Our Research – Leadership Observatory

Our brand-new Leadership Observatory has been set up to lead the way in research for outstanding evidence-based health and care leadership.

We aim to bring together best practice in the field, create new and evaluate existing evidence and provide practical examples and tools to support NHS future leaders to provide better patient experience.

About the Leadership Observatory

Developing leaders – at all levels – is a crucial part of the NHS mission to provide a better experience to patients and communities. The Leadership Observatory, as part of the NHS People Plan 2021, has been established to develop strong leadership skills and values across health and care.

We do this by:

  • collaborating to learn and share what works
  • evaluating existing evidence
  • commissioning and publishing new research
  • translating learning into practical resources, toolkits and support for health and care leaders
  • engaging stakeholders to shape our work
  • proactively focusing on NHS and wider health and care priorities and challenges, including reducing health inequalities, developing strong systems and enhancing digital healthcare.

Our new Leadership Observatory puts best practice in leadership at the heart of its work. It creates new, and evaluates existing, evidence to develop skills and values in current and future leaders, ensuring the NHS and wider health and care sector provides the best patient care in the 21st century.

The Leadership Observatory highlights case studies and evidence-based practice. It will deliver practical examples of what has worked well, with tools for others to learn from this best practice.

“The idea of a Leadership Observatory sounded like a great way to inform the nation’s conversation on the future of health and care leadership. But we had no idea how exciting the programme of work would become. It has fostered an inclusive and robust approach.”

Justin Waring, Manchester Business School

We are different because we are

  • Working in partnership: The Leadership Observatory brings together a unique mix of experience from across multiple sectors, including arms-length and professional bodies, academia, national and local government, charities, thinktanks and the private sector, for optimum rigor and reach. The Observatory is guided by a national advisory group with members from across these sectors. From 2022 we will be building these links further, with a global strategic group. Read more about our partners.
  • Applying research to real-life problems: We harness this shared knowledge to develop applied research that delivers concrete benefits to health and care leaders and to influence leadership practice more widely. All our research produces a tangible output that is used to change the lives of our people and the communities they serve.
  • Future focused: We are focused on solving the problems of today but also looking to the immediate future and the longer term. So, we scan the horizon to understand the issues facing leaders in an ever-changing world, and the solutions to help face these challenges.