resources to help everyone working in health to share knowledge, learning and ideas.