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‘New leadership’ central reform, says NHS exec

NHS Commissioning Board Chair Malcolm Grant has told the Guardian that now is the time to break with old habits and introduce a new style of engaging leadership as part of NHS reforms.

However, the report cites concerns that managers will require the proper ‘tools of the trade’ in order to achieve their goals. And research shows that over three quarters (78%) of managers believe that patient care is at risk due to a lack of proper staff training and development.

Those majority of those surveyed say the training gap has resulted in low team morale, a lack of confidence in staff and a slipping of standards that could put patients'lives on the line.

Grant told the Guardian: “There are no two ways about it – these are trying times for NHS managers. Leaders are engaged in a complex series of relationships that need cultivation and nurturing. especially as they grapple with the enormity of the challenge of dealing with cuts to the administrative budget.

“Not all relationships are harmonious or 'comfortable' – many are 'edgy' and challenging. Today's managers must step out of their comfort zone, grasp the nettle and lead from the front.

“In order to enter into this brave new world of engagement leadership, training and development is essential. A strong commitment to education needs to be at the heart of the NHS.”