NHS Improvement – Clinical Leadership

NHS Improvement has today published Clinical leadership – a framework for action, endorsed by the Allied Health Professions Federation. The framework looks at approaches organisations can take to encourage and enable more clinicians from all disciplines to pursue senior strategic leadership positions.

This document has been developed by a cross-directorate project team within NHS Improvement, as part of a wider programme of work following recommendations from the Government’s report: Barriers and enablers for clinicians moving into senior leadership roles: review report to the SoS for H&SC.

The guide includes 3 examples of AHPs in strategic senior roles – including Rachel McKeown (@Rachel66Mckeown), Clare Boobyer-Jones (@ClareBoobyerMPH) and Shane DeGaris (@Shanedegaris), including their associated case studies. There are only 11 case examples in the whole document, so AHPs have a very high profile within this national document. The guide and framework also reaffirms the recommendation from the June 2018 document, ‘AHP Leadership in Trusts in England: What exists and what matters’, which asked Trust boards to consider appointing a senior strategic AHP lead.

The key messages:

• The NHS Long Term Plan highlights the importance of visible senior clinical leadership in enabling and assuring the delivery of high quality care both within organisations and in the new system architecture.
• Allied health professionals, doctors, midwives, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, healthcare scientists and social workers can all potentially contribute to strategic leadership but we need to look at career structures and expectations that may currently stand in their way.
• The framework has been developed through discussions with clinicians exploring some of the barriers and enablers they identify when moving into senior leadership positions.
• We want organisations to do more to actively involve clinicians in their leadership groups.
• Evidence suggests that professionally diverse teams are better equipped to meet the complex challenges facing the NHS.
• NHS Improvement’s ‘Clinical leadership – a framework for action’ highlights approaches organisations can take to encourage clinicians from all disciplines to pursue senior leadership positions. The framework is accompanied by a range of case studies in which clinicians from a range of disciplines share their own experience of the journey to senior leadership roles. As you will see, the guide includes three specific AHP case studies.

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