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Yvonne Coghill: The NHS could learn a lot from inspiring leaders like Barack Obama

As US President Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House, Yvonne Coghill’s thoughts turn to the great leaders of the NHS who try to deliver the best possible care to patients every day. 
B_Obama_victory_2008-Getty.jpg

As US President Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House, Yvonne Coghills thoughts turn to the great leaders of the NHS who try to deliver the best possible care to patients every day

I remember November 2008 like it was yesterday. I was the lead for the NHS Leadership Academys National Breaking Through programme, and recall standing on stage at our annual conference bursting with pride and delight at the news that Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States.

For many people, it was brilliant news. For black people, it was unbelievable. Eight years seems to have passed very quickly, and this month the Obama family will leave the White House forever.

Whether you agree with his politics or not, it is indisputable that Barack

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As US President Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House, Yvonne Coghill’s thoughts turn to the great leaders of the NHS who try to deliver the best possible care to patients every day


After eight years, the Obamas will soon leave the White House forever. Picture: Getty

I remember November 2008 like it was yesterday. I was the lead for the NHS Leadership Academy’s National Breaking Through programme, and recall standing on stage at our annual conference bursting with pride and delight at the news that Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States.

For many people, it was brilliant news. For black people, it was unbelievable. Eight years seems to have passed very quickly, and this month the Obama family will leave the White House forever. 

Whether you agree with his politics or not, it is indisputable that Barack Obama has been a great leader: compassionate, positive and thoughtful, he is someone that many people look up to. 

Spare a thought 

We talk a lot about the importance of leadership in the NHS. We need leaders who can inspire and take people with them, and the NHS could certainly learn a few lessons from the outgoing President, who remained stoic and professional in the face of adversity. 

Many of our senior leaders are currently facing the challenges of winter pressures, as well as flat budgets, increased demand and overworked staff. 

A lot is expected of our leaders from politicians, staff and patients, and being in a position of power and authority can be hard and unforgiving, with little thanks for your trouble. 

So as one of the great leaders of the world exits stage left, spare a thought for NHS leaders who try their best every day to ensure patients get the best possible service and care. 


Yvonne Coghill

 

 

 

Yvonne Coghill is director of the Workforce Race Equality Standard implementation programme at NHS England 

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