Leadership and engagement for improvement in the NHS: Together we can

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The NHS faces a number of challenges – driving up quality of care, making significant productivity gains, ensuring the government’s reforms work. To meet these challenges, individuals and organisations need to rethink the way in which power and responsibility are shared within teams and organisations and across the health and care system.

Leadership and engagement for improvement in the NHS: together we can makes the case for engaging staff, patients and boards and for building relationships across systems of care. Building on the work of The King's Fund's 2011 Leadership Commission, the 2012 review has taken evidence from a number of national and international experts. Their evidence makes a compelling case for leadership and engagement:

  • organisations whose staff are engaged deliver a better patient experience, fewer errors and higher staff morale
  • engaging patients in their care can ensure that care is more appropriate and improve outcomes
  • increasing recognition of the importance of integrated care requires leaders to be effective across systems, both within and outside the NHS.

To make engagement a reality requires action at all levels, from the NHS Commissioning Board to the teams delivering care for patients. It also requires commitment to training and development of clinical staff in leadership skills from early in their careers. The unifying vision for every leader should be engaging for improvement with a clear focus on improving patient care and population health outcomes.

Comments

Barbara Kennedy

Position
Psychotherapist, coach, (ex NHS CE),
Comment date
09 October 2012
Leadership development is absolutely crucial if the government reforms are to stand any chance of working. General Practice consists of small businesses which are commissioning from complex larger health organisations. Leadership needs to be developed locally and also to ensure that specialist services are commissioned appropriately longer term.

Sally-Anne Watts

Position
Head of Engagement,
Organisation
Healthier Together Progamme
Comment date
12 October 2012
If sense were common, we would all have it. Leadership development must include the concept that if you want to get the best out of your staff, or if you want to provide the best possible service, you must really want to listen to your employees, listen to your 'customers' and put place mechanisms that allow this to happen. Then - most importantly - you must be prepared to respond. All too often 'engagement' is little more than a tick-box office. Remember, communication does not mean engagement.

Allison Ferdinand

Position
Practice nurse lead,
Organisation
Cluster PCT
Comment date
30 October 2012
I completely agree with your comment with regards to general practice/s requiring good leadership. However,so this is not just rhetoric how would you suggest this is accomplished? when indeed they are made up of several small businesses, gaining consensus and all moving in the same direction will be challenging.

Matt Humphreys

Position
Software Developer,
Organisation
-
Comment date
16 December 2012
The book "Radical Management" has some excellent practical advice on leadership, engagement and collaboration.

Bigily Jose

Position
Staff Nurse,
Organisation
Cambridge University Hospital
Comment date
03 August 2015
Leadership development is very crucial to improve the smooth running of the institution. It can be acchived by listening staffs involve them in decision making also listen patient'sc experiences.

Sally Laven

Position
Clinical team leader,
Organisation
SECAmb
Comment date
30 September 2015
Engaged, well led staff will create a climate in which staff feel empowered. The power of them learning by doing and receiving immediate and relevant feedback and the ability to effect change will lead to improved patient outcomes and increased staff moral.

Claudia

Position
Occupational Health Nurse,
Organisation
Brunel student
Comment date
14 January 2017
I have worked in organisations that are well led with wonderful staff engagement. When working in an environment like this people and patients prosper in many ways.

In contrast, I have worked in organisations where engagement is poor, new ideas are surpressed and fear is created if you 'rock the boat'. What happens in these organisations? Morale is low and staff leave.

Amol Sarvagode

Position
Clinical Nurse Specialist,
Organisation
Salisbury District Hospital
Comment date
20 April 2017
I believe a good leader always engages staff in discussion and involves in decision making. I am proud to say the place I work have a good leader and listens to staffs thoughts and is approachable.

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