The Chief Executive of our Health Service is a quiet but radical reformerby John McTernan / March 29, 2016 / Leave a comment
Is leadership about forcing people to do your will or is it about persuading and inspiring them? It may seem a crude dichotomy but both modes of leadership are currently on display in the National Health Service (NHS). The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is engaged in a bitter and divisive struggle with the doctors’ union, the BMA, over junior doctors’ contracts. Meanwhile, the NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens is leading the most radical reshaping of the health service since its foundation—without enforced organisational change.
Each model of bringing about change has been highlighted in the last few weeks. On the one hand, the BMA responded to Jeremy Hunt’s threat to impose the new junior doctors’ contract by calling an all-out strike—the first in the history of the NHS. On the other, the Government announced a “sugar tax” in the Budget.
Much ink will be spilt on the junior doctors’ dispute between now and the inevitable deal but the more fascinating subject is the quiet revolution symbolised by the “sugar tax”. Steve…