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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Helen Dickinson, Iain Snelling, Chris Ham and Peter C. Spurgeon

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues of medical engagement in the management and leadership of health services in the English National Health Service (NHS). The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues of medical engagement in the management and leadership of health services in the English National Health Service (NHS). The literature suggests that this is an important component of high performing health systems, although the NHS has traditionally struggled to engage doctors and has been characterised as a professional bureaucracy. This study explored the ways in which health care organisations structure and operate medical leadership processes to assess the degree to which professional bureaucracies still exist in the English NHS.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the qualitative component of a research into medical leadership in nine case study sites, this paper reports on findings from over 150 interviews with doctors, general managers and nurses. In doing so, the authors focus specifically on the operation of medical leadership in nine different NHS hospitals.

Findings

Concerted attention has been focussed on medical leadership and this has led to significant changes to organisational structures and the recruitment and training processes of doctors for leadership roles. There is a cadre of doctors that are substantially more engaged in the leadership of their organisations than previous research has found. Yet, this engagement has tended to only involve a small section of the overall medical workforce in practice, raising questions about the nature of medical engagement more broadly.

Originality/value

There are only a limited number of studies that have sought to explore issues of medical leadership on this scale in the English context. This represents the first significant study of this kind in over a decade.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Erwin Loh, Jennifer Morris, Laura Thomas, Marie Magdaleen Bismark, Grant Phelps and Helen Dickinson

The paper aims to explore the beliefs of doctors in leadership roles of the concept of “the dark side”, using data collected from interviews carried out with 45 doctors in…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to explore the beliefs of doctors in leadership roles of the concept of “the dark side”, using data collected from interviews carried out with 45 doctors in medical leadership roles across Australia. The paper looks at the beliefs from the perspectives of doctors who are already in leadership roles themselves; to identify potential barriers they might have encountered and to arrive at better-informed strategies to engage more doctors in the leadership of the Australian health system. The research question is: “What are the beliefs of medical leaders that form the key themes or dimensions of the negative perception of the ‘dark side’?”.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analysed data from two similar qualitative studies examining medical leadership and engagement in Australia by the same author, in collaboration with other researchers, which used in-depth semi-structured interviews with 45 purposively sampled senior medical leaders in leadership roles across Australia in health services, private and public hospitals, professional associations and health departments. The data were analysed using deductive and inductive approaches through a coding framework based on the interview data and literature review, with all sections of coded data grouped into themes.

Findings

Medical leaders had four key beliefs about the “dark side” as perceived through the eyes of their own past clinical experience and/or their clinical colleagues. These four beliefs or dimensions of the negative perception colloquially known as “the dark side” are the belief that they lack both managerial and clinical credibility, they have confused identities, they may be in conflict with clinicians, their clinical colleagues lack insight into the complexities of medical leadership and, as a result, doctors are actively discouraged from making the transition from clinical practice to medical leadership roles in the first place.

Research limitations/implications

This research was conducted within the Western developed-nation setting of Australia and only involved interviews with doctors in medical leadership roles. The findings are therefore limited to the doctors’ own perceptions of themselves based on their past experiences and beliefs. Future research involving doctors who have not chosen to transition to leadership roles, or other health practitioners in other settings, may provide a broader perspective. Also, this research was exploratory and descriptive in nature using qualitative methods, and quantitative research can be carried out in the future to extend this research for statistical generalisation.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for health organisations, training providers, medical employers and health departments and describes a multi-prong strategy to address this important issue.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to study the concept of “moving to the dark side” as a negative perception of medical leadership and contributes to the evidence in this under-researched area. This paper has used data from two similar studies, combined together for the first time, with new analysis and coding, looking at the concept of the “dark side” to discover new emergent findings.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2013

Helen Dickinson and Robin Miller and Jon Glasby

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Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Helen Dickinson and Gemma Carey

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new program for the provision of support to people with disabilities in Australia. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new program for the provision of support to people with disabilities in Australia. The purpose of this paper is to explore the early implementation experience of this scheme, with a particular focus on the implications of this scheme for issues of care integration.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 policymakers in the Commonwealth government charged with the design and implementation of the NDIS.

Findings

The authors find somewhat of a lack of clarity concerning the boundaries of the NDIS and how it will work with a range of different services in the provision of seamless and consumer-directed care. Many of the same kinds of debates about interfaces with services were detected in this study as have been highlighted in relation to UK individual funding schemes. If the NDIS is truly to support individuals with disabilities to achieve choice and control, important work will need to be undertaken in to overcome organizational and institutional boundaries.

Originality/value

There is little empirical data relating to the implementation of the NDIS to date. This is the first study to explore boundary issues in relation to care integration.

Details

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

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Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Helen Dickinson and Robin Miller and Jon Glasby

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879

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Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2012

Helen Sullivan and Paul Williams

This article aims to explore how objects function in integration efforts in health and social care contexts.

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1059

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to explore how objects function in integration efforts in health and social care contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

The article draws on boundary object theory and empirical data collected from a range of health and social care integration initiatives in Wales to illustrate the value of the focus on objects and to identify the potential implications of this approach for studies in other national contexts.

Findings

Attention to objects can shed light on the dynamics of integration, its potential and limits, offering insights that conventional analysis might otherwise miss.

Research limitations/implications

The data drawn on in this paper are illustrative. Exploring the role of objects in integration requires more focused studies.

Practical implications

The results suggest that integration designers and managers need to pay closer attention to the attachments that practitioners develop to objects.

Originality/value

This is a highly original paper in view of its innovative use of boundary object theory in the context of integration, and its contribution to theory, research and practice.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2011

Nancy Harding, Jackie Ford and Hugh Lee

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424

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Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2014

Anneli Hujala, Sanna Laulainen and Kajsa Lindberg

– The purpose of this paper is to provide background to this special issue and consider how critically oriented research can be applied to health and social care management.

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1314

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide background to this special issue and consider how critically oriented research can be applied to health and social care management.

Design/methodology/approach

Basic principles of critical management studies are introduced briefly to frame subsequent papers in this issue.

Findings

In order to identify the wicked problems and darker sides of the care field, there is a need to study things in alternative ways through critical lenses. Giving a voice to those in less powerful positions may result in redefinition and redesign of conventional roles and agency of patients, volunteers and professionals and call into question the taken-for-granted understanding of health and social care management.

Originality/value

The special issue as a whole was designed to enhance critical approaches to the discussion in the field of health and social care. This editorial hopefully raises awareness of CMS and serves as an opening for further discussion on critical views in the research on management and organization in this field.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

Barbara Ann Allen, Elizabeth Wade and Helen Dickinson

Current English health policy is focused on strengthening the ‘demand-side’ of the health care system. Recent reforms are designed to significantly enhance the capability…

Abstract

Current English health policy is focused on strengthening the ‘demand-side’ of the health care system. Recent reforms are designed to significantly enhance the capability and status of the organisations responsible for commissioning health care services and, in so doing, to address some of the perceived problems of a historically provider/supplierled health system. In this context, commissioning organisations are being encouraged to draw on concepts and processes derived from commercial procurement and supply chain management (SCM) as they develop their expertise. While the application of such principles in the health sector is not new, existing work in the UK has not often considered the role of health care purchasers in the management of health service supply-chains. This paper describes the status of commissioning in the NHS, briefly reviews the procurement and SCM literature and begins to explore the links between them. It lays the foundations for further work which will test the extent to which lessons can be extracted in principle from the procurement literature and applied in practice by health care commissioners.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2011

Iestyn Williams, Helen Dickinson and Suzanne Robinson

Joint commissioning is an important part of the current health and social care context and will continue to be crucial in the future. An essential component of any…

Abstract

Joint commissioning is an important part of the current health and social care context and will continue to be crucial in the future. An essential component of any commissioning process is priority setting, and this paper begins to explore the idea of integrated priority setting as a key element of health and social care commissioning. After setting out the key terminology in this area and the main priority‐setting processes for health and social care, the paper describes a number of barriers that might be encountered in integrated priority setting. We argue that there are significant barriers in financing, accessibility, evidence and politics, and it is important that such barriers are acknowledged if priority setting is to become a component of joint commissioning. While these barriers are not insurmountable, the solution lies in engagement with a range of stakeholders, rather than simply a technical process.

Details

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

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