Intended for healthcare professionals


Round-up from Leaders in Healthcare conference

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 08 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5977
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers

Last week doctors from across the profession gathered for the Leaders in Healthcare 2016 conference in Liverpool, organised by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management and The BMJ. Here is our summary of the conference’s highlights

Seniors must stop discouraging trainees from taking on leadership roles

The behaviour of some senior NHS managers and clinicians towards junior doctors who want to take on leadership roles is unacceptable, the chief executive of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management said.

Opening the Leaders in Healthcare 2016 conference on Tuesday 1 November, Peter Lees said that some senior staff members would not support their junior colleagues. He said, “As Sir Bruce Keogh said in his famous review of 2013, [junior doctors] are the clinical leaders of today. Bruce also urged us to harness the energy and creativity of 55 000 young doctors, which makes so much sense.”

But he added, “Sadly I have to tell you that many of our peers seem not to share that view. Despite the recent deafening message from our younger colleagues I am still regularly regaled with stories of unacceptable behaviour towards trainees who have dared to demonstrate an interest in leadership. That has to stop.”

Lees said that the faculty was working with NHS Providers on a new compact between trusts and junior doctors.

Extra 1500 medical students should be given leadership training, royal college says

Health Education England should consider allowing only medical schools that teach leadership to train the 1500 new medical students promised by the government, leaders of medical royal colleges said. In October Jeremy Hunt announced that “from September 2018 we will train up to 1500 more doctors every year” in England.

In a discussion at the conference Clare Marx, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said that the new medical students should be actively taught leadership skills by their medical school.

Marx said, “If we’re going to have 1500 new doctors, maybe what we should do is discuss with Health Education England how we are going to train [them] differently. Maybe we should only give them to medical schools that are prepared to put leadership and development into their courses.”

She added, “And we could do that; we could go to HEE and say this is what we would really like to see and hope that they would run with that.”

Junior doctors are “treated like factory workers”

Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, told the conference that junior doctors needed to be given more time for personal development. She said that, to make this possible, the NHS needed to employ more junior doctors.

She said that junior doctors were “treated like factory workers.” She added, “They’re not rated like highly trained professionals. And the only way that we can change that is to have more of them, so that they have the space within their week that allows the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts.”

Catherine Calderwood, chief medical officer for Scotland, also spoke at the event. She disagreed that an increase in junior doctors was necessary. “I’m not sure that more is definitely better. We’ve had a 38% increase in consultants in Scotland in the past eight years and almost a doubling of our emergency medicine consultants, and I’m not sure if I walked into an emergency department they would tell me it’s half as much work as it was eight years ago.”

Medical managers give up licences to avoid investigation, says GMC

Medical managers are given up their licences to practise to avoid potential investigations, the General Medical Council said. Speaking at the conference, Terence Stephenson, chair of the GMC, said that doctors who became managers were still open to GMC regulation if they remained on the register.

“My understanding, and I’m not a lawyer, is that while doctors remain on our register they can be complained about. I personally know of three medical chief executives who have taken themselves off the register because they are no longer practising doctors and they wanted to avoid that situation.”

Stephenson added that it was not something that he was advocating but something that he was aware of happening.


View Abstract

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription