Background The clinical heads of departments within our hospice had traditionally been located with their own teams, working in relative isolation. Budgets were managed individually, and often relatively small amounts of money were left unutilised. Clinical Heads did not always have a business background or expertise in this area.
Aims To share best practice, move away from silo working, utilise resources and encourage greater collaboration between the departmental heads.
Approach Help the Hospices’ (2013) ‘Future ambitions for hospice care; our mission and our opportunity’ document recommends that hospices will be stronger in the future if attention is given to succession planning and developing leaders for the future. Furthermore, Hospice UK (2017) recommends that best practice is valued and shared, by combining expertise with business intelligence. One of the identified ways to achieve this, was to relocate the clinical heads of departments into an office together where they were joined by the newly appointed Head of Business, to facilitate coordinated working across teams. Positive feedback from members of our respective teams, our directors and visiting clinical heads from other hospices, has led us to believe that the approach is an innovative one.
Outcomes Joining the forces of clinical expertise and business acumen has provided collaborative leadership across Patient and Family Services and has generated the following benefits: joint strategic planning, inter-departmental budget setting, sharing of resources, joint KPI setting and performance monitoring. An example of this, is that combining left-over budgets from the three teams, which would otherwise have been left unspent, allowed a social worker to be employed to work across the organisation.
Conclusion Our experience has shown that for the future sustainability of our hospice, this way of working must continue, as we become increasingly reliant on each other. Our recommendation is that collaborative leadership will deliver the ambitions to reach and support more people.
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