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New NHS Leadership Framework launched

Monday, 04 July 2011
NHS Leadership FrameworkA new NHS Leadership Framework, which will be the cornerstone for leadership across all professions in the NHS, was launched on 29th June by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

The framework sets out what is vital for clinicians and other professionals to lead and inspire. It will fundamentally underpin the new structures that have already been announced as part of the modernisation plans for the NHS.

In particular, by giving more support and power to frontline staff, and encouraging new skills and behaviour, the framework will create a focus for leadership development within all NHS organisations. This will give clinicians the freedom to organise themselves so that they can design better services and outcomes for patients.

This represents a great achievement for the NHS - to bring together leadership principles and best practice guidance under one umbrella that works across all clinical professions. This is an essential part of the professional training of clinicians and medics - key to the uptake of smarter and more efficient ways of working to enable high quality healthcare.

Strong leadership will be particularly important to create an NHS that is equipped to deal with the challenges the service faces – namely an ageing population and the rising cost of treatment. The framework will develop the skills of all NHS staff irrespective of discipline, role or function so that everyone has a responsibility to create a stronger NHS.
Speaking at the launch of the framework, Andrew Lansley said:

“I would like to thank the National Leadership Council for developing the Leadership Framework. Effective and successful leadership from all staff is crucial to the delivery of high quality healthcare to counter the challenges we face.

“Leadership matters wherever there are decisions to be taken, wherever there are examples to be set and people to lead – this includes both clinical and non-clinical staff. The framework will allow staff to work together to develop more efficient and personalised care for patients in a modern NHS.”

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN said:
“We are very pleased to endorse this framework for the nursing profession, which recognises the very great value of clinical leadership in delivering the care of the future. We will be integrating this framework into our work developing clinical leaders, as it has obvious benefits for the delivery of care, the development of staff, and above all the work of nurses in meeting the demands of the modern NHS.

“Nurses have real insight not just into how care can be delivered but how it must be designed, and we are fully committed to supporting them to give the best possible leadership.”

Chief Executive of the NHS, Sir David Nicholson wrote:

"Strong, consistent leadership is essential in the NHS and it is critical that we continue to support, develop and nurture our current and future leaders.

“For the first time we have a leadership framework that sets out guiding principles regardless of functions and roles, recognising the core competencies we need in great leaders.  I would like to thank all those who have been involved in the framework's development, this really is a major achievement."

The Framework is for healthcare staff at any stage of their career and has been developed by the National Leadership Council after extensive research and consultation with a wide cross section of staff, patients, professional bodies and academics.


1.    For more information on the NHS Leadership Framework, visit 
2.    The framework builds on the competencies identified and published in the Medical Leadership Competency Framework and the Clinical Leadership Competency Framework.
3.    The framework aims are to:

•    Reflect the NHS constitution and values
•    Reinforce the leadership behaviours required to modernise the NHS
•    Promote consistency and create a common language across the education, regulation and professional sectors with the leadership requirements of the workplace
•    Negate the requirement for suppliers to keep charging for the use of their own frameworks
•    Support leaders to access the right development opportunities throughout their careers
•    Build leadership capability from under/post graduate training through continued professional development