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The King’s Fund launches debate on the future of leadership in the NHS

14th October 2010

With the NHS facing unprecedented financial pressures and about to undergo radical reform, The King’s Fund has launched a new commission to assess the leadership and management needs of the NHS.
 
Amid much debate about the role of frontline clinicians in running health services and questioning of the need for managers within the NHS, the Commission will evaluate national and international evidence about the current state of leadership and management in the NHS and outline the capabilities needed to meet the challenges of the future.
 
The Commission will take a broad view, looking at clinical leadership as well as the role of managers, and its scope will encompass leadership at all levels – from the board to the ward. The Commission will be chaired by the Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, Professor Chris Ham, and comprises a five-strong membership of senior academics and health professionals.
 
The Commission will report in Spring 2011 and has launched a call for evidence to kick start a debate and gather information about:

  • the current state of leadership and management in the NHS
  • the leadership and  management capabilities the NHS will need in the future
  • how current capabilities can be strengthened to meet these needs.

Professor Chris Ham said:
 
‘The NHS spends more than £105 billion of public money each year and employs around one and a half million people. It needs strong and effective leaders, especially during a time of great change and as it faces the biggest financial challenge in its history.
 
‘NHS managers have come in for a good deal of criticism recently. This Commission will aim to move beyond the polarised and divisive rhetoric which sets up managers and clinicians in opposition to each other, to facilitate a debate about the leadership and management the NHS will need in future.’

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