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Jeremy Hunt: Leadership programme needed to seek out 'brightest and best' talent for NHS


Health secretary Jeremy Hunt will today outline details of the NHS leadership programme, which aims to transform the senior tier of health service managers and staff into "top performers".

The 10-month programme will see current NHS staff, senior doctors, nurses, managers and recruits from the private sector, sent to Harvard Business School for eight weeks.

The move is part of a push to tackle weak leadership at "failing hospitals".

The health secretary said he is "ambitious" about seeking out fresh talent where he can find it.

"If we want this country to be a world-leader, we need a world-leading health service led by the very brightest and best," said Hunt.

"Mediocre management and lack of clinical leadership were key contributors to the tragedy at Mid Staffs. We are determined to learn that lesson, and train strong leaders to drive up standards across the NHS through this cutting-edge programme."

The programme, run by the Leadership Academy, will start in the spring.

Top performers

Hunt is also expected to unveil plans for managers from "top performing" hospitals to be sent to failing ones in England to try and improve them.

Earlier this year the 11 trusts were put into "special measures" following the Mid-Staffordshire scandal and Bruce Keogh review looked at 14 NHS trusts with high mortality rates.

Bonus incentives will be made available if the managers are able to turn around hospitals.

The plans echo moves in the education sector, where "super heads" were sent to improve "failing" schools.

The 11 trusts in special measures are:


  • North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Medway NHS Foundation Trust