I have been reflecting on this recently, particularly this week. There is a fresh and exciting buzz about our offices in Leeds and London. Everyone has a great sense of purpose and share an infectious-like determination to get on with the job that we are here to do.
And let’s not underestimate the importance of this work. The teams here at the Academy are working together to lead the industrial levels of change we need in the NHS. I sense that everyone knows this and is working hard to respond to the challenges we face in the immediate future and longer-term.
Meanwhile further afield we watched our incredible athletes perform amazing feats at the Olympics. As we are swept up in the moment that Usain Bolt speeds to the line or Sir Chris Hoy cycles to his record-breaking sixth gold, it’s easy to forget the people who put them there. We all need support in our working life – no matter how brilliant or experienced we are.
We don’t think twice about the team of support workers who surround super humans like Bolt and Hoy; but somehow when we talk about ‘ordinary mortals’ working in leadership roles across the public sector, including the NHS, many people expect them to function independently of training and guidance because to do anything else would be a waste of resources.
Our purpose is to develop outstanding leadership in health, to improve people’s health and their experience of the NHS. We can only do that if we invest in leadership development, so the NHS of the future remains in good, safe and reliable hands.
And this investment in development and training must also start at home. Helping to transform the healthcare system to meet patient needs can only be done if we are able to learn from those who know our patients like no other. We can only realise our vales if we live them.
It is the frontline individuals – the nurses, doctors, surgeons and healthcare workers – who can really show us what’s needed from our leaders to improve patient care. And it is these individuals who my colleagues and I want guidance from to help bring our values to life.
During the coming few months we will be looking at ways that we can listen to, learn from and be guided by patient-facing healthcare workers from across the NHS. We are already establishing various networks around the country to do this.
I’m arranging to work with a mental health trust, acute trust and community trust who want to further develop their leadership and look forward to getting this underway in the coming weeks.
We are also looking at ways staff at the Academy can orientate to front line care and view services from the eyes of patients as well as care givers.
We’d be interested to hear your ideas about how. If you are a nurse, doctor or anyone who knows front line care please do get in touch if your thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment below this post.