In the NHS and in many large organisations it is often assumed that to lead you have to be at a certain grade or level in the hierarchy. While this might have been the case in the past, it is no longer feasible or appropriate for a whole host of reasons.
So what are my 10 reasons for stating that that we need leadership at all levels in the NHS?
Reason 1: Size
It is easy to forget just how large even the smallest organisations are compared to others in different sectors. In a large organisation it is just not feasible just to have leaders at the top.
Reason 2: Complexity
Someone once described the average district hospital as being one holding company with 200 subsidiaries. Irrelevant of the numbers the sentiment is spot on. Each part of a hospital has different challenges and specialises.
Reason 3: The Service Never Closes
The NHS is open every day of the year for 24 hours. No one person or group can ever be around all of the time. It is just not feasible.
Reason 4: Decisions Need To Be Made Quickly
Of course there are going to be clinical decisions that have to be made that can impact on patient survival or not. There are in addition many other smaller but equally important decisions to be taken.
Reason 5: No One Knows It All
Healthcare is changing all the time. No one can feasibly keep up to date and be expert in everything.
Reason 6: Experienced People Know What To Do
An experienced health professional whether in a ward or department will know what needs to be done and can get on and do it, if they are trusted.
Reason 7: Professionals Adhere To Professional Standards
As a result they are well placed to make the best decisions in a particular situation.
Reason 8: It Builds Trust
There is nothing worse than having a situation where people don’t trust each other. Interfering and over checking in my experience just builds resentment rather than trust.
Reason 9: Those Closest To Patients And Service Users Are Not The Most Senior
Yet they can spot problems, issues, concerns and respond to them proactively.
Reason 10: Things Happen
It is easy to speak about what could happen. Generally if you support, encourage and empower people to take action, it starts to become the norm.
I wonder what else would be on your list of reasons. Why not leave a comment.
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