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No conclusions should be drawn from the departure of a few high-profile NHS leaders asserts the NHS Confederation. ...
No conclusions should be drawn from the departure of a few high-profile NHS leaders asserts the NHS Confederation. There are nearly 1,000 chief executives in England alone and it is not clear whether there is, in fact, a marked increase in the number of top managers leaving the health service.

Stephen Thornton, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said: 'I

believe there is actually more stability than in the past and there is

no sense of a haemorrhage of top management from the NHS. It is

important not to read across, from the departure of a small number of

high-profile leaders in recent months, to an haemorrhage of NHS top


He added: 'Focusing attention on the top detracts from the need to

actually identify and develop leadership potential throughout the entire organisation. This is where the NHS Confederation's idea of a

`leadership academy' comes into being.'

If the government's National Plan for the NHS is to be a success it will need to be led by people locally. We need to develop and train the thousands of doctors, nurses and managers that can really make a

difference locally to the quality of patient care. This is why we are

arguing for the creation of the academy. It would focus people on the

top priorities and help create a truly multi-disciplinary leadership

community for the NHS.

The NHS Confederation's proposal would see the creation of a leadership academy to train and develop the most senior 5% of the NHS workforce (around 40,000 people), costing around£20m per year to run.

'This proposal would redress the balance between professional,

occupational loyalties and focus on corporate objectives. It would

educate NHS leaders about tried and tested methods and approaches to

performance improvement and clinical change management,' concludes

Stephen Thornton.

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