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Beyond healthcare leadership? The imperative for health and social care systems

John Duncan Edmonstone (MTDS, Ripon, UK)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 11 August 2020

Issue publication date: 7 December 2020

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to make the case that there is a need to move beyond a focus on an approach to leadership development which is confined to health care only. It argues that, given the economic, financial, social and organisational context within which health and social care organisations in the UK operate, there is a need to develop leadership within health and social care systems, rather than within the existing “siloed” sectors.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper considers the context within which health and social care organisations in the UK operate; examines the nature of those organisations; makes the case for focusing on the health and social car system through systems leadership; and identifies the need for leadership, rather than leader development.

Findings

There is a danger of health and social care organisations “walking backwards into the future” with eyes fixed on the past. The future lies with treating health and social care as a system, rather than focusing on organisations. The current model is individual leader focused, but the emerging model is one of collective multi-agency teams.

Originality/value

The paper seeks to go beyond a health-care-only focus, by asserting that there is a need to regard health and social care as a single system, delivered by a multiplicity of different organisations. This has implications for the kind of leadership involved and for how this might be developed.

Keywords

Citation

Edmonstone, J.D. (2020), "Beyond healthcare leadership? The imperative for health and social care systems", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 351-363. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHS-02-2020-0005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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