More than 1,500 people got involved in the first phase of the Challenge Top-Down Change campaign, which aims to help the NHS achieve transformational change. On Tuesday we launch the second phase

The NHS should stop using external management consultants to solve its problems and instead rely on the expertise of frontline staff.

This was the resounding cry from contributors who took part in the first phase of our NHS Change Challenge, a free online ideas exchange.

“The knowledge and the expertise to make improvements doesn’t lie in text books, smart suits or management speak… it lies in the people who are actually doing the job”, one contributor said.

“Having staff shadow (management) consultants - and making sure  they share all material - would help to ensure the organisation grows and doesn’t become dependent on consultants,” said another

They suggested “an investment in high quality staff training and thorough recruitment processes were needed” to develop the right calibre of staff.

Banning the words “manager” or “management” was another popular suggestion.  Respondents viewed these terms as alienating and, instead, preferred the concept of team leaders “leading from the front”.

Other popular ideas included providing better support for clinicians to allow them time to embed change and innovative solutions into their normal work routines.

The Change Challenge initiative uses a crowdsourcing methodology, created by our partner Clever Together, to enable users to exchange and rate ideas. Launched last month by HSJ, together with its sister title Nursing Times and NHS Improving Quality, the aim is to identify the best ways to help the NHS achieve transformational change.

So far, more than 1,500 people have got involved, between them sharing over 7,000 contributions from not just the UK, but worldwide.

Next week we will share further details of the insights gained so far and we’ll be asking for help to identify the best solutions to the typical problems faced by those trying to steer change in the NHS.

The second phase of the campaign will launch on Tuesday and readers will receive an email inviting them to share their solutions via the Clever Together website. The site can be accessed from any computer or mobile device at any time and all comments and ideas shared are anonymous and so treated equally.

To enable as many people to take part, we are using the social media tool Thunderclap. Simply donate a tweet, Facebook status or Tumblr update to spread this message to as many people as possible and encourage them to submit their suggestions on solutions.

Thunderclap allows a single message to be mass shared, on the same day, and at the same exact time, so it rises above the noise of your social networks. Go to

Our work will culminate in March with the publication of an interactive toolkit setting out how to enable bottom-up change in the NHS.