Supporting the delivery of excellent healthcare and health improvement


Professor Nicki Latham, Director of Performance and Development for Health Education England (HEE) will be at our Inspiring Improvement event on 11 July. She explains HEE's role in the Developing People – Improving Care framework and the importance of helping people on their leadership journey.

Professor Nicki Latham, Director of Performance and Development, Health Education England.

In December, we at Health Education England (HEE) were delighted to help launch Developing People - Improving Care with our partners from across health and social care. We led its development jointly with NHS Improvement and with the enthusiastic involvement of numerous other organisations.

Health Education England (HEE) exists for one reason only: to support the delivery of excellent healthcare and health improvement to the patients and public of England by ensuring that the workforce of today and tomorrow has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours, at the right time and in the right place.

Leadership is one of those key skills and the best leaders share these values and display the behaviours that we all aspire to. 

It is important to remember that leaders in the NHS can be at any level and any role. The NHS constitution sets out the values that we all live by, such as compassion and remembering that everyone counts. These are essential tenets of good leadership too.

We know from evidence and experience that good, effective leadership is vital to address the challenges that we all face in the NHS. These include delivering challenging targets, achieving financial balance and, most importantly, providing high quality care for those using our services.

At any one time, there are 160,000 trainees in the NHS and we need to help them to become tomorrow's leaders. Yet for too long, the NHS has not focused enough on the development of the people who make it the world class service that it is, and this framework is designed to help address that gap. The training that we at HEE support already contains essential leadership elements, but it is vital that this learning does not stop when someone finishes their formal training. Developing People - Improving Care helps people to continue on their leadership journey.

The NHS Leadership Academy, now part of HEE, is a vital part of this work and is doing a huge amount to build on its existing work to design programmes and support for aspiring leaders, including a focus on inclusive leadership and finding the leaders of tomorrow from under-represented groups. Programmes like Stepping Up and Ready Now, for example, are specifically designed for aspiring and senior BAME leaders, who we need to see more of in roles such as Chief Executives, Medical Directors and Directors of Nursing.

Internally too, we at HEE are committed to supporting and developing our own people and actively encourage our staff to move to the next level in their careers.

HEE is delighted to be at the forefront of developing the leaders the NHS needs and I encourage you to explore Developing People - Improving Care to find out how it can help you and the people in your organisation to become better leaders. 

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