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NHS managers may ‘not be up to the job’ come April 2013

28 June 2012

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A leadership “skills gap” could spell disaster for the health reforms, warn the Institute for Healthcare Management (IHM).

With 40 weeks to go until PCTs and SHAs are disbanded to make way for the new CCGs, Sue Hodgetts, Chief Executive of the IHM said there is a very real concern many managers “will not be up to the job”.

She warned the reforms could “flounder” if the government fails to provide more access to training places and help NHS managers become the leaders they need to be in the new NHS.

A survey of almost 350 mangers conducted in May 2012 found that 24% feel they don’t have access to the support they need to develop their leadership and management skills.

Almost nine out of ten managers (87%) cite a lack of confidence as a result of the lack of proper training and development. 

“The reforms represent a significant challenge for NHS managers who, through no fault of their own, have had to bear the brunt of the financial squeeze on training and development provision in recent years,” said Hodgetts.

“For too long, there has not been enough emphasis on leadership training and development skills. Instead, up until now, NHS managers’ working days have been increasingly task and process orientated, operating under severe financial pressures, rather than being based on a more proactive, developmental, needs assessment approach.
“It is hardly surprising that many NHS managers have lost confidence in their leadership abilities and as the ground shifts and the healthcare system changes beyond all recognition, this unease will only get worse.”

The IHM’s research follows an investigation by GP Business which revealed poor take up among clinicians in CCGs in what little training programmes there are.