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NHS: Leadership In A Crisis

Blog - NHS leadership in crisis

Three years ago, the first period of national lockdown began in the UK which heralded the biggest challenge the NHS has faced in its history.

Merryck & Co was very proud to design and deliver a pro bono mentoring programme for a group of 40 NHS and Emergency Services leaders from Hampshire & Isle of Wight and Frimley Integrated Care Services. The goal was to support them under extremely high-pressure conditions and to provide space to reflect on key learnings and opportunities for positive change arising from the crisis caused by the pandemic.

Despite the extraordinary demands of the pandemic, it was an incredibly galvanizing experience for some:

‘It’s been one of the most amazing years in my career- exhausting and challenging but also incredibly productive. We stepped out of our organisational hierarchy and there was a feeling of doing things for the greater good.’

Laura Rothery, Divisional Director, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Indeed, the sense of urgency created by the pandemic often empowered managers and clinicians to cut through bureaucracy and focus on how best to give care:

‘There was a huge reduction in bureaucracy and that came from being given permission nationally to put aside a lot of the usual checks and balances. Not the checks and balances that are there to keep people safe, but those that are about reporting and justifying. Removing those really made a difference.’

Jane Hogg, Transformation Director, Frimley Integrated Care System.

Merryck mentors were overwhelmed and humbled by how appreciative their NHS clients were of the support offered that allowed them to process and discuss their experiences:

‘The Merryck team deserve a huge thank you for the unbelievably generous gift in supporting 40 senior NHS and Care sector leaders and potentially shaping the future development of health services across Hampshire and Frimley. This would ultimately mean improved services to over 3 million citizens.  That’s the real value and difference you and the team would have made. We are forever grateful for this intervention.’

Maggie MacIsaac, Chief Executive, Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICS.

This work provided the inspiration for a Management Today article on Crisis Management in the NHS. Read the full article here from page 19.

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Phillippa Crookes