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Leadership and management standards for healthcare teams

FMLM Leadership and management standards for healthcare teams provides evidence-based guidance on what FMLM expects of healthcare teams focused around four key domains:

1 - Culture

2 - Vision and strategy

3 - Management and people

4 - Relationships

They are designed specifically for multi-professional healthcare teams whether in the NHS or any other sector and provide leaders and team members an opportunity for reflection on the collective performance of, and individual contribution to, the healthcare teams within which they work to help establish and sustain high performing multi-professional healthcare teams.

We have also developed FMLM Leadership and management self-assessment tool for healthcare teams. This offers an easily accessible and simple measure of team performance to facilitate team development.

Together, FMLM Leadership and management standards for healthcare teams and FMLM Leadership and management self-assessment tool for healthcare teams are designed as a guide to help build, sustain and/or develop team(s).

Leadership and Management Standards for Healthcare Teams



Created, embedded and encouraged by leaders, culture is affected by their values and behaviours and has a crucial role in healthcare which must include trust, learning and accountability to realise the full potential of teams and deliver high quality care.

1.1 The team and its stakeholders should develop a positive culture that is aligned to the wider organisation’s culture and locally owned by all team members to deliver continual improvement of coordinated, high quality care that innovates and harnesses technology to meet the needs and improve the experience of patients.

1.2 The team should embrace diversity of background and thought, value different perspectives and work collaboratively across intra- and inter- organisational boundaries.

1.3 The team should develop physical and psychological safety for all team members. Trust, learning and accountability should be balanced to encourage candour, openness and honesty at all levels so that staff feel protected, able to discuss weaknesses, raise concerns and challenge questionable practice without fear of retribution.

1.4 The team must create time to proactively engage with internal and external stakeholders and reflect on performance. This should be used to ensure continuous learning and improvement from, for example, internal and external reviews, regulatory breaches, patient outcomes and feedback (including, compliments, concerns, complaints, errors and deaths).



Good leadership is required to build a strategic vision which has alignment, engagement and commitment from all team members, people who use services and stakeholders to inspire and direct the delivery of high quality healthcare.

2.1 The team and its stakeholders should ensure the team is formally recognised within the organisation and co-design a robust and realistic vision for the team that is aligned to the wider organisation’s vision and agreed on by all team members. This should consider resource constraints, the best available evidence and be aligned to the culture, the organisation’s agenda and the wider needs of the health and social care economy.

2.2 The team should ensure their vision is communicated, agreed and regularly reviewed to maintain adaptability, provide clarity and inspire all team members to unite around opportunities to continually improve the quality of care while minimising risk.

2.3 The team leader(s) should ensure that positions within and membership of the team are clearly identified and that the necessary culture and skill mix is developed or brought in to deliver the team’s objectives.

2.4 The team should ensure their vision is clear, accessible and promoted to stakeholders, alongside a clear team description that defines how the service is delivered and how they interact with partners.



Leaders require good data, resources and governance to analyse and control variance in a quest for continual improvement.

3.1 The team leader(s) should ensure an operating plan, aligned to the team’s culture and vision, has a manageable number of clear, challenging and measurable objectives that are agreed upon, monitored, reviewed and understood by all team members who are committed to achieving them.

3.2 The team leader(s) should ensure a systematic governance process with a comprehensive set of clear and robust key performance indicators is aligned to those of the organisation and monitors progress to:

  • Provide continual quality assurance against internal and external requirements.
  • Promptly detect individual and organisational risks to delivering high quality care, including resource constraints, changes, and challenges to the service so that they can be mitigated without delay.
  • Provide accurate, timely and relevant data which is available for all staff to use, share and challenge to support continual improvement.
  • Monitor external teams or services involved to ensure they adhere to the culture, vision and standards expected.

3.3 The team should ensure all team members receive appropriate orientation to the team, be comfortable and clear about individual roles, have a skill mix with well defined, communicated and understood responsibilities, have clear accountability for learning and provide the highest quality care possible.

3.4 The team should meet regularly and ensure effective and timely communication is maintained between all stakeholders to promote collaboration, respect and a shared decision-making process that is understood by all.

3.5 The team leader(s) should ensure regular individual performance reviews address sub-standard performance and help team members to understand their role in achieving the culture and vision of the clinical service, through developmental conversations that build collaborative personal development plans.

3.6  The team leader(s) should reward positive team behaviours and celebrate individual and collective achievements.



Healthcare professionals require autonomy, mastery and purpose within their practice to be empowered to deliver high quality healthcare by competent leaders who provide positivity and embody a compassionate and collective leadership approach.

4.1 The team leader(s) should meet the appropriate core values and behaviours expected in FMLM Leadership and management standards for medical professionals.

4.2 The team should ensure all team members hold themselves and each other to account for behaving according to the team’s values and their own professional standards, with systems in place to allow concerns to be escalated appropriately when they arise.

4.3 The team leader(s) should ensure succession plans are in place and that there is a supporting talent management strategy that supports stretch opportunities, exposes team members to differing perspectives, offers reflective experiences, rewards engagement and encourages good performance at all levels.

4.4 The team should recognise, without conflict, the team leader(s) but embrace a collaborative approach that engages, equips and empowers individuals to lead innovations and improvements in the quality of the clinical service.

4.5 The team should demonstrate compassionate leadership to:

  • Attend, understand and empathise with stakeholders to help adopt thoughtful and appropriate responses that deliver a compassionate response.
  • Provide self-belief, emphasising individual and collective purpose to the team’s and organisation’s objectives, allowing individuals to feel positive, proud and motivated to participate.
  • Encourage trust through the generation of collaborative, supportive and appreciative professional and social relationships across both internal and external teams.
  • Encourage constructive debate and challenge, while resolving conflict quickly and effectively.

4.6 The team should be offered appropriate developmental opportunities by the organisation and engage with them by working in partnership with colleagues, patients and wider stakeholders to continually improve themselves and the team.

4.7 The team should ensure that new team members, including students and/or trainees, are welcomed, supported and valued, through appropriate induction, supervision and mentoring with time released for training.

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