National centre of excellence for NHS leaders opens

Posted by: Jason Brewster - Posted on:

Introduction Text:
A world class national centre designed to produce and inspire current and future generations of NHS leaders to drive improvements in patient care, has been launched.

The NHS Leadership Academy will help develop outstanding leadership in order to improve patients’ experiences, their health outcomes and their wellbeing.

To do this it will work with doctors, nurses, health professionals and managers from across the NHS. It will also work with public health and social care, and with local government, where Health and Wellbeing Boards are key to improving health and care outcomes.

Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley unveiled plans for the Academy in July last year.

NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson said the Academy would be critical to delivering the strategic shift in leadership needed for the NHS in the coming years.

He said: “The ethos is simple. NHS success is dependent on great leadership right across the service, across clinicians and managers.  Great leaders create working climates where people working with them feel engaged, empowered and satisfied. Those people in turn have a direct positive impact on patients’ experiences and their health outcomes. Everyone working for, with or on behalf of the NHS has a crucial role to play in this, as we focus on our purpose of improving health outcomes for our patients.”

“We face huge challenges across the world of health, social care and public health. Our leaders must be better equipped and more innovative than ever before. Vitally, they must be able to work in an integrated way across health and social care, to make sure people have a consistently good experience of our services.

“Developing outstanding leadership has never been more important than now.”

Jim Easton is Director of Transformation for the NHS Commissioning Board.

He said: “The Academy will provide expertise and support to help the leaders we have now. At the same time it will support the development of a new generation. They will steer the NHS into a future which builds on our existing strengths and adds new ones, championing clinical leadership, inclusion, equality and diversity, and encouraging innovation.

“People will be able to access this learning and support from an ‘entry’ level to the most senior and experienced leaders. The Academy will give them all tools, techniques, support and behaviours to help them engage and enable their staff, partners and patients, as well as continually improving standards.

“’With change at a scale and pace the NHS has never seen before, the fundamental difference between success and failure is the calibre of leadership.”

Peter Lees FRCS MRCP, is Founding Director of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management. Its aim is to promote the advancement of medical leadership, management and quality improvement at all stages of the medical career, for the benefit of patients.

He said: “The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management believes the evidence that good leadership improves the quality of patient care; we are setting the standards for good medical leadership and will help all doctors to enhance their leadership skills through strong partnerships with the Medical Royal Colleges and NHS partners.

“We, therefore, welcome the timely establishment of the NHS Leadership Academy and look forward to a very constructive working relationship.”

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said: “The NHS faces a number of major challenges over the coming years which will require strong leadership and brave decisions.

“If we want the service to be the best it can be for patients, it is essential we provide senior leaders with the appropriate forum to come together and use their knowledge and skills to tackle the big issues.

“The NHS Leadership Academy will provide a useful platform to help establish collaborative and  innovative approaches to healthcare, and embrace the talent and ideas of our future leaders.”

The Academy launches its new website ( with video stories from some of the NHS’s most inspiring clinical and managerial leaders about their work and its impact on the NHS and patients.

These include high profile former winners of the prestigious NHS Leadership Recognition Awards talking about their work and the impact it has had on patients and the NHS.

The Academy has four main areas of work:

Developing the approach to leadership: defining and promoting what good leadership looks like, based on the recently developed Leadership Framework; setting national standards for leadership development and talent management with frameworks and toolkits; rewarding and recognising outstanding leadership (the 2012 NHS Leadership Recognition Awards are being run by the Academy and nominations have now opened

Providing and commissioning a range of cutting edge national programmes: in total these will make up the single largest training programme for leaders in the world and culminate in the professionalisation of leadership in the NHS. They include: the Graduate Management Training Programme for the most outstanding new graduates; Breaking Through to support leaders from BME communities; Top Leaders for those in the most senior roles; the Clinical Leadership Fellowship Programme, along with career development programmes with different entry levels for different staff

Supporting the development of local leadership capability: providing expert support for local NHS and key partner organisations to sustain and promote leadership in their area

Supporting changing and developing parts of the NHS system: developing shared leadership approaches with local government and providers of NHS services; providing frameworks for Foundation Trust governors and Clinical Commissioning Group development; supporting leadership for innovation and QIPP


  • From April Jan Sobieraj, Managing Director of NHS and Social Care Workforce, will be interim Managing Director of the Academy. Karen Lynas, Director of Leadership at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement and Director of NHS Top Leaders, will be interim Deputy Managing Director/Head of Programmes
  • The Academy’s small core team, supplemented by a faculty and associates, will be in place in the next three months
  • It will be steered by a Programme Board bringing together senior members of the Academy with representatives from different partner organisations
  • It will work with a network of organisations including patient representatives, professional bodies, regulators and key contributors to national thinking on leadership
  • It will be owned by the NHS for the NHS, with sponsorship from all parts of the system and, over time, other partners
  • It will be based in Leeds

5 replies on “National centre of excellence for NHS leaders opens”

  • Where are you based please ,Is it Warwick University ?

    Helen Hendrickson
    • Hi Helen,

      We are based in Leeds at the following location:


      James Marcus
      • Thanks .I was involved with the Kings fund international NHS clinical leaders programme and was trained in Project management ,business analysis band Organisational change management ( using engagement and bottom up user facilitation techniques)
        It was a great experience the Kings Fund programme described by Naaz Comer as the toughest MBA and personal development adventure we as clinical leaders would face .I teach Communication skills and LEADERFULL interpersonal skills to all sectors Professions .Your Leadership site ,set up and guidance is excellent.It would be an honour to do a FREE COMMUNICATION 360 APPRAISAL TO YOUR BOARD MEMBERS or up to 25 students via SKYPE and Offer all NHS staff a 25 percent reduction in individual coaching face to face or online.Please link me via Linked in Helen Hendrickson Skype Helen.hendrickson5446 ( quote NHSO1/04/16 in contact request or Emil UK elocution [email protected] or tel 01827769150 to join or contribute in developing leaderful communication curriculum built on input from and development of accessible expertise and best practice in spoken written verbal vocal and non verbal communication
        Get in touch for involvement in exciting e learning project requiring FCC eedbaxk and offering free training and registration for early birds

  • Hi!

    Why, half-way through 2018, have you only got a business plan for 2016 – 2017?

    Your bulletin is dated 10/04/2012.

    Has the whole thing project, or can you no longer afford the website updates?

    From a website with such high aspirations about changing the unacceptable and ‘dead-wood’ parts of the NHS leadership, this would suggest that the whole incentive is dead in the water.

    Hands-on leadership churning up the sometimes stagnant layers on NHS middle – management is undoubtedly the way forward, but this site seems to have shrivelled with no marker-posts of progress or records of improvements to date.

    It would be really nice to know what has happened since the NHS Leadership Project began in 2012, what the future holds and the reassurance that this is not yet another NHS incentive that has itself become part of the stagnant stodge.

    Kind regards,

    R Emery.

    R Emery
    • Hello Roger,

      Thank you for getting in touch. I will send you a direct email with an NHS Leadership Academy timeline of progress, key achievements and milestones to date. In the meantime, you can read more about those in more detail in our news section here.

      Many thanks again,

      James Marcus Editor

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