This category contains 29 posts

Are leaders who procrastinate weak or wise, asks Dr Karen Castille

It‘s that time of year when we all frantically scurry to get our UK tax returns in on time. Like countless others, I had to contact Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs office with a last-minute query, but they were inundated with calls and so were unable to deal with my non-urgent query. Frustratingly, I knew … Continue reading

In the depth of winter, there is within the NHS an invincible summer, says Dr Darren Kilroy

When the days are short, and operational fuses often even shorter, our thoughts turn to how best we can sustain our appetites for reform and innovation while grappling with the stark issues of the week, month and quarter before us. We struggle to absorb the revelations from the think-tanks into the pressures of the do-tank. … Continue reading

Nursing in black and white: Elizabeth Anionwu CBE reflects on a meeting with a South African NHS nurse

In November 2013, I had an extremely thought-provoking meeting with a South African nurse who now works in the NHS.  It was a fascinating discussion in which she compared her experience in pre and post-apartheid South Africa with her 13 years of employment in an English hospital.  Just three weeks later came the announcement of … Continue reading

Surely positive and proactive actions – not punitive practice – must undergird our culture change, says Angela McNab

Since my last blog on our journey to achieve culture change, it’s been a pretty bumpy ride for our trust, and probably for others! Daily communications put the spotlight on NHS services and commonly draw attention to ‘failures’ of some kind. On top of these criticisms, we have had two quite difficult incidents in our … Continue reading

Tough decisions needed on NHS pay says Dean Royles

It is the same every year. The annual planning cycle means that each September, we submit our written evidence to the NHS Pay review bodies – independent bodies that recommend pay awards for NHS staff. They will decide in spring 2014 whether or not to accept our recommendations. The review body asked us for evidence … Continue reading

Time for NHS boards to balance the books, says Dr Karen Castille

Basic maths tells me a number of things in the NHS don’t add up: our workforce is overwhelmingly female – around 80 per cent are women – but as you climb up the career ladder, the male-female ratio starts to drop and proportions level out, skewing to the other extreme. At the top of the … Continue reading

There are many things of which we never speak, says Yvonne Coghill

I recall being appointed programme lead for the National Breaking Through Programme in 2007. I was so enthusiastic about the role and the positive changes I could make for black and minority ethnic (BME) staff, and through them, for patients. I was convinced that I would be able to (almost) singlehandedly help change the culture … Continue reading

Treating people with compassion is a by-product of organisational cohesiveness, says Angela McNab

Am I the only NHS chief executive who goes cold in response to the daily directive to “build a culture of compassion in the NHS”? Don’t misunderstand me; it’s not the belief that compassion should be at the heart of healthcare that I disagree with, although I do struggle with the presumption that the majority … Continue reading

Sir David Nicholson sets out seven steps to ‘cultural heaven’

After what feels like ten years of the NHS and those with an interest in the NHS obsessing about structures and systems, culture is starting to get the profile it deserves. In fact, it is hard to read anything about the NHS these days without culture getting a mention. This is how it should be. But to … Continue reading

Effective partnership is key to improving services for local people, says Steven Michael

How to change when all around is changing? Like all health and social care organisations, at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, we are transforming our services to ensure they meet clinical need, service user expectations and are affordable today and in the future. This, more than ever before, means real change – a … Continue reading


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