A review of leadership in the NHS

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The 2012 leadership review examined the concept of leadership for engagement in health care, promoting engagement within teams, organisations and across the system to drive improvement. The final report was published in May 2012. We also commissioned a series of supporting papers by leadership and policy experts (which are available to download with the report.)

Why were we looking at leadership in the NHS?

Following last year's successful Commission on Leadership and Management in the NHS, including the publication of the report The future of leadership and management in the NHS: No more heroes and our first annual NHS Leadership and Management Summit with the Secretary of State, we instigated a further review on the theme of leadership for engagement.

Last year the commission's report concluded that the challenges facing the NHS require leaders to engage with staff and those outside their organisation in different ways. A distributed leadership approach is needed - one that moves away from the concept of the superhero chief executive toward leadership which is demonstrated at all levels and across organisational boundaries.

What did this review examine?

In 2012, we used our review to examine the concept of leadership for engagement in health care.

The new work encompassed engagement and relationship-building across a range of dimensions within the NHS, including leaders engaging staff, the public and patients; and NHS leaders engaging partner organisations in developing leadership across systems of care in order to:

  • understand/clarify the value of engaging leadership in the NHS
  • provide case studies and recommendations to support the further development of leadership for engagement in the NHS.

Related videos

Chris Ham introduced the key findings of our year-long review into NHS leadership at our recent Leadership and management summit. Comparing it to last year's 'No more heroes report, he emphasised the need for leaders who can engage their staff and work across organisational boundaries.

Peter Lees, Founding Director, Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, UK Medical Royal Colleges, Dr Emma Stanton, CEO, Beacon UK and SpR, SLAM NHS Foundation Trust and Co-Founder Diagnosis, and Jan Sobieraj, Interim Managing Director, NHS Leadership Academy, give their responses to the final report from the NHS Leadership Review. 

In the first of our lectures supporting our Review of leadership in the NHS, Ciarán Devane, CEO of Macmillan Cancer Support, discussed his experience of influence versus authority. In this short video he explains how a relatively small organisation achieves influence over the NHS cancer budget.

In the second of our lectures supporting our Review of Leadership in the NHS, Elisabeth Buggins, Chair of Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust, discussed leadership styles and implications for board leadership.

At the third of our 2012 Leadership Review lectures, Richard Bohmer, Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School and International Visiting Fellow at the Fund, spoke about clinical leadership for service improvement.

This talk was recorded at our NHS Leadership and Management Summit, in May 2012.

Further information

For more information on the review, leadership lectures or summit please contact leadershipreview@kingsfund.org.uk

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