A new report by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has called for a shift to systems leadership in order to ensure health and social care stakeholders can work more effectively together.
The latest Future of Care Report aims to expand the understanding of systems leadership and leadership of integrated care systems (ICSs) and makes recommendations on how system’s leaders can be given the support they need as these new ways of working evolve further.
SCIE Chief Executive, Tony Hunter, said: “Too often leadership is seen as something that goes on in ivory towers. Changing to systems leadership might seem quite daunting to some leaders across health and care but during the research for this project we’ve been consistently told it’s the right thing to do. When leaders in all the various public bodies have great relationships and work together with local populations, it’s a great way of addressing the need to continually improve people’s lives.”
The research revealed that leaders in ICSs need to be skilled at identifying and scaling innovation; having a strong focus on outcomes and population health; and building strong relationships with other leaders, which can often mean working with them informally to develop joint priorities and plans. They can also establish governance structures which drive faster change, often going where the commitment and energy is strongest.
The report stresses ICSs dependence on a collaborative approach to leadership and a willingness on the part of the organisations involved, to work together.
“Leaders of ICSs told us that they spend more time than ever before developing good relationships with colleagues and, as part of this, trying to listen to and empathise with their concerns and issues,” the SCIE said.
“Often these relationships are fostered outside formal meetings, with lots of ‘pre-work’ on the phone or over coffee to prepare for more formal partnership meetings.”
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