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GPs to be given mid-career management training

management training

The Government has accepted a recommendation for all GPs to receive ‘mid-career’ management training, following an in-depth review into NHS leadership.

The recommendation forms part of Sir Gordon Messenger’s report, published today, which noted ‘an institutional inadequacy in the way that leadership and management is trained, developed and valued’ in the NHS.

The review, which was based on interviews with thousands of frontline staff, managers and leaders across health and social care, found that the NHS does not sufficiently encourage ‘collaborative behaviours’ and that ‘very public external and internal pressures combine to generate stress in the workplace’.

Within the healthcare sector, there is an ‘institutional instinct’ to prioritise demands ‘from above, including from politicians’ rather than patients, it added.

‘These pressures inevitably have an impact on behaviours in the workplace, and we have encountered too many reports to ignore of poor behavioural cultures and incidences of discrimination, bullying, blame cultures and responsibility avoidance,’ the report warned.

Regarding doctors who are also managers, the report noted that ‘consistency of learning management and behavioural skills is often subsumed by clinical pressures’.

But it said that the the proposed management training programme would provide ‘an opportunity for a more structured and collective approach to management training for all clinicians’.

‘For the medical profession, this must include the trained medical workforce (that is, GPs, consultants and doctors in the staff and associate (SAS) grades).’

The report also noted that there are ‘different challenges in primary care where we heard there is significant variation in leadership structures within and between GP practices, in their networks’.

‘We were told that it is unclear to a newly qualified GP which route provides the best leadership experience in comparison to the traditional clinical director to medical director pathway in hospitals,’ it said.

‘The new place partnership boards and integrated care boards should provide the outlets that are currently lacking for primary care and public health leaders.’

The report also recommended ‘a new, national entry-level induction for all who join health and social care’.

It said the aim would be ‘to introduce new starters to the culture and values that are expected within services and to foster a sense of belonging wider than the immediate organisation’.

In a foreword, Sir Gordon said that ‘the more that can be done to instil locally a culture of teamwork, understanding and shared objectives across the primary, secondary and social care communities, the better will be the nation’s public health outcomes’.

And he added: ‘To those of our recommendations which require time and resource to implement, I predict a partially understandable reaction that the current pressures on the system preclude investment beyond the urgent.

‘My response is that a well-led, motivated, valued, collaborative, inclusive, resilient workforce is “the” key to better patient and health and care outcomes, and that investment in people must sit alongside other operational and political priorities. To do anything else risks inexorable decline.’

In a statement, the Government said the report recommendations have been accepted ‘in full’.

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘The findings in this report are stark: it shows examples of great leadership but also where we need to urgently improve. We must only accept the highest standards in health and care – culture and leadership can be the difference between life and death.

‘I fully support these recommendations for the biggest shake-up of leadership in decades. We must now urgently take them forward, to ensure we have the kind of leadership patients and staff deserve, right across the country.’

It comes as Pulse survey revealed this week that NHS pressures could prompt half of the GP workforce to retire at or before the age of 60.

Summary of recommendations

1. Targeted interventions on collaborative leadership and organisational values.

A new, national entry-level induction for all who join health and social care.

A new, national mid-career programme for managers across health and social care.

2. Positive equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) action

Embed inclusive leadership practice as the responsibility of all leaders.

Commit to promoting equal opportunity and fairness standards.

More stringently enforce existing measures to improve equal opportunities and fairness.

Enhance CQC role in ensuring improvement in EDI outcomes.

3. Consistent management standards delivered through accredited training

A single set of unified, core leadership and management standards for managers.

Training and development bundles to meet these standards.

4. A simplified, standard appraisal system for the NHS

A more effective, consistent and behaviour-based appraisal system, of value to both the individual and the system.

5. A new career and talent management function for managers

Creation of a new career and talent management function at regional level, which oversees and provides structure to NHS management careers.

6. More effective recruitment and development of non-executive directors

Establishment of an expanded, specialist non-executive talent and appointments team.

7. Encouraging top talent into challenged parts of the system

Improve the package of support and incentives in place to enable the best leaders and managers to take on some of the most difficult roles.

Source: Messenger review

READERS' COMMENTS [5]

Truth Finder 8 June, 2022 5:36 pm

More managers. Just what the patients and clinicians need. How about more frontline staff?

Northern Trainer 8 June, 2022 6:47 pm

That is easy Truth Finder – we simply offer clinical training to the growing number of “early career managers” hired by current unaccountable incompetent managers and ask them to do unsupervised SMRs instead of zoomyspreadsheetymeetingsaboutmeetings…..

Michael Mullineux 8 June, 2022 9:39 pm

Tinkering whilst we all burn. What a load of unadulterated c**p. There are far too many ‘leaders’ already all following top down micromanaging missives without any question or critical assesment and ‘leadership’ courses are not going to solve that.

Patrufini Duffy 9 June, 2022 2:28 pm

In other news, dentists get mid-career management training.

Not.

Dave Haddock 9 June, 2022 8:46 pm

Any evidence that management training GPs improves outcomes?
Thought not.