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Following up on the Francis Inquiry, The King’s Fund has issued a report into the quality of care provided in the NHS. The report entitled “Patient-centred leadership” argues that the NHS needs to move away from externally imposed targets and towards a culture which is based upon the provision of high quality care standards.
Commenting on the national health executive website, Matt Tee, the chief operating officer of the NHS Confederation said that it was worrying that the King’s Fund survey had highlighted a significant proportion of respondents who believed that quality of care was not a priority in the NHS.
Highlighting the fact that quality care was the core business of everyone working within the NHS, Mr Tees did acknowledge that “the NHS is a huge and complex organisation, and changing its culture is not achievable overnight.” He went on to say that “The NHS needs first class leadership which inspires, engages and supports everyone in it – managers and clinicians, board members and frontline staff – to deliver the quality health care that patients deserve and have the right to expect.”
Mr Tees’s comments are relevant for every leader who wants to engender a cultural change within their organisation. The desire to change on its own is not enough. Culture change will only happen if the leadership can communicate, can inspire and can engage the hearts and minds of everyone who works within the organisation.