As part of our ‘What If’ series on change in the NHS, we spoke to Turnaround and Transformation Director Obi Hasan and asked him: “Putting all politics aside, if you could change one thing about the NHS, what would it be?”
If I could change one thing…
It would be the approach to recruitment, retention and development of leaders and leadership teams at all levels of the NHS.
Transformational change requires inspirational leaders. We need to transform the way the NHS attracts, develops and supports leaders to deliver change, by giving them the autonomy to make things happen and allowing them to lead the way through uncertainty on the long journey to sustainability. The NHS is struggling to meet the needs of an ageing population and the increasing prevalence of long-term conditions that requires fundamental changes to how health and social care are delivered.
Whilst additional money is essential, it alone will not solve the funding crisis. The investment must be used effectively to transform services that deliver short-term stability and-long-term sustainability. This means balancing both quality and finance. Yet many Trusts who are facing financial and quality challenges, or find themselves in special measures, often focus on short-term fixes. Too often, these Trusts emerge from a turnaround and struggle to sustain those short-term improvements.
We need to empower Trusts by equipping their management and staff with the skills, knowledge and resources necessary to not only overcome their challenges, but sustain the improvements delivered. Often, Trusts know what the problem is but lack either the capacity, capability, energy, drive or skill-set to deliver above and beyond the ‘day job’. They look for short-term financial fixes – often responding to pressure from the system – to what are so often longer term problems and don’t support staff to give their best, nor manage those out that don’t.
Sustainability is about behaviour and culture change, not learning more advanced technical skills.
This approach will be more cost effective, quality focused and develop the required skills within the NHS. And it will deliver sustainable financial and quality improvements, by driving real efficiencies and transformation in new models of care, to make the NHS, as we know it, affordable again.
Obi helps NHS Trusts and private sector organisations facing financial challenges to turnaround, transform and improve, and to sustain those improvements for the longterm.
He has been doing this within the NHS for over 12 years and he puts his success down to a belief that sustainable organisations require a balance of inspiring leadership, sound finances, excellent quality of care and strong operational performance. He is strongly opposed to ‘slash and burn.’
Practicus provides problem solving and recruitment. To find out more about the company, see here