HSJ Rising Stars hightlights some of the exceptional and innovative talent in the NHS today and identifies the healthcare leaders of the future

The turn of the year is a good time to work out how we are going to face the challenges of the next 12 months, but also to identify people with the talent to ensure we prosper in the longer term.

The NHS’s difficulties are well documented. While there has been much discussion about whether the current organisation of services and levels of compassion and training among clinical staff are sufficient, there has been relatively little about its future leadership.

High calibre leaders will be essential if the health service aims to improve clinical standards, reduce health inequalities and provide innovative treatments and services that are more in tune with patients’ needs in the decades ahead.

Dedicated professionals from both clinical and managerial backgrounds will be the factor that ensures effort is directed in the right areas to ensure these challenges are met.

Future leaders

HSJ therefore decided to identify the healthcare leaders of tomorrow. We sought to produce a list of 25 people who have shown they are willing to take the brave decisions that will safeguard the service’s future, while making it sustainable in the longer term. We sought to celebrate those who are not only working to deliver excellent patient care in the present, but also showing a vision of excellent care for the future.

‘The Rising Stars list could well be a sneak preview of the 2023 HSJ100’

As our panel of judges drew up their list it considered the impact each individual had within their organisation and beyond; the extent to which they were prepared to challenge conventional approaches; how they were progressing their career; and whether they were supporting other young people to progress within healthcare.

The process was accompanied by much debate. It was not easy. But our judges produced a list that recognises some truly outstanding talent.

December saw the publication of 2013’s HSJ100 − our list of the most powerful figures in today’s NHS. The Rising Stars list could well be a sneak preview of the 2023 HSJ100.