Help the Hospices Commission into the Future of Hospice Care (2012) recommended that hospices need to ensure their workforce is fit for purpose and that good leadership is not undermined by a ‘missing middle tier’ of management. In response, a local bespoke leadership development programme was developed, entitled, ‘Leading from the Middle’ (LfM), using the ‘Future Ambitions for Hospice Care’ (2013) report as a strategic framework to ground the learning. Since 2014, forty members of staff from across the hospice have participated in the programme.
The work of cohort one was pioneering and had an immediate impact on organisational culture. This achievement was further consolidated by cohort two who realised the ‘day to day’ practicality of ‘leadership at all levels’ and the challenges for staff. The two cohorts have delivered a comprehensive picture of what a ‘Well-Led’ hospice looks like, through a balance of strategic and operational perspectives. The evaluation report revealed specific and tangible examples of leadership development:
The consistency of the hospice vision gave ‘permission’ for staff to take responsibility and the hospice values enabled people to be ‘bold’ and ‘curious’
Collaborative working across the hospice which has resulted in innovative responses to operational challenges
Practical demonstrations of service development
Tangible evidence of capability and confidence in strategic thinking and analysis
Mid-level managers and professionals communicated their views and challenged the status
Concrete evidence of the potential and value of working with diversity
Improved ability to challenge, contribute, innovate and use feedback
Practical examples of learning applied to issues and challenges
Greater motivation and shared commitment to responding to challenges.
The community of LfM represents a cornerstone for a ‘Well-Led’ hospice culture where values are fully embraced and the vision of service is secured for the future.
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