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Models of leadership and their implications for nursing practice

28 March 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 6


Leadership in today's NHS, either as a leader or follower, is everybody's business. In this article, an MSc student undertaking the Developing Professional Leadership module at King's College London describes two leadership models and considers their application to two dimensions of the NHS Healthcare Leadership Model: ‘Engaging the team’ and ‘Leading with care’. The author demonstrates the value of this knowledge to all those involved in health care with a case scenario from clinical practice and key lessons to help frontline staff in their everyday work.

The Ely inquiry into the systematic brutal treatment of patients in a Cardiff mental institution was the first formal inquiry into NHS failings (Department of Health and Social Security, 1969). Since that time there have been more than 100 inquiries with inadequate leadership persistently identified as a major concern (Sheard, 2015). National responses have included the NHS Healthcare Leadership Model, delivered by the NHS Leadership Academy and its partners (2013). A range of online and face-to-face programmes aim to increase an organisation's leadership capacity by developing leaders who pay close attention to their frontline staff, understand the contexts in which they work and the situations they face and empower them to lead continuous improvements that enhance patient outcomes and safety (NHS Leadership Academy, 2013).

At King's College London, ‘Developing Professional Leadership’ is a core module of the Advanced Practice (Leadership) pathway. The module critically appraises theoretical and professional perspectives on leadership and supports participants to take up leadership roles with attention to ethical practice. Both national and college leadership activities promote an understanding of vertical transformational leadership (VTL) and shared leadership (SL).

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