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25 January 2024
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Looking ahead in 2024

Professor Rich Withnall, FMLM CEO

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our first FMLM newsletter of 2024. Thank you to all the NHS clinical leaders who worked hard throughout the festive period.  I do hope, however, you found some time for yourselves, your families and friends.  Leadership of self is just as important as our leadership of teams, organisations, and systems. All too often this slips down the priority list though as committed clinicians put others first. Last year’s GMC ‘State of Medical Education and Practice’ survey reported workplace experiences as being “now worse than at any other time’.  Perhaps a shared New Year’s resolution should be to better look after ourselves and our teams? Indeed, a key update within Good Medical Practice 2024 requires all doctors to “treat colleagues with kindness and respect” in order to “create respectful, fair and compassionate workplaces for colleagues and patients”.  Without improved care for the carers, we risk not delivering the best possible care for the patients we serve. With this in mind, I do hope the Government and the BMA can swiftly resolve their ongoing dispute.

I remain hugely grateful to all FMLM’s members, Fellows and Associates for their engagement and support last year. I really appreciate all the team’s hard work on your behalf. 2023 proved a transformational year for FMLM.  The NHS Long Term Plan highlights the importance of visible senior clinical leadership in enabling and assuring the delivery of high-quality patient care. Healthcare leaders from all professional backgrounds require and deserve greater support in developing their leadership skills. FMLM’s developmental journey to become a multidisciplinary UK College of Clinical Leadership (CCL) was announced at the NHS Providers Conference. CCL aims to support (but not regulate) colleagues from clinical and non-clinical backgrounds across primary and secondary care through benefits including evidence-based leadership resources, training and fellowship opportunities, and accreditation processes to bolster competence and confidence from student to Chief Executive level. We shall collaborate not compete with other academic, professional and regulatory bodies. The positive responses from the Chair of the Health & Social Care Select Committee, the Shadow Secretary of State, Directors within NHS England, the Welsh Medical Directors, Royal College Presidents, Chief Executives of major stakeholder groups including the GMC and NHS Providers, Medical School Deans and, most importantly, patient representatives have been humbling. I intend to submit our College application to the Privy Council in the middle of next year.

You will hear more about this journey at our forthcoming FMLM Conference (26-27 March 2024 in Manchester). Several hundred colleagues are already registered to hear over 80 confirmed experts at the forefront of UK healthcare leadership including Steve Brine MP, Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard, Professor Dame Clare Gerada, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, Professor Sue Carr, Professor Claire Fuller, Professor Jackie Hayden, Dr Jamie Read and Dr Sohail Munshi. Debate will be lively with a focus on interactive panel sessions and workshops. The programme includes sessions led by our fantastic Medical Students Group, Trainee Steering Group and Clinical Fellows, and spotlights leadership learning including the latest national and regional trends, career transition, sustainability, research, AI technological innovation and much, much more.  20% discounts are currently available in our January Sale, so please do come and join these important discussions and networking! 

I really hope to meet you in person in Manchester, if not before.

Every best wish for the New Year, and let’s all be kind to each other!


Professor Rich Withnall

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