Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Friday, 18 February 2011

"Do not lament the past".

On Thursday 10th February The University of Salford School of Health Sport and Rehabilitation Science was delighted to welcome Karen Middleton, Chief Health Professions Officer at The Department of Health to present on Leadership. Karen follows previous the speaker Andy Burnham, then Secretary of State for Health in a Leadership Seminar series organised by Heather Davidson, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the University of Salford.

Karen began her presentation with some background to the recent changes in the planned delivery of Health and Social care. She explained that whilst the Department of Health will be involved in setting the overall strategy for Health and Social Care, and will have a direct link to Public Health and Adult Social Care, the relationship with the NHS will be much more distant and responsibility for funding and procurement will be devolved to GP Consortia. Currently most health services are purchased from NHS providers; however Karen introduced the concept of a managed market place in which any willing provider who meets appropriate standards can be commissioned.

Karen emphasised that “The emphasis on the GP as purchaser of services, combined with an outcome rather than target driven approached, provides a massive opportunity for Allied Health Professionals to compete in this market place”, and whilst she acknowledged that some AHPs may not agree with the Government policy, she also advocated strongly that we must not “lament the past, as other professions are up and running”. Indeed, Karen asserted that unless we were able to articulate the impact of our role in relation to the outcome frameworks for Health, Public Health and Adult Social Care we would not survive. ‘Good clinical care is no longer enough’ she said.

Karen indicated that the focus on outcomes and purposeful lack of Government guidance on how to achieve them generates unprecedented opportunities for Allied Health Professionals who have now been afforded freedom to make clinical decisions and to develop their entrepreneurial skills. When articulating our contributions to the outcomes frameworks, and in influencing GP purchasing we should not wait to be invited to become involved, but should fight to be involved, constantly asking ourselves “What do GPs not know they don't know?”, and telling them.
Karen continued the presentation with her interpretation of leadership. “Leadership is about doing the right thing. Management is about doing things right” she said. Our services will be valued only if they articulate with the outcomes frameworks and so it is for each and every one of us to articulate exactly how this happens – if we can. Karen’s belief is that sometimes this will place us in direct competition with our peers; however this should be embraced in order to ‘do the right thing’. As she notes, the Quality Innovation Productivity and Prevention agenda is of utmost priority given the economic status of the country. We should be pushing forwards to contribute to it through creative practice and excellent leadership.

Karen encourages each of us to develop our leadership skills either formally through leadership courses, of informally through engagement with a coach or mentor. To end the presentation Karen shared a video of the finals of the Allied Health Professionals Leadership Challenge 2010 and encouraged those attending to apply to be part of this process in the future.

Further seminars are planned over the next 12 months with both an AHP and occupational therapy focus. Development of a student leadership challenge is at its early stages and Heather would also like to hear from any students or practitioners interested in attending a special interest/discussion group exploring leadership.



Matthew occupational therapist said...

Sounds like an interesting talk.....and a new look to the site....like it!

Dissertation said...

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hazard perception test practice said...

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Kind regards,