NHS must break down barriers to improve leadership, says Hancock

Matt Hancock has spoken out this week about NHS leadership and how to improve it

Health secretary, Matt Hancock, spoke at the King’s Fund earlier this week and stated that barriers need to be broken in order to ensure the NHS has the leaders it needs.

Hancock stated that he wants to:

  • Get more people with outside experience working for the NHS, such as mid-career business leaders;

  • Improve training and development, learning from the military, business organisations and the education sector;

  • Make the NHS better at nurturing the talent it already has, as currently only a third of NHS chief executives have clinical backgrounds.

He wants NHS leaders to lead by example and create a culture where staff feel able to speak out about all matters – including clinical errors – and where everyone understands the benefits of new technology in the sector.

Hancock also mentioned the need for more diversity in NHS leadership. He said:

“I welcome what’s happening inside the NHS with the new Clinical Executive Fast Track scheme, the expansion of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, and the Leadership Academy moving to NHS Improvement.

“We need to equip staff all across the NHS with the right skills to constantly innovate and continuously realise the benefits that technology such as genomics, AI and digital medicines will provide. That starts with the right skills and capability in management and leadership.”

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