Transformational leadership

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 08 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:560
  1. Graham Neale, visiting professor (
  1. Clinical Safety Research Unit, Imperial College, St Mary's Hospital, London

    A recent editorial on clinical leadership by Sisse Olsen and myself (BMJ 2005;330: 1219-20) has led to my being asked how transformational leadership might affect clinical practice. Perhaps a clinical story might help.

    One Sunday afternoon, a decade ago, I slipped into the hospital to ensure that a patient with severe acute ulcerative colitis was making satisfactory progress on conventional medical treatment. He was doing well. His abdomen was no longer tender, his pulse rate was back to normal, and he was feeling hungry.

    As I was leaving the ward, a junior staff nurse, who I did not recognise, touched my arm and asked, “Dr Neale, …

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