Government starts landmark review of health and social care leadership

The government has today launched a review of leadership in health and social care. The review will be led by former Vice Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Gordon Messenger, and will report back to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid, in early 2022.

The Health and Social Care Leadership Review will look to improve processes and strengthen the leadership of health and social care in England. It will also consider how to foster and replicate the best examples of leadership, with a view to reducing regional disparities in efficiency and health outcomes across the country. It follows other moves to tackle healthcare inequality, including the creation of the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

Vice Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Gordon MessengerWorking with the health and care systems, retired General Sir Gordon Messenger will have a team from DHSC and the NHS to support him led by Dame Linda Pollard, chair of Leeds Teaching Hospital.

The government is determined that every pound of investment is well spent so that everyone gets the care that they deserve. Strengthening leadership, including clinical leadership, and spreading the best examples of outstanding management is vital in ensuring that every pound of investment is spent well, by driving up innovation and more efficient ways of working. The review will help to reduce regional disparities in efficiency and health outcomes.

The review comes as the government invests a record £36 billion to put health and social care on a sustainable financial footing and deliver the biggest catch-up programme in NHS history. Any recommendations made as the review progresses will be considered carefully and could be rapidly implemented to make every penny of taxpayer’s money count.

"This review will shine a light on the outstanding leaders in health and social care to drive efficiency and innovation," said Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid. "It will help make sure individuals and families get the care and treatment they need, wherever they are in the country."

The review will also look at how to deliver the findings of proposals and commitments made in previous reports on leadership.

The work of the review only applies to England, though other nations will be free to consider its findings, and it will be funded from within existing DHSC budgets. Publication of the review will be followed by a plan committing to implementing any agreed recommendations along with clear timelines.

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