For nearly a decade, the UK’s Department of Health has been encouraging healthcare organisations to focus on leadership as an essential part of enhancing quality of care for patients and service users. Typically, this has been based on the understanding that leadership either positively or negatively impacts the culture and effectiveness of teams, which, in turn, effects the quality of care they can provide. Stress experienced among employees can also reduce quality of patient care. One only needs to look at the findings of the Francis Inquiry to see how pressure on clinicians and other professionals within Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust to achieve targets, and the stress they experienced as a result, had a devastating impact. It has been described as causing Trust employees, including doctors, to switch off on some level from their values and seriously neglect people within their care. As the inquiry showed, in the same way as many other pieces of research around the world have, the major source of this stress was the leadership culture in the organisation. With this in mind, we absolutely must focus on getting clinical leadership right if we are to care for our patients and communities in the best way possible.
Read CEO Juliette Alban-Metcalfe’s article in full here; Real World Group - Reflection saves lives - 11 Sept 17.pdf