NHS Leadership Spring Debates

National Leadership Council The National Leadership Council is driving a transformation in leadership capacity and capability across the NHS.

Chaired by NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson, the NLC has sponsored five workstreams - Clinical Leadership, Board Development, Top Leaders, Inclusion and Emerging Leaders - which are implementing ambitious programmes with the service.

The Council recognises that there are a number of key leadership development issues that are likely to be contentious, and about which there will be conflicting views.

That’s why the NLC is launching the NHS Leadership Spring Debates - a series of debates in the service and across leading health professional magazines and websites to engage managers, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and the many other groups of staff in the following leadership questions:

Positive action

NHS Leadership Spring Debates: Positive action

Should the NHS identify potential leaders for development in order to build representative talent pools or is this best left to individual aspiration?

Patient and staff experience

NHS Leadership Spring Debates: Patient and staff experience

Should leaders be held to account for the delivery of improvements in staff experience or should patient outcomes be the most important measure of performance?

Let's push for gender equality now

Just as we have a workforce equality standard for race in the NHS, could we not have one for gender, Adele Waters asks

A running track race

HSJ launches second phase of change challenge campaign

Identifying the best ways to help the NHS drive real change

Illustration of speech bubble made up of lots of different people

Diversity needs a new voice to accomplish real change

Strategies are not enough – diversity must be embraced by managers


Remove the glass ceiling for undervalued staff

Why the NHS must do more to close the gender gap

Human figures

How to fix the NHS's crisis of moral leadership

How the NHS can create more ethical organisations

Man looking through microscope

How to be an effective clinical leader

An overview of the qualities required to lead in the new NHS

Man at a table, gesticulating as though in conversation

Good clinical leadership can fix urgent care

The emergency healthcare system is in dire need of effective leaders


The eight challenges facing hospitals in Europe

Exploring the organisational and cultural characteristics

Jigsaw puzzle

Live Q&A: integrated care

Post your questions for experts from the King’s Fund and National Voices

Group of bikes in a race

Break away from 'heroic' leadership

The peloton shows competition and cooperation can go together in the NHS


The importance of reflective practices

A whole systems approach to developing reflective practice across healthcare organisations


Stepping good practice up a gear

HIECs are invaluable in delivering improvement at scale and pace

Dean Royles and Andrew Lansley

Whistleblowing: the way ahead

Strong leaders are essential if future whistleblowers are to prevent harm

A doctor in white lab coat

Why physician involvement can inspire higher performing healthcare

The level of physician involvement is positively associated with better performing hospitals and improved financial management, write Peter Spurgeon and colleagues.

A meeting in progress

How to inject accountability into team performance

Role charters ensure everyone knows where they stand on accountabilities, say Graham Rich and James Kent.


HSJ has invited a number of senior health service leaders to contribute to these debates and will publish these articles, together with extracts from the online contributions, up until 19 March.

However, we want your views now.

Simply post your comments on the articles at left, or if you do not wish to create a free HSJ account, email your thoughts to hsj.co.uk@emap.com and they will be posted online.

The range of views expressed and the strength of feeling on these issues will feed into the decision-making of the NLC. So join in - your views will help shape direction.