This year marks 50 years of influence for the Health Service Management Centre (HSMC) and its the tripartite mission to support health policy development, deliver excellent teaching, and put policy into practice through consultancy and development of healthcare.
Over that time, HSMC has developed an expertise in leadership development, and can credit many a current NHS CEO and senior leader as part of their alumni network having hosted the graduate training scheme for many years. Now a powerhouse in leadership development, with over 4,545 leaders having been through the NHS Leadership Academy development programmes, HSMC continues to stay at the forefront of influence for the NHS and more recently social care.
The conference was the pivotal event after a year of celebrations. The focus was on leadership, management, and the future for health and care. Opened by Lord Victor Adebowale, Chair of the NHS Confederation, Victor’s insights into Leadership, Management and Improvement opened up the discussions about the challenges we face but reminded us of how lucky we are to work in health and care and how improvement can happen one conversation at a time. He set us up for a day of positive and optimistic thinking to help us face our current landscape.
What an act to follow but follow it we did! I was panel member along with former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell, Chair of Barts Health and Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust, and former Home Secretary, Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, and HSMC Director of Leadership Steve Gulati discussing our take on leading and managing in turbulent times. Ultimately we all agreed that while there has not really been a period of stability, now more than ever we need to take advantage of this moment of disruption to make a step change. The arrival of Integrated Care Systems is a case in point where there is an opportunity to really seize a different way of leading and managing.
The afternoon opened with a focus on innovation, starting with a heart felt trip down memory lane from the HSMC Directors past and present. Leaving us feeling optimistic that there was even more to come. We then extended to a sector-wide panel exploring human centred approaches.
Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard reminded us to start with the person and shared with us the AoMRC report that really set the tone for a health and care future where ‘normalising the unacceptable’ needs to be challenged. Thembi Sibisi shared with us her food bank research findings and the importance of bringing in the perspectives of women and poverty and urged us to consider the importance of diversity of thought and intersectionality. Finally, Professor Sultan Mahmud challenged those of us in Integrated Care Systems to think about technology over the next 15 years, to scale what works, and create the space for innovation.
Finally, the closing keynote was from Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of The Health Foundation, who gave us much to think about in relation to current and future trends for health and care trends and why new perspectives are needed as a result. Jennifer set us the management challenge and ensuring we can develop an appropriate workforce to respond to escalating trends. I was left with a sense that it is going to be a tough few years ahead but there are green shoots to be optimistic about. Now is the time to be courageous and bold so we are able to look back in the next 50 years and see how far we've come for our patients and our population.
Overall I found it to be a fantastic day. It was great to re-connect with old friends and to make new connections with so many inspirational and passionate individuals. I left the conference proud of our past and optimistic for our future.
Thank you to Dr Ross Millar and the team for organising such a wonderful tribute to the golden jubilee of the HSMC.
About the author:
Sarah Morgan was a graduate trainee with the NHS General Management Training Scheme from 2002 - 2004 and is an alumni of HSMC gaining her Masters from the University of Birmingham in 2007. She was the independent chair of an NIHR funded research project into the impact of partnering for improvement in the NHS from 2019 - 2021 for which Dr Ross Millar was the Principal Investigator. Sarah is the Chief People Officer for North Central London Integrated Care Board.
Now a powerhouse in leadership development, with over 4,545 leaders having been through the NHS Leadership Academy development programmes, HSMC continues to stay at the forefront of influence for the NHS and more recently social care.Sarah Morgan, Chief People Officer for North Central London Integrated Care Board