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Why is leadership and management important?

What does the evidence say?

Clinical leadership is vital to the success of healthcare organisations. Failure of leadership is a significant contributor to harm, as highlighted in the Francis enquiry, the Keogh mortality review, Don Berwick’s patient safety papers and the Morecambe Bay report. Research findings also support the positive impact of clinical leadership on trust performance, safety, and finances as summarised in FMLM’s review of the academic literature on leadership development (further papers can be found in the next section).

In response to these findings, Jeremy Hunt, the previous Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, called for a prioritisation of clinical leadership within the NHS, urging more doctors to take up management positions. FMLM promotes the need for leadership and management skills to be introduced at medical school, and built upon throughout postgraduate training, in order to meet this call.  

Why leadership development as a junior doctor?

Leadership skills, which include attributes around self-awareness and team working, are crucial to the day-to-day activities of all doctors. This view is supported by the GMC through their new generic professional capabilities framework, with domain 5 specifically focused on 'Leadership and Team Working'. This calls on doctors in training to lead and work effectively in teams. This needs to build on leadership and management skills learnt in medical school, although evidence suggests that Universities teach these topics variably.

FMLM are working to support colleges in the development of their post-graduate curriculum to meet the requirements as set out by the GMC's generic professional capabilities. 

Proceed to 'What can I do to develop as a Junior Doctor Leader?' to read more about the evidence base for clinical leadership, and how you can develop your skills.

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