Now is the time for effective Clinical and Care Leadership more than ever in the history of the National Health Service.
Having been a medically qualified as a clinician for over three decades and spending 23 of those years as a frontline GP, I reflect on the current challenges being faced in the NHS.
The extent of the current challenges is particularly severe and at a scale that I have never witnessed in my career or lifetime. Clearly, this is directly related to the immediate impact of the pandemic affecting all aspects of clinical service delivery, patient safety and quality related challenges. It was interesting to note that the recent pandemic steered the country firmly towards the safe haven of seeking guidance, counsel from qualified and experienced frontline Clinical Leadership. We even clapped weekly for all our frontline clinicians and clinical leaders who we celebrated.
In addition, social care challenges are well recognised as tipping patients and the public towards increased healthcare demands pressurising an already overloaded healthcare system, besides contributing to lack of adequate post discharge community beds and associated facilities to release hospital beds. The disconnect between health and social care has been long recognised and hence, the long-awaited legislated Health and Social Care Act that was passed in July 2022, connected the two key domains of health and social care creating a new tier of Integrated Care Systems structures nationally. This is a tier that allows us a great opportunity to recognise the value of integrating Clinical and Care leadership professionals which in turn would allow a wholesome approach to dealing with key health and social care challenges that can be addressed collectively.