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NHS chief executives 'lack support'

22nd November 2012

A survey of NHS chief executives has found that many are unhappy with the system they work in.

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Research carried out by HSJ has shown they feel hampered by a lack of support in a system a majority believe is geared towards short-term solutions.

Many have also experienced bullying.

The journal surveyed 81 chief executives in acute, mental health and community trusts and found many felt unable to take risks.

Some 43% of chief executives revealed plans to leave their post in the next two years with 13% of them expecting to within six months.

HSJ found the situation was worst in the acute sector with 40% of chief executives saying they felt they had no support, compared to 18% in mental health, while six out of 10 acute trust chief executives say the culture of management promotes short-term solutions, compared to 31% in mental health trusts.

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said he could not ignore the findings of the survey, which had messages for all parts of the health system.

“We have to do more to support leaders and encourage them to keep the faith,” he said.

“Bullying is a word whispered in the NHS. Nobody wants to operate under a climate of fear and everybody needs to have a zero tolerance approach.”

NHS Employers director Dean Royles said the survey showed how important it was to recognise the challenging job CEOs have "with a media that constantly denigrates them as grey suits only interested in the bottom right hand financial corner".

 

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