THE FUTURE OF HEALTH SERVICES
The speed and scale of political, demographic and technological change in the way health services need to be designed and delivered in the future is clear. Health professionals and managers know that a different response is required – future challenges cannot be met with solutions from the past. The way we anticipate, initiate, respond to and make sense of these changes, in collaboration with others, is the work of leadership.
Attempts to make the system run smoother and faster will be countered by rising health consumer expectations, constrained budgets, and demands to keep pace with new technology. Short term, technical solutions to health service delivery problems will, at best, support the status quo but they lack the power to really transform the future.
The concept of leadership presented here is distinguished not so much by what work is done but by how that work is defined, understood and tackled. The NSW Health Leadership Framework reflects the critical importance of collective and innovative approaches to leadership so healthcare organisations can rise to the complex challenges they face over the next ten years.
This approach emphasises that leadership can be exercised anywhere in a health service organisation; it is not solely the responsibility of positional leaders.
Collaborative leadership is critical in fostering the inter-professional teamwork between clinicians and non-clinical managers to ensure excellence in delivering care centred on the patient or health consumer.
The domains of leadership presented here give primacy to leadership for the purpose of Achieving Outcomes for individual patients/consumers cost effectively while being committed to health improvement for the whole population. They place Developing and Leading Self on an equal footing with Engaging People and Building Relationships.
In this relational leadership model Partnering and Collaborating Across Boundaries is a key tool for fostering new culture and Transforming the System.