Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

Looking for leaders

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 11 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:0-f

The service needs to embrace all clinical leaders

Your editorial is right - the paradox is that there has not been a
more apt time for clinical leadership (including all clinical professions)
to emerge across the NHS to help senior managers deliver necessary reform.

With problems of financial control emerging across the NHS clinical
leadership should be on the ascendency. Not since the 1962 reforms and
the subsequent following (cogwheel) reports have such significant
opportunities pertaining to medical leadership presented themselves. The
clinical professions have been awaiting this moment - they must respond
with enthusiasm but not be rash. In addition it is commensurate on senior
NHS managers to recognise the need for truly combined approaches.

We do have many of the right kind of clinical leaders - who
understand both the clinical perspectives and the managerial difficulties
facing our health service. Senior managers and the wider service however
need to demonstrate their insight and embrace (not fear) those clinical
staff who usually have a track record of delivery of excellent care to
their patients and who simultaneously are able to lead the service by

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 May 2006
Paul W Buss
Associate Medical Director
Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust