Supporting people and leaders: a 2020-24 strategic priority

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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 2021 we will: 

  • Continue to provide a range of open programmes and leadership development support for individuals, teams, organisations and systems
  • Develop a free self-directed learning programme and other content to promote compassionate leadership
  • 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 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.



We offer a range of development programmes to support you at all stages of your leadership journey.


Organisational development

Unlike other consulting approaches, OD at The King’s Fund starts from the premise that the experts in addressing these issues are the people who face them every day. 


Stories from social care leadership

Richard Humphries and Nicholas Timmins interview voices from across the social care sector to explore where leadership lies and what might be done to improve it.


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 at how three NHS providers are working to better support staff and address these inequalities.


The courage of compassion: Supporting nurses and midwives to deliver high-quality care

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 these issues and examples of good practice. 


Leading through Covid-19

The health and care system has faced a huge challenge over the past year. These resources are aimed at leaders working in the NHS, social care, public health or the voluntary and independent sector. We want to hear about the challenges you are facing, to help us shape the resources we produce and ensure these are practical and useful. 

Contact us to find out more about this work


Jo Vigor

Programme lead, Supporting People and Leaders