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News and updates from today's Clinical Director Conference

Following the chairs introductions, Prof Stephen Powis Medical Director Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust delivers a session on 'What makes an excellent Clinical Director? Qualities, skills, roles and responsibilities' covering:

  • the Clinical Directors role
  • responsibilities: strategic, directorate and individual
  • leadership qualities required for the role
  • accountability of Clinical Directors
  • where next for current Clinical Directors? 

Prof Stephen Powis Full Presentation

In his presentation Stephen stated: 

If you’re asked to do a job, you need to know:

  • What that job involves
  • What you need to do that job
  • Who you report to
  • You have the time to do the job

If you don’t have this, you are set up to fail

Role of Clinical Director

  • Operational – running business day to day; usually a team to support
    • Capacity, infrastructure, workforce, data management
    • Risk management; investigating & learning from serious incidents
    • Outcomes – are they good/do you understand them?
    • Patient experience
    • Compliance - 69 organisations capable of monitoring/auditing your organisation
    • Financial performance
    • Course correction – things will go wrong
  • Strategic – planning for the future; where organisation will be in 5 years time; sometimes a challenge & not a main focus
    • Strengths & weaknesses of service/team
    • Planning investment – workforcw/capital
    • Understand external environment – talking to neighbouring trusts, commissioners, local government
    • Academic links – innovation
    • Priorities – immediate/mid-term/long-term – talk about them/write them down
  • Professional – be a leader amongst clinical staff; providing support; managing doctors in difficulty; dealing with concerns raised about colleagues
    • Supporting clinical colleagues – everyone has things going on in their lives & you need to be able to support staff/colleagues
    • Job planning – once you do it right, it should be just a matter of tweaking
    • You are not elected representative/union rep & not if it’s your turn
    • You are a member of the management team & Part of collective decision making – you may have to speak to colleagues about things that you don’t 100% agree with. Discuss/argue about issues within your team beforehand


  1. Patients
  2. Staff
  3. Reputation

If you take care of the first two, the reputation of organisation should take care of itself.

Professor Powis's biography: Stephen Powis is Professor of Renal Medicine at University College London. He has been Medical Director of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust since 2006.  Professor Powis is currently a member of the governing body of Merton Clinical Commissioning Group and a Director of Healthcare Services Laboratories LLP. He has recently been appointed the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the journal BMJ Leader. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Association of UK Universities (AUKUH) Medical Directors Group and has been a member of numerous national committees and working groups, including the Department of Health Strategic Education Funding Expert Group. He is a past non-executive director of the North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, including a period of eight months as acting chairman. He is a past chairman of the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB) Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) for Renal Medicine and a former board member of Medical Education England. He was Director of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education for UCLPartners from 2010-13. He is a past treasurer and trustee of the British Transplantation Society and a former member of the UK Transplant Kidney Pancreas Advisory Group. He has also served as a member of the Renal Association Executive Committee. He was Editor of the journal Nephron Clinical Practice from 2003 to 2008. He is a trustee of four charities, including the Royal Free Charity and the Healthcare Management Trust.

John Randall Adviser NCAS continues with an extended session on 'Managing poor performance, and supporting doctors in difficulty' covering:

  • identifying poor or declining clinical performance
  • managing poor performance and supporting doctors in difficulty: what to do when a concern arises
  • interaction between NCAS and Employment Liaison Advisers (ELA’s) and the medical royal colleges
  • the role of Human Resources in supporting the Clinical Director
  • ensuring you have early warning systems to alert when things are going wrong in the directorate

John Randall Full Presentation

John's biography: John trained in Manchester then subsequently on the Newcastle Obstetrics and Gynaecology rotation. He was a Clinical Research Fellow at Aberdeen University; completing his MD Thesis Studies in Women with Unexplained Infertility and establishing the Assisted Conception Unit. He was subsequently a senior registrar at Leeds Teaching Hospitals and completed further specialist training in relation to reproductive medicine. John was appointed at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 1994 as a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology with a special interest in reproductive medicine, and subsequently held both management and educational roles as College Tutor and Clinical Lead for Obstetrics and Gynaecology services. John was appointed Medical Director at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in October 2005 and became the Trust’s Responsible Officer in 2011

John's presentation abstract: One of the most challenging areas of work for a medical manager is in dealing with the poor performance of medical colleagues. Concerns can arise from patient complaints, from staff and via clinical risk reporting systems. Medical managers need to have a clear understanding of local and national policies and, with the support of HR colleagues, be able to handle such matters objectively, dispassionately and effectively. It is important for them understand the appropriate use of restriction and exclusion to protect patients, staff and the organisation. Today’s presentation aims to provide an introduction on how to deal with and to manage such challenges. Some examples will be used and key principles explained. Background data drawn from both the GMC and NCAS will also be employed to illustrate both the frequency of such concerns and the linked demographic risk factors.  

Alan J Nobbs Senior Programme Lead, Programme Delivery & Frameworks NHS Leadership Academy opens the afternoon with an extended session on 'Developing and fine tuning your clinical leadership skills' covering: 

  • self assessment of your leadership skills
  • leading culture change and empowering others
  • leading the directorate: tips for success
  • developing the leadership skills to move to a board level Medical Director position 

Alan J Nobbs Full Presentation

Related events:

Consultant Job Planning
Thursday 19 October 2017 
The Studio Conference Centre

Managing Doctors in Difficulty and Difficult Doctors
Monday 30 October 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Developing the Role of the Physician Associate
Monday 6 November 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Effective Clinical Director
Monday 29 January 2018 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

22 September 2017


    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
    GGI (Good Governance Institute) accredited conferences CPD Member ASGBI (Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland) professional partner BADS (British Association of Day Surgery) accredited conferences