The NHS needs system leadership

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Sir Roy Griffiths in his seminal report on NHS management some 30 odd years ago observed that if Florence Nightingale had been carrying her lamp through the corridors of the NHS then, 'she would almost certainly have been searching for the people in charge'.

Thirty years on, she would be looking outwards – into general practice and social care, and into the private and voluntary sectors, in order to find the people who would make her wards work better.

She would, in other words, be looking for system leaders to work with her. For it is a truth now universally acknowledged that it is system leadership that the NHS and social care requires, not just strong leaders of great but single organisations.

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