How can we encourage radiographers to take strategic leadership roles?

Published: 21 February 2019 Ezine

Approaches that organisations can take to encourage and enable more AHPs from all disciplines to pursue senior strategic leadership positions, are among the key messages included within a guide published by NHS Improvement and endorsed by the Allied Health Professions Federation.

Clinical leadership – a framework for action, looks at how existing structures and expectations may prevent allied health professionals from contributing to strategic leadership.

It addresses The NHS Long Term Plan priority to nurture the next generation of leaders and support those with the capability and ambition to reach the most senior levels of the service. It has been developed in response to the 2018 recommendations to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ensure more clinicians from all professional backgrounds take on strategic leadership roles.

Produced by a cross-directorate project team within NHS Improvement, the publication is part of a wider programme of work following recommendations from the government’s report: Barriers and enablers for clinicians moving into senior leadership roles: review report.

Joanne Fillingham, clinical director AHPs, NHS Improvement commented: “The guide includes three examples of AHPs in strategic senior roles, including their associated case studies. There are only 11 case examples in the whole document, so AHPs have a very high profile within this national document.

“It also reaffirms the recommendation from the June 2018 document, AHP Leadership in Trusts in England: What exists and what matters, which asked trust boards to consider appointing a senior strategic AHP lead.”
Key messages

  • The NHS Long Term Plan highlights the importance of visible senior clinical leadership in enabling and assuring the delivery of high-quality care both within organisations and in the new system architecture. 
  • Allied health professionals, doctors, midwives, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, healthcare scientists and social workers can all potentially contribute to strategic leadership but we need to look at career structures and expectations that may currently stand in their way.
  • The framework has been developed through discussions with clinicians exploring some of the barriers and enablers they identify when moving into senior leadership positions.
  • Organisations to do more to actively involve clinicians in their leadership groups.
  • Evidence suggests that professionally diverse teams are better equipped to meet the complex challenges facing the NHS.
  • NHS Improvement’s Clinical leadership - a framework for action highlights approaches organisations can take to encourage clinicians from all disciplines to pursue senior leadership positions. The framework is accompanied by a range of case studies in which clinicians from a range of disciplines share their own experience of the journey to senior leadership roles.

Download the framework document.

Download the case studies separately.