Sir Stuart Rose, a highly-regarded business leader in Britain who turned around the fortunes of Marks and Spencer, will advise how the NHS can attract and retain the very best leaders to help transform the culture in under-performing hospitals.
It will run alongside a separate review into how the NHS can make better use of its best existing leaders, so-called “superheads,” who could spread the highest standards for patients across the system by taking on struggling organizations or establishing national networks of NHS hospitals and services.
Rose will advise the Health Secretary on how the NHS can build on existing work to recruit top talent from within and outside the NHS.
He also will advise on how NHS trusts can improve organizational culture, through leaders being more visible and in touch with frontline patients, services and staff.
In a separate review, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Sir David Dalton will look at how to end the isolation of failing hospitals from the best NHS management and practice.
Dalton will investigate how to enable the best-performing NHS organizations and most successful chief executives to establish national groups of hospitals or services as beacons of excellence. This could include non-geographical networks of hospitals under one leadership team where one NHS trust has hospitals around the country.
Rose will look specifically at the problems faced by the 14 trusts currently in “special measures,” the program to turn-around failing hospitals introduced last year, where strong leadership was identified as key to improvement.
Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, said, “Everyone wants the peace of mind of knowing their local hospital offers good care—so turning round hospitals where this is not the case is a critical priority for me as Health Secretary. Good care should never depend on your postcode. But the difference between good and bad care can often lie in leadership, which is why I am delighted that one of the country’s most inspirational leaders has agreed to advise me on how we can attract and retain the brightest and best managers into the NHS so we transform the culture in under-performing hospitals.”
“We also can do more to exploit the extraordinary leadership in our best hospitals by making it easy for NHS super-heads to take over struggling organizations. Dalton is one such leader, who with his team has turned the Salford Royal into one of the best hospitals in the country. He will advise me what more we need to do to enable our best hospital leaders to take over the running of hospitals in difficulty without compromising the success of their own Trusts,” said Hunt.
Through a series of hospital visits, Rose will mentor NHS leaders and examine the challenges facing doctors, nurses and management boards. He will provide advice in an unpaid capacity until the end of the year, when he will submit a short report to the department.
Dalton will look at:
Dalton said, “The NHS is making encouraging progress in identifying great care but also in dealing with sub-standard care—but in order to take the next decisive step forward, we need to create new NHS organizational models which allow for the best care found in successful NHS Trusts to be extended to those hospitals who experience difficulty in meeting standards for patients. I am delighted to accept the Health Secretary’s invitation to examine how strong and stable leadership from our managers and clinicians can make a positive impact. We need to see how we can spread best practice and make more use of both our talented people and reliable systems, for the benefit of more patients.”