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RCN Clinical Leadership Programme. Turning Voices. Into Action!. Ian Govier RCN Associate Consultant. opportunitynowhere. Effective clinical leadership improves patient care. Isolation.

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RCN Clinical Leadership Programme

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RCN Clinical Leadership Programme

Turning Voices

Into Action!

Ian Govier

RCN Associate Consultant


Effective clinical leadership improves patient care


Since the inception of the NHS, more than 50 NHS public inquiries have been conducted to address catastrophic failures in patient care.

Disempowerment of staff and patients

Inadequate leadership / management

Failure of systems and processes

The same 5 common themes emerge from each inquiry.

Poor communication

Walshe & Higgins (2002)

John Harvey-Jones (2002)

“Leaders in the NHS need imagination, vision & charisma, allied with outstanding communication skills & the ability to fire their staff with enthusiasm”

Who are the leaders?

“Lots of ordinary nurses are leaders – it is in the very nature of the job.

Good care involves winning your patient’s confidence, convincing them to keep to their treatment regimes and inspiring them to battle their way back to health”

(Crouch, 2002)

Exemplary(Clinical) Leaders






(Kouzes and Posner, 2002)

Exemplary Clinical Leaders


Challenges to Clinical Leadership

“The greatest difficulty in the world is not for people to accept new ideas, but to make them forget their old ideas!” John Maynard Keynes

‘Are you kidding? I like it here!’

“The one indisputable fact that characterises organisational life, is that CHANGEis inevitable.”

(Beverley Alimo-Metcalfe, 2005)

Two choices regarding CHANGE:GET ORGANIZED or ‘go with the flow’

(Yoder-Wise, 1999)

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.M.Scott Peck

“If you want to see change, be the change you want to see”

Beware of Change Saboteurs!!

Exemplary Clinical Leaders


a shared


The most important task of leadership is todefine and nurture a shared VISIONthat energises and brings out the best in peopleJames A. Vaughan

Let’s look at some VISIONS!

To be the world’s favourite airline & the undisputed leader in world travel for the millennium

To experience the emotion of competition, winning & crushing competitors

To enable people & businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential

To make people happy

Visions without actions are merely hallucinations!

The vision must be followed by the venture It is not enough to stare up the steps

What is my VISION for my NURSING CAREER?

Welsh Regional Burns Unit

So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, but when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.

Exemplary Clinical Leaders


To become a leader one must believe in one’s own ability to achieve results for one’s self, but the real job of the leader is not doing it but ENABLING others to do it.Saskin & Rosenbach 1993

Where once leaders were aloof decision-makers, today they are dedicated collaborators & networkers whose role is to ENABLE & give power to their team rather than wield power to their own ends.

Leaders on Leadership – an intimate view of life at the top of Europe plc Development Dimensions International (DDI), Research Report, January 2006

Sister Thomas

- a great enabler & clinical leader

Exemplary Clinical Leaders


The main thing is to keep the main thing - the MAIN THING


It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm.

Make the CARE OF PEOPLE your first concern, treating them as individuals

and respecting their dignity

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody

Compassion and Care

A patient is the most important person in our Hospital. He is not an interruption to our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our Hospital. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so.

As nurses, we have to be caring. We also need to be clever,

articulate and determined.

Strong and visible nursing leadership

is part of effective nursing care.

Nurses need to be in leadership positions at every level, from the bedside to the boardroom.

Exemplary Clinical Leaders



...is about the principles & practices that support the basic human need to be appreciatedfor what we do & who we are.

(Kouzes & Posner, 1997)

The modern nurse is viewed by the public as a skilled and independent professional

Melissa Fitzpatrick (2005), former editor-in-chief of Nursing Management, wrote:

‘To the public these ads showcase diversity, intelligence, competence, and caring - the essence of nursing.’

Exemplary Clinical Leaders






Final Thoughts

Clinical Leadership…

…what am I

going to dodifferently

after today?

If I do nothing about it in 24 hours…

…I’ll probably

do nothing about it!

If we always do what we’ve always done…

…we’ll always get what we’ve always got!

and finally…

We do not lead by being corporate, professional or institutional.

Clinical Leadership

Turn Your Voice into Action!

Thank You


Clinical Leadership

Turn Your Voice into Action!

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