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NHS Leadership Academy Literature Review Refreshing The Leadership Model

Researcher: Dr Lesley Lappin, Professor Jacqueline Leigh, Kirsty Marshall, Dr Karen Stansfield, Lawrence Houston

This Literature Review was commissioned by the NHS Leadership Academy to contribute to a refresh of the Model of Leadership for the NHS, originally published in 2013. This review, authored by academics from the University of Salford, surveys literature from 2014-2020 in light of the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan (2019) and the NHS Interim People Plan (2019) and other associated leadership-focused resources (include footnote to cite them).

In view of the importance of these documents and the associated resources that change the approach to leadership for all, whether in a formal or informal leadership role, in a clinical or non-clinical capacity, this literature review aims to provide an overview of the most recent publications to enable the NHS Leadership Academy to refresh the Model of Leadership in a way that enables every individual working in the NHS to understand the importance of leadership and the impact it has on the effective delivery of high-quality care and improved patient/service user outcomes.

The increased focus on inclusive and compassionate leadership is crucial to developing and supporting current and aspiring leaders across the NHS and has become especially significant during the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, consistent focus on effective leadership, in all its forms, will drive improvements in leadership culture and in turn improve patient outcomes.

This review hopes to contribute to an increased understanding of leadership theories and their implementation within the NHS. To provide insight into what works well to enable learning from successes as well as failures. An important start has been made to improving leadership culture as set out in the Interim People’s Plan and this review is another important step on the road to ensuring that effective and supported leadership enables further and sustained improvement for all NHS staff and service users.