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Government publishes review into health and care leadership

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By Ceri Fuller & Hilary Larter


Published 10 June 2022


The Government has published a review into leadership across the NHS and social care to improve patient care. The seven recommendations provided in the report have been accepted by the Government.


The Facts


The review, headed by General Sir Gordon Messenger and Dame Linda Pollard, was conducted into the leadership in the NHS and social care. The review reports on examples of good leadership as well as highlighting concerns. Some areas of concerning behaviour and leadership reported relate to bullying, discrimination and staff fear of speaking up. Lack of opportunity for career progression for some managers, who did not already have existing networks or contacts, was also noted.

The review’s recommendations, which are supported by the Government, include:

  •  A national induction and a middle management training programme together with unified values across health and social care;
  •  Action to improve equality, diversity and inclusion and embedding this into leadership practice plus a commitment to the enforcement of existing equal opportunity measures;
  •  Development of consistent management standards through accredited training;
  •  Simplified and standard appraisal systems to focus on behaviour as well as achievements;
  •  Clear routes to career progression and promotion plus a regional talent management function;
  •  More effective recruitment and development of NEDs via an expanded national appointments team; and
  •  Encouraging the best leaders and managers to take on the more difficult roles, including better support and incentives.


What does this mean for employers?


Whilst there is likely to be a significant national plan and a raft of guidance implemented as a result of the review, employers should be mindful of its findings and consider what steps they can take in their own organisations. Employers tend to have policies and values already in place to address equality of opportunity, speaking up and recruitment and it is vital that these are embedded into an organisation’s management behaviours.

Independent report: Leadership for a collaborative and inclusive future.