Why effective leadership is critical to patient outcomes

Leaders who empower are rare, but are an essential and effective team developer

Leaders who empower are rare, but are an essential and effective team developer, writes Neil Scott Aplin

Effective team development and high-quality leadership are essential skills all nurses must use in today’s challenging healthcare environment.

There have been significant failures in NHS leadership resulting in poor patient care. The Francis Inquiry following the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stressed the importance of strong nurse leadership ‘from ward to board’ to improve standards of excellence, support an open organisational culture and deliver high-quality and safe patient care (Francis 2013). Critically, it has not been the Francis report in isolation that has stressed the importance of effective leadership.

High profile reports by Keogh (2013) and Berwick (2013) identified the need to improve leadership in the NHS and describe how critical effective leadership is to the quality of patient care and improving outcomes.