Monitor calls in the Army to help sort out NHS foundation trust leadership challenges

Monitor, regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has ‘joined forces’ with the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) who run internationally recognised courses on leadership as a core part of their officer development training programme. This programme has enabled 1000‟s of delegates to better understand how to react to change under pressure; how to command with authority; how to ensure that people understand what is expected from them; how to communicate effectively.

Following discussions with Monitor, RMAS has adapted their core training modules to help those in leadership roles in the public sector meet the ever-increasing demands made of them and have piloted this approach with Guys & St Thomas NHS foundation trust as well as other public sector bodies.

A FREE introductory event for up to 25 foundation trust chairs, CEOs and medical directors has been arranged for 22 October at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Thereafter , says Monitor, it would be up to each organisation as to whether they wished to progress discussions with RMAS bilaterally to offer decisive leadership training to individual staff. Spaces will be allocated on a first come basis and shall be limited to no more than three delegates per trust. Should you be interested please mail Rachael.burdett@monitor-nhsft.gov.uk who is compiling the delegate list for this event.

According to Monitor, on a general level, training such as that offered by RMAS is needed for foundation trusts because general “observations might conclude that”:

– There is a need to define a clear set of NHS foundation trust level “values” that staff at all levels understand and can support which translate in to better care for patients, better internal communications, better performance
– There is a wait to be asked, permission-seeking culture in many NHS foundation trusts which frustrates progress
– There is a perception that there is an unwillingness to be “brave‟ or to speak out for fear of reprisals or fear of being professionally isolated
– The culture could be described as “risk averse” therefore stifling innovation
– There seems to be no clear definition of “effective leadership” within many NHS foundation trusts ; people neither like giving or receiving orders (particularly clinicians)
– There seems to be a lack of a clear communication process between various levels, whether based on an inability to communicate or an unwillingness to communicate
– Whilst conversations have confirmed a strong loyalty and value recognition to the NHS in the most general sense, there is a perception that there is not always clear application at local level
– There is a need to move away from a “command and control” leadership style and for NHS foundation trusts to lead themselves and others with integrity whilst adhering to both Trust and NHS values
– There is a clear need for Clinical Leads to be more involved in decision-making, including developing the need to take whole service line teams on the same journey

For further information, download the Monitor flier on the RMAS event: Sandhurst_Aug_09_(2)[1]

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