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Independent report: Leadership for a collaborative and inclusive future (Messenger Review). 2022. (accessed 28 June 2022)

How to unlock nurse leadership potential

07 July 2022
Volume 31 · Issue 13


Sam Foster, Chief Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals, considers the recommendations of the new Messenger report that explores ways to develop leadership and management in health and social care

The NHS has received multiple leadership reviews in the past decade. Time after time, leadership and culture are cited to be at the heart of how a service or a whole organisation performs and how it is viewed.

In October last year, the government commissioned a review into leadership across health and social care, led by Sir Gordon Messenger and supported by Dame Linda Pollard. It focused on the best ways to strengthen leadership and management across health and social care in England. The Messenger Review (Messenger and Pollard, 2022) has now been published and recommends:

The recommendations have been accepted by the government, with a commitment to publication of a delivery plan to implement them. There was initial concern among NHS leaders that the review was somewhat undermining of existing NHS leaders, and also that its timing could potentially bring an unhelpful distraction at a time of significant operational pressure to deliver the recovery programme. Having read the review, I consider that it offers us three priority areas, within which opportunities for nursing leadership need to be considered.

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