NHS leadership

Plymouth University is working alongside the NHS to prepare the next generation of health managers for the challenges they will face.

The University has signed an agreement to work with the NHS South West Leadership Academy to run a Postgraduate Certificate in Organisational Leadership for aspiring health executives.

The first of a suite of courses, it will aim to provide health managers with the leadership skills they need in the currently challenging socio-political and economic climate.

The programme will also look to create a space where students can construct their own leadership identity, by using their experiences and ideas to really engage and learn from each other.

Dr Karen Jones, the programme leader and Lecturer in Leadership Studies at Plymouth University, said:

“Providing outstanding and confident leadership in the current socio-political and economic climate is incredibly challenging. Managers are consistently working against a background where the NHS is facing an environment dominated by spending restraint, growing demand for patient services, rapid structural change and increased scrutiny over standards of care. In this context, the role of organisational development leaders in managing complex issues has assumed a central importance.”

The course will aim to address some of the issues being faced by NHS managers by harnessing the expertise of the University’s Postgraduate School of Management.

It includes nationally and internationally renowned academics specialising in fields such as business management, human resources, leadership and ethics, workplace conflict and entrepreneurship.

Senior practitioners will also be invited in to talk about their experiences, allowing students to gain both practical and theoretical perspectives about how to deal with future challenges that may arise.

Christina Quinn, Director of Leadership Development at the NHS South West Leadership Academy, said:

“Organisational development is about making sure an organisation has the leadership needed to deliver its visions and develop the right culture for its workforce to shine. For the NHS, this means providing supportive people management, promoting staff engagement, building effective team working and ensuring the organisation fulfils its vision of delivering consistently high quality, compassionate and safe patient care. The postgraduate programme we have devised will enable people to gain the skills in order to implement this vision, and make improvements in health and social care outcomes and the lives of staff.”