Why we do what we do

Why Health and Social Care Needs Great Leaders

‘Since the inception of the NHS, more than 35 public inquiries have been conducted to address catastrophic failures in patient care. The same common themes emerge from each inquiry: professional isolation, disempowerment of staff, poor communication, ineffective systems and processes and inadequate leadership.’ (Professor Aidan Halligan, ‘The Need for an NHS Staff College’)

There is a global shortage of clinical staff and forecasts that this trend will continue to intensify. Alongside a growing and ageing population with increasingly complex needs are creating greater demands than ever before.

The Interim People Plan has set out the priority to make the NHS the best place to work, in order to ensure that it can retain its current workforce, and encourage more people to join. But, this simply won’t happen without good leadership at every level.

Over the past ten years, a growing array of research has demonstrated the link between good leadership, the quality of care for patients, and the engagement and happiness of staff.

We know that when staff feel valued and cared about, they’re more likely to provide better care for patients. And yet, whilst most people join because of their desire to care for others, it remains all too common for staff not to feel cared about or listened to.

With staff our greatest asset, our focus needs to be on developing leaders who take the time to care for their staff, who build environments where members feel empowered and able to have a voice, and who ultimately, can provide better care for their patients.

While huge progress has been made in the years since Staff College started, there remain huge gaps in the opportunity for individuals working within the NHS and beyond to access formal development with the pressures of funding constraints and with it harder now to take time away from the front-line.

As such, we believe that when individuals are able to access development, we think it needs to have the greatest impact on them possible, challenging individual leaders to have the moral courage to step up in the difficult moments, helping them develop their resilience to see them through those moments, and supporting them to understand how their behaviour as an individual impacts on those around them and helping them understand, through honest and constructive feedback, how to better manage this for the benefit of their teams.

Working with leaders in Health and Social Care over the past decade, we’ve seen the impact that our potent approach has for leaders, their teams and their patients. You can hear the stories of those who’ve been on our programmes and the changes they’ve led as a result on our impact page.

Many of our members have gone on to commission us to support their organisations, or join us as members of our faculty. A testament to the quality of relationships we build with those who attend our programmes, and their belief in the value of our approach.

Why an Independent Charity?

As an independent charity, we are able to support the development of individuals from across the whole health and care community. We are not tied to only being able to deliver programmes to particular staff groups, or specific organisations or geographies. We are also free to collaborate with different partners, providing us with the flexibility to deliver a wide range of programmes, where they’re needed most.

As a non-profit making organisation we can keep the costs of our programmes to a minimum. We are able to attract charitable funding in order to offer subsidised places to those who most need financial support.

We are committed to developing leaders, not just as individual leaders who will make a difference to their organisations, but also to developing new faculty members who are embedded in their organisations and communities. These faculty members can, in turn, support our mission by delivering our programmes to more leaders across the system, but can also use their new skills to further support leadership development within their own organisations or networks. This will allow organisations that we are engaged with to become more self-sufficient in terms of their own future capability to develop their own people.

We believe that this will allow us to have a much greater impact across the system, and in turn reduce the spending of individual organisations on their leadership development in time, as we will be supporting their ability to develop their own individuals in house.