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NHS Improvement has released a Ward Leaders handbook

The ward leader’s role was established in the days of Florence Nightingale. Since then it has adapted to the changing NHS, at times becoming less engaged in clinical practice. Today its value is readily acknowledged: many trusts are strengthening both the role and their support for ward leaders, especially when newly appointed.

The ward leader’s role is recognised as pivotal in managing clinical services, improving patient outcomes and effective teamworking. The Francis Inquiry (2013) identified the need to strengthen the ward leader’s role, recognising its complexity and the need for trusts to support it.

Where nurses demonstrate and use their transformational leadership skills, wards have fewer safety incidents, less staff absence and lower turnover (Hay Group 2006). As the NHS develops more complex systems, it is essential that ward leaders can operate in that changing environment, enabling and sustaining excellent performance (Castillo and James 2013). 

This handbook is a guide for those who aspire to be a ward leader, those already in post and for trusts that want to support and develop this important role. Local context will be important, and you should take account of it when using the handbook.

Read the full handbook here

Source: NHS Improvement October 2018

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13 December 2018


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