Department of Health and Social Care


Leadership generally in the NHS is under challenge and needs more effective support. The necessary culture will only flourish if leaders reinforce it every day in every part of the service.

Robert Francis, 2013.

It is important to encourage leadership in staff at all levels of the healthcare system.

Staff should be developed with a coordinated system of education and training to support their continued professional development.

Leadership must become embedded throughout organisations, rather than being seen as the remit of select individuals, empowering staff to deliver change in their workplace.

Organisation’s boards must be accountable, with effective internal and external scrutiny from external organisations and internal bodies.

Organisations themselves have a duty to ensure board members are capable and qualified, with a focus on providing on-going developmental opportunities.

Important actions in this area include:

  • transparent, monthly reporting of ward-by-ward staffing levels and other safety measures
  • a government intention to legislate, at the earliest available opportunity, on wilful neglect of patients, so that those responsible for the worst failures in care are held accountable
  • a new fit and proper person test, which will act as a barring scheme for senior managers
  • all arm’s length bodies and the Department of Health have signed a protocol in order to minimise bureaucractic burdens on trusts
  • The Care Quality Commission and NHS England will develop a dedicated hospital safety website for the public which will draw together up to date information on all the factors, for which robust data is available, that impact of the safety of care
  • a new care certificate to ensure that healthcare assistants and social care support workers have the right fundamental training and skills in order to give personal care to patients and service users
  • the Care Quality Commission has appointed 3 chief inspectors for hospitals, adult social care and primary care, and has consulted on a new system of ratings, and of fundamental standards, with patient care and safety at their heart
  • legislation to introduce a responsive and effective failure regime which looks at quality as well as finance is progressing through Parliament
  • a new fast-track leadership programme has been launched to recruit clinicians and external talent to the top jobs in the NHS in England, including time spent in a world-leading business school
  • by the end of the year, 96% of senior leaders and all ministers at the Department of Health will have gained frontline experience in health and care settings


Find out more: