We met to discuss the American approach to clinical and professional system leadership with Robert Saunders, Margolis Centre of Health Policy, and what this means for our work in south east London.
What came out in our discussion?
There is huge commonality between approaches to developing clinical and care professional leadership in south east London and the US. Key themes of our discussion included:
Barriers. There are similar barriers to effective system-wide clinical and care professional leadership in the US and south east London, including investment in skills and protected time for leaders. As we develop our approach in SEL, surveys are key to baselining, identifying ideas and tracking progress
Culture. We discussed how competing cultures can lead to dysfunctionality within a wider system. In the design of the south east London ICS we must start developing our understanding of all partners working across the system, particularly social care. In the US, many systems are seeking to establish better partnerships between health and social care but face similar issues of misaligned funding, poor referral systems and processes.
Training. Many clinical and care professional leaders face a lack of training in how to be effective system leaders. We need to provide a bridge between existing healthcare professional education and learning on the job.
What is one thing we should take forward in developing our approach in south east London?
- Ensure this is multidisciplinary and not just focused on physicians.
- Investment for colleagues to develop their leadership skills. We need a safe space to try out new ideas and concepts.
- Need to enable leadership roles across the whole system, in a stronger way. We are working on this but we need to do more.
- Protected time as a team.
- Establishing support and training for those willing to step into leadership position.
- Training for multiprofessional teams going into leadership roles and distributed leadership.
- Broaden our church of clinical leaders. Allow them to do this by supporting their time.
- Frontline staff involvement.
Watch Robert’s presentation below.