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20 December 2023
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Season's Greetings from the FMLM CEO and team

The fast approaching holiday period provides an opportunity to reflect on what has been a transformational year for FMLM, and look ahead to a bright future.  

This year, we said a fond farewell and thank you to Mr Peter Lees as he retired from the Faculty that he created, grew and sustained. We have remained true to Peter’s legacy and, as he wished, we continue to be a values-based organisation that looks forwards, not backwards.  

But the future depends on what you do today and this year we have been busy delivering on our core aims, which are also helping us lay the groundwork for the years ahead. As the NHS in all four nations continues to face significant challenges, we have continued to champion how good leadership improves patient outcomes.  We have inspired excellence in leadership and engaged with primary and secondary care in the UK and overseas.  

We are continuing to grow as a membership body, with rising numbers of Members, Fellows, and Senior Fellows. Specific congratulations to our new Collaborative and International Fellows on their very worthy appointments.

Our Clinical Fellowship Scheme (CFS) is going from strength to strength.  We were delighted that Prof Sir Chris Whitty delivered this year’s annual Keogh Lecture to help celebrate the graduation of the CFS class of 2022/23.  Our 2023/24 cohort are already achieving amazing things, and we were delighted to welcome back CFS alumni to form the inaugural cohort of our new Senior Clinical Fellowship scheme.  

The College Office Bearers’ Development Programme remains another source of pride for FMLM; the opportunity to help build leadership competence and confidence across professional bodies underscores our aim to work in collaboration, not competition, with other membership organisations.

We have also been ambitious, bold and visible. 

As many will know, we wish to grow beyond Faculty status to become a fully fledged College in its own right, and our 18-month journey towards Chartered Status is already progressing at pace. 

We have secured broad stakeholder support and cross-party political backing from the Conversative Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee and the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.  Indeed, on 15 Nov 23 at the NHS Providers Conference, Wes Streeting MP announced that Labour would create a ‘College of Clinical Leadership’ developed from FMLM. We have delivered invited presentations in national fora including the GMC Symposium 23 and the Westminster Health Forum, and had a letter published in The Times about how good leadership can improve NHS cultures.  

As a College we would expand our aim to provide standards, assessments and support for leadership development across all specialties (including non-medical managers), but we shall not become regulators. We are, however, keen to be involved in discussions about what a regulatory framework might look like. FMLM now has a seat on NHS England’s Management and Leadership Advisory Group. We have also met with the Wales Chief Medical Officer and all Welsh Medical Directors; and we shall meet with NHS Scotland colleagues early next year.  

Several UK medical schools are keen to become ‘early adopters’ of the FMLM undergraduate leadership package and we are bidding for international leadership development too.  Our excellent Medical Student Group and Trainee Steering Group are playing key roles in these negotiations.  

So, with our excellent annual FMLM Conference to look forward to in Manchester on 26-27 March 2024, (you can register here), exciting times lay ahead!  We shall focus on FMLM’s evolution into the ‘College of Clinical Leadership’ but not forget our values-driven, evidence-based heritage.  

My sincere thanks go to the whole hard-working FMLM team which extends beyond ‘headquarters’ colleagues to our network of class-leading Associates and of course, thank you, to our community of members, fellows, and senior fellows - without you FMLM would not be the UK’s professional home of clinical leadership.          

I wish you all a very happy, restful and restorative holiday period, but know that many of you will be working throughout the next couple of weeks; thank you for your dedication to your roles and I do hope to meet many of you all soon, in person, at our conference in March.

Professor Rich Withnall  
Chief Executive Officer
The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management

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