Accreditation of healthcare managers would enhance patient care and safety
This is my last message as President of HMI. As my three year term draws to a close it is timely to reflect as to where we now stand as a body of health service managers. A recurring theme over these past few years has been the need to put in place a formal programme, properly accredited, of management and leadership development for health service managers at various levels. This would underpin a professionalism of health service management and enable managers to proclaim status and professional authority, properly accredited to international standards and on a par with our professional colleagues.
Most importantly of all, it is the safest place for health service managers to be. As a properly accredited member of our own profession and with our very own Institute bestowing the status and benefits of membership while at the same time being the ultimate custodian of what it takes and means to be a member of such a body. Our patients deserve no less.
While it is fair to say that some tentative efforts are in place to progress this, namely a leadership development programme to fast track potential senior managers, it is not sufficient in scale, scope or definition to achieve the permeation required. Neither is it sufficient to achieve the assurances required in a time of historic and complex change.
In this regard the Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust is startling and salutary in its recommendations. Recommendation No. 214 in Chapter 24 states:
“A Leadership staff college or training system should be created to provide common professional training in management and leadership to potential senior staff; promote healthcare leadership and management as a profession; administer an accreditation scheme to enhance eligibility for consideration for such roles; promote and research best leadership practice in healthcare”.
Surely it is time to move beyond the rhetoric and do what is right for managers and for patients.