What makes an excellent Clinical Director? Qualities, skills, roles and responsibilities
Dr Jo Howard, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
Dr Jo Howard is Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Princess Alexandra Hospital and an honorary consultant haematologist at University College Hospital. She has held senior leadership and transformational roles across several acute trusts in the Eastern Region and is a clinician dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare through effective clinical leadership and a focus on the clinical safety agenda and Quality improvement.
Jo has 21 years clinical service in the NHS and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and Member of the Royal College of Physicians.
"The role of the clinical director essentially is about keeping the patient at the centre of what we do… Bringing board decisions and operational decisions back to – ‘Is this the right thing for the patient’? – and bring your clinical colleagues along with you! High levels of clinical engagement come from clinicians feeling empowered that the decisions that they are making are benefitting patients... I never start off with, ‘this is the budget we need to use’, I start with ‘this is the service we need to provide"
Developing your skills as a Clinical Director
Mr Jason Smith, Consultant Surgeon, and Divisional Medical Director, Planned Care and Surgery, Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust
Mr Smith is currently the Medical Director for Planned Care at Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, having been Clinical Director for Surgery for 3-years preceding this. He is an established consultant general surgeon of 16-years specialising in colorectal surgery. Mr Smith still actively participate in research activities with over 60-peer review publications to date and a number of National Reports for the Bowel Cancer Audit. Mr Smith now lectures frequently on leadership, productivity and management topics.
The aim of the talk is to give practical advice on the role and responsibility of the life of a clinical director – the bits that are not in the job description when you apply for the post!
"You are not there to represent your colleagues but you are there to support them – it is a difficult balance. Although you need to support your colleagues, you also have to support the direction of the Trust as well"
Developing job planning for improvement at directorate level
Dr Nadeem Moghal, Former Medical Director
There much talk about leadership. There is yet more about engagement and teams being key to delivering effective services. The 2004 consultant contract was the seminal moment when we gave away some of our professionalism and became self and shift focused. Traditional job planning is 15 years old and was never fit for purpose. Delivering safe effective healthcare requires genuine team working. Asking for team working as though it is good will is not working. Team job planning through a deliberate transparent process, underpinned by policy and measures is a necessary expectation of leaders and the medical profession.
"If consultants routinely, without fail, are not attending meetings then you do not have a team. Important information is not reaching medics if they are not there. If you are not a team, you cannot argue for resources confidently"