What type of leadership is needed now to save the health services?

Different types and styles of leadership are needed in different situations. The strikes are part of the picture (NHS stress: doctors‘ strike is a last resort), but the Guardian 20th Jan 2018 reports the cause: NHS has the west’s most stressed GPs, survey reveals

When the profession first called for honesty, more staffing and a realistic debate, which was some years ago now, leadership by consensus and democracy might have been possible. We appear to have lemming leaders..

Now we need a Cromwellian or a Churchillian figure: an authoritarian style.

Wikipedia describes the following:

1 Authoritarian, 2 Paternalistic, 3 Democratic, 4 Laissez-faire 5 Transactional,

6 Transformational


  Different Types of Leadership Styles are described by smallbusiness.com

The Guardian report by Dennis Campbell reads: NHS has the west’s most stressed GPs, survey reveals

UK’s family doctors have the highest stress levels and shortest consultation times out of 11 industrialised countries – and almost 30% are planning to quit

…..Stress levels are so acute among British GPs that almost 30% plan to quit in the next five years, in a move that would make it even harder for patients to get an appointment promptly. The growing pressures on NHS family doctors are so intense that more than 20% have become ill in the past year, according to the findings from the authoritative Washington-based Commonwealth Fund.

Just under six in 10 GPs (59%) find their work stressful, with 39% of these saying it is very stressful| and 20% extremely stressful, which is higher than any other leading western nation in the triennial study. Researchers surveyed 11,547 GPs in 11 countries, including France, Germany and the United States….

Prof Nigel Mathers, the honorary secretary of the Royal College of GPs, warned that overworked GPs increased the chances of them making a mistake. “Such high levels of stress amongst GPs in the UK compared to other countries is bad news for the NHS and for our patients, as growing numbers of family doctors are becoming dissatisfied with their working circumstances and consider leaving the profession.”

Stress is the key reason so many GPs intend to quit. The Health Foundation’s forthcoming analysis of the American thinktank’s findings about NHS GPs reports that: “There is a clear correlation between those who want to leave general practice and stress levels. In the UK, 29% of GPs plan to leave general practice within five years….



This entry was posted in A Personal View, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

One thought on “What type of leadership is needed now to save the health services?

  1. Pingback: ..bullying, sexism and the silencing of whistleblowers in the NHS laid bare— yet no one has been held to account. | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

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