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Ministers launch NHS leadership drive

By Gareth Iacobucci

The Government has unveiled plans for a new NHS leadership council in a bid to nurture the next generation of senior health service management.

Plans for the National Leadership Council, launched by health minister Lord Darzi and NHS chief executive David Nicholson, come just days after MPs attacked the standard of management in the health service.

Improving leadership in the NHS was one of the key priorities within Lord Darzi's review of the NHS, but last week the health select committee questioned PCTs ability to implement the review, citing a ‘striking and depressing' lack of management skills.

The NLC will be formed of 18 NHS senior staff across so-called ‘priority areas', including clinical leadership, board development and emerging leaders.

The Department of Health said the NLC will be responsible for building ‘a strong culture of leadership across the health service'.

Some key areas of work will be:

• Gathering intelligence and evidence

• Setting standards

• Taking a strategic role in commissioning leadership development programmes

• Ensuring that leadership capacity is improved across the NHS

The Council will be a sub-committee of the NHS Management Board – and will have up to 18 members, including five part-time leads for priority areas: Clinical Leadership, Top Leaders, Board Development, Emerging Leaders and Inclusion.

The seven confirmed appointments so far are:

• David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive (Chair)

• Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director

• Clare Chapman, Director General Workforce NHS and Social Care

• Dame Christine Beasley, Chief Nursing Officer

• Bill Moyes, Monitor Chair

• Cynthia Bower, CQC Chief Executive

• Steve Barnett, NHS Confederation Chief Executive

Health Minister Lord Darzi Health Minister Lord Darzi

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