I first worked at HSMC from 1982-1985 as a Research Associate on secondment from the NHS. This was a very innovative opportunity at the time when the NHS funded one position at the Centre for a senior NHS manager to provide a practitioner perspective to research and development activities. At that time, I had just completed 4 years as the Unit Administrator of Walsgrave Hospital (now, the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire). During this period, I led research into devolution of decision-making to units of management and assessed the effectiveness of the newly established tripartite units of management. I was fortunate to have more experienced academic colleagues to guide me including the inaugural Director, Derek Williams, the late Don White, Mike Drummond, Penny Mullen, John Yates (who regularly beat me at squash) and Peter Spurgeon.
I returned to the NHS in 1985 initially as Deputy District General Manager, North Warwickshire Health Authority and then from 1986 - 1995 as Chief Executive, Solihull Hospital. I maintained a visiting role with HSMC and regularly contributed to, and led, both national and international management development programmes including the MTS and the annual International Hospital Federation leadership programme. This also led me to undertake a range of consultancy and development programmes in both developed and developing countries.
I rejoined HSMC as a part-time Senior Fellow in 1996 and assumed responsibility for the Hong Kong Masters along with a number of other development programmes including a series of national and international Action Learning Sets for doctors initially and then for dualities of Medical Directors and Chief Executives. At this time I was also a part-time Senior Fellow at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia where I helped design and deliver postgraduate programmes in healthcare management in Australasia.
In 1999, HSMC, in conjunction with De Montfort University, was awarded the national educational programme for MTS. I assumed the role of Programme Director as well as acting as tutor for a number of the regions. I also led work around reconfiguration of hospital services and development of clinical networks.
I became Interim Director of HSMC from 2000 - 2002 when Chris Ham was seconded to lead the DH’s Strategy Unit before handing over to Edward Peck.
I joined the NHS Leadership Centre in 2003 to lead the MTS and other national leadership programmes before it became part of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement in 2005. This also led me to take on responsibility for the joint Institute and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Enhancing Engagement in Medical Leadership project. This led to the development of the Medical Leadership Competency Framework (MLCF) and a range of other initiatives that are moving doctors from “the dark side” to centre stage” in the leadership of NHS organisations. I was also very personally involved in the development of the new Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.
In 2011, I moved from the Institute to become Senior Fellow in medical leadership and engagement at The King’s Fund. This coincided with the publication of my first co-authored book with colleagues (Spurgeon and Ham) who I worked with at HSMC but have maintained close professional relationships with since.
For the past 5 years I have also been Director of the Institute for Health Leadership for the Western Australian Department of Health and also contribute to various national leadership development strategies and programmes in Australia.
I also hold academic positions at both the University of Warwick (UK) where I lead a number of modules on the Masters in Medical Leadership and Curtin University (WA).