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News and updates from today's Clinical Director training

Following the Chair's opening introductions, Mr James Quinn Regional Medical Director (Midlands and East) NHS Improvement opens the conference with a session on W'hat 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? 

Download the full presentation here

In his presentaion Mr James Quinn stated 

“If you prepare yourself for the Clinical Director role  you will do the job more effective, more efficient, safer. You will have less personal stress, a better reputation with colleagues, higher self-worth, more time and better earnings and career progression”

“You need to be a role model. You can not expect others to follow you if you are not leading by example – ie clinical standards, professional standards and strategy”

“You need to be supportive – bring people together and Build a multidisciplinary team”

“You have to have diplomacy – broker disagreements and tensions and provide assurance”

“Your key responsibly as clinical director is to guarantee clinical quality”

“You will be responsible for setting a strategic direction – this will be 1,5 and 10 years and need to be aligned with the trust goals”

“There is evidence that happy staff lead to content and well looked after patients”

“The key qualities of a Clinical Director resilience, integrity (is absolutely key, your staff need to know you are open and honest), communication, wisdom and vision (decision making), enthusiasm (give energy to your team), you need to be open and collaborative”

“The skills and knowledge needed to be a Clinical Director include finance, negotiation, project management, managing difficult people, appraisal, MHPS & Case Investigation, quality improvement,

strategic thinking, knowledge of the wider NHS. These can be learnt/ gain very quickly”

“Mentorship is very important. You need to find some one that you can talk to in a non treating environment to discuss your fears, concerns, success etc”

“Get fed back on your leadership style with in the first 3-6 months of doing the role, so you know if you are doing well and what you can improve on. Feedback is really important. Everybody needs feed back on how they are doing”

“The one thing I recommend is keep it simple. The most simple solution are often the most effective”

Mr James Quinn's biography:

James Quinn trained as an ENT surgeon in London and Cambridge. He has held a consultant position at East and North Herts Trust since 1998. He has been both a Clinical Director and Medical Director at his Trust. For the past 6 years he has been working at a regional level, initially for the East of England Strategic Health Authority. He was then appointed as Deputy Regional Medical Director for NHS England where he oversaw the setting up of Medical Revalidation for the Midlands and East region. More recently he has worked for the Trust Development Authority and NHS Improvement where he has recently been appointed as Regional Medical Director for the Midlands and East. For the past two years he has been a member of Council and Regional Lead for the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.

Dr David Evans Chief Executive Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust follows by offering tips and advice for aspiring Clinical Directors, by looking at:

• advice for aspiring clinical directors
• how to prepare for the role including interview planning
• the life of a Clinical Director: the highs and the lows
• understanding and managing directorate performance
• succession planning and tips for aspiring Clinical Directors 

Download the full presentation here

In this presentation Mr David Evans stated: 

“There are some core things that need to be in place if you want to lead. You need to be willing to lead, you need to be trained to lead, you need to have adequate time to lead, work in a system and culture which allows you to lead, you need to be supported in your role (you need a buddy to support you, some in your trust or out side) and you need to be remunerated fairly.”

“Safety is key – having safety is the absolute number one priority for your role”

“Developing culture is one of the fun parts – open and honest, there should be one way of doing things and everybody should be working together. You should look at having a flat/even level culture”

“Being open and honest is absolutely key – people need to know you are honest and approachable”

“The lows of the role include failure, time away from clinical work, egos and personalities (some of the most difficult things/people to manages), bunkers, poor performance (tackling, recognising and managing this can be difficult), complaints, targets, corridor conversations (you can not do this – there has to be a standard way to work. No back door agreements), undermining, managing finances (this can be a challenge and you will need to work very closely with these people. You will not be able to do this your self), workload and responsibility.”

“Get an understanding of what the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007”

“Patient feedback I think is the most powerful tool I had when I was a clinical/Medical Director. You can use the data to engage your trust and improve”

“This is not an easy job, you will need support, you can’t do everything and you can’t please everyone - Chimera is good”

“Remember to be honest, keep your eyes wide open, admit ignorance and ensure support,  time, training, clear job description and job plan  and you are there to help”

“Key points to remember It is always about the culture, everyone needs friends, you can’t please everyone, trust is key, acknowledge that this is a hard job, get to know all your people, look up now and again and have fun and finally Be pleasant……”

Mr David Evans, FRCOG, biography:

I qualified from Newcastle University in 1978 and trained in Obstetrics & Gynaecology in the Northern Region, The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Simpson’s Maternity Pavillion.
I spent a year as Wyeth Research Fellow at the MRC Human Reproduction & Growth Unit in Newcastle.
I have been a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust for 28 years and involved in Medical Management for over 20 years having served for 9 years as Clinical Director and 12 as Medical Director. 
My work has included developing major service change & re-configurations, clinical leadership, consultant recruitment methods, clinical governance, clinical standards and patient safety. 
I was an NCAS assessor for 12 years and a member of the assessor training team for 7 years.
I was a member of and trainer for the RCOG Invited Reviews Team and Revalidation lead for its UK Board.
I became Chief Executive at Northumbria NHS FT in November 2015.

Opening the afternoon sessions is Alan J Nobbs Senior Programme Lead, Programme Delivery & Frameworks NHS Leadership Academy, who delivers an exended session on 'Developing and fine tuning your clinical leadership skills', focusing on:

• 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 

Download the full presentation here

In his presentation Alan discussed:

“The biggest single challenge you will face in a leadership role is you. You will determine how effective you are in your role”

“If you want to be really good at leading people they need to know why you want to lead”

“Its not just about the Clinical Director tasks, its about the process to do the tasks, looking at the procedure, interaction and the emotional side of things”

“Let’s think of Clinical Directors as a role of doing but as a role of being”

“The degree to which the shadow you caste over your trust will have an impact on culture – every smile, every look, words will have an effect on the culture.”

“Your job as a clinical leader is to care about the people – if I am treated with disrespect, I will continue this treatment along the line. Caring and treating people with respect will in turn help them to provide a caring service. ”

“There is evidence shows that a high engaged and motived work force decreases patient mortality”

The 9 behavioural dimensions of leadership will help you to be a caring, and compassionate leader in your organisation. These include:

  • Inspiring shared purpose
  • Leading with care
  • Evaluating information
  • Connecting our service
  • Sharing the vision
  • Engaging the team
  • Holding to account
  • Developing capability

Alan Nobbs biography:

Alan joined the NHS via a clinical route, commencing his registered general nurse training in 1984 and is currently the Senior Programme Lead for Programme Delivery and Frameworks at the NHS Leadership Academy – having joined the team in April 2013.   

His subsequent positions include working at both a regional and national level in a number of senior service innovation and improvement leadership roles – leading the establishment of a Managed Cardiovascular Clinical Network across North East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire before moving to the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement in 2011 where he worked as an Associate within the Thought Leadership Team, exploring social movement thinking and community organising principles and their potential role within the NHS context.

In his current role, Alan manages a broad portfolio of work but, most notably, leads on the delivery of the Healthcare Leadership Model and the leadership development elements of the national Graduate Management Training Scheme

Events of interest:

Clinical Audit Summit 2017: Clinical Audit for Improvement
Monday 6 March 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre


Consultant Job Planning
Friday 10 March 2017 
De Vere W1 Conference Centre


UK Physician Health Summit 2017
Wednesday 29 March 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre


Managing Doctors in Difficulty and Difficult Doctors
Monday 8 May 2017 
DeVere West One Conference Centre

3 March 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