Described as the biggest shake up of the NHS for a decade; the Secretary of State intention to switch the commissioning of all of England’s health services from the 152 PCTs in England over to 35,000 GPs is presenting a few challenges. The Health Secretary’s eagerly anticipated White Paper details his strategy for implementing the government’s vision for the NHS. What we know already is that the existing 10 Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) will form into fewer Regional Management Boards; 152 PCTs will transfer accountability to around 500 GP Consortia; and correspondingly 35,000 GPs will combine into around 500 GP consortia. The NHS employs over 1.4 million people- that’s more than 5 percent of the UK’s working population, with an operating cost of 80bn and growing. NHS hospitals everywhere are undergoing readjustments to become ‘more efficient and cost effective’. Essentially, the NHS is attempting to save £20bn by 2014-2015.
With the added pressure of the Introduction of privatised services into the equation, there will inevitably be winners and losers. The organisations that will be the winners in this landscape are those who are prepared to fully embrace what the transformation brings.
So in an ever competitive environment, how is our NHS going to get their biggest asset, their workforce, on board to enable them to understand and more importantly effect the necessary changes. Set against a backdrop of renewed contracts, redundancies and privatised services, making the necessary changes is not going to be easy.
The true visionary leaders of the future NHS will be those that embrace the change and look to forge new ways of working. But with so many dramatic changes on the table leading and inspiring the workforce of the future will need to be a careful balance of solid strategy and simple execution.
The strategy for future prosperity may well be to offer more specialisation, integrated care, diversification or privatisation of services, but what may not be evident is that the future vision (not purpose) needs to be clear for everyone to understand and buy into, whether they are an employee or a patient (customer).
But vision cannot be imposed, it has to grow from the shared purpose and passion of an organisations people. The trick is to shape and articulate vision, making it palpable, memorable and inspiring. True vision leads to commitment rather than compliance, confidence rather than caution.
Vision needs to be something that reaches into the hearts and minds of the employees and the patients they serve, if it is going to succeed.
Without a clear vision comes confusion, anxiety and distrust as employees work at cross purposes, often taking refuge in functional silos instead of working as one to transform a shared picture of the future into a reality.Tell a friend