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Professor Sir Neil Douglas, Chair of FMLM, former president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) of Edinburgh, and former chair of the UK’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, was instrumental in establishing FMLM.

Prof Sir Neil started early conversations while president of RCP Edinburgh and when he became chair of the UK Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) he continued to seek a solution to the problem of how to get doctors more involved in running the health service. He saw the need to establish a new professional body for doctors who aspired to leadership and management in the NHS, private healthcare and in medical academia and for that body to be a faculty of all colleges, inclusive of the leadership skills and aspirations all career grades and specialties.

In 2010, the Royal College of Physicians of London (RCP) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) arranged a meeting of interested parties, including the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, nominated strategic health authority medical directors and NHS Employers to consider the creation of a Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.

A steering group to explore the proposal was chaired by Professor Sir Ian Gilmore (past president, RCP) and a working group was established to develop ideas around the structure and function of the Faculty. The working group, which was co-chaired by Clare Gerada (past chair, RCGP) and Martin Else (past chief executive, RCP), interviewed around 40 senior leaders (mainly medical) from a wide set of influential stakeholders. Findings from the interviews indicated strong support for the Faculty's development.

Interest in the development of medical leadership and the involvement of doctors in management had grown along with increasing commitment from the NHS across the home countries. In addition, government reform of the health service further reinforced the importance of medical leadership and the engagement of doctors in leading commissioning and service improvement at all levels.

In January 2011, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges formally endorsed the establishment of a Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.

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