A national framework for the training and development of general managers within the NHS should be set up to support them in their role and ensure all are working to the same standards, a new guide to be published by HSJ, Nursing Times and NHS Improving Quality will reveal.

Such a framework “will ensure managers nationally are held to the same standards, which in turn will lead to a national reduction in over controlling leadership practices”, guide contributors said.

The free interactive guide - to be published on Monday - sets out how to drive effective change in the NHS and has been entirely curated from suggestions offered by the public as part of the Challenge Top-down Change campaign.

HSJ, our sister title Nursing Times and NHS Improving Quality set out to produce some practical solutions to help the NHS achieve better change.

Using a crowdsourcing platform developed by Clever Together, the campaign asked the public:

  • what enables bottom-up change in the NHS?
  • what prevents it?
  • what are the solutions?

Over two months the public were able to make suggestions, comment and offer ways of implementing ideas from others and vote them up or down. The anonymous format allowed people to talk openly and without prejudice.

More than 13,000 contributions were made by 3,595 people across 45 countries. Social media tools were also used to spread the message and encourage many to share their opinions.

A public voting system and expert panels both within and outside the industry were then able to whittle down the thousands of contributions received into implementable ideas.

One such idea was that small clinically led improvement teams should be hand picked from within to help share best practice across their organisation and reduce pressures by identifying staffing gaps.

Solutions around the effective use of staff and resources feature heavily amongst contributions shared by the crowd reflecting the current climate around the future planning of the NHS.

The guide is to act as a tool kit for individuals wanting to support bottom-up change among staff and will be available on both HSJ and Nursing Times’ websites.