Value of Leadership and Management within Healthcare Settings

In this article, Highfield’s subject matter expert for health and social care, Maddy Thomson, highlights the benefits of leadership and management training within healthcare settings.

High-quality care and skilled and qualified leaders and managers go hand-in-hand. In adult care, managers are not only responsible for the service provided to those who receive care and support, but also for supporting a team and influencing the quality of care across a service or organisation. Good leadership and management can transform an organisation, while underdeveloped leaders and managers who lack confidence can destroy it. So it’s important that leaders and managers have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills.

Social care organisations also need to develop strong leaders and managers to meet the challenges ahead amid the growing complexity of the social care sector. Adult social care faces challenges due to demographic changes and cultural change to innovate to provide individualised person-centred care across a wide spectrum of diverse needs. Dynamic and well-trained leaders and managers can be the catalysts for the changes that need to happen and provide the best response to the market place in a continued environment of efficiency drives.

The State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England 2015 report estimated that managerial and supervisory roles accounted for 7% of jobs, approximately 115,000. This group included senior managers, middle managers, line managers, registered managers and other managerial roles not directly involved in providing care. The figure specifically for registered managers, who need the skills and ability to manage and prepare for CQC inspections, was 22,500.  Numbers are set to increase as demand for social care services continues to grow, and a clear qualification route for progression will be an important mechanism to support employers in growing the future managers they need.

However, career progression in adult social care is often thought to be problematic.  One key factor is the intrinsic difference in the nature of management roles as opposed to care and support work. Team members with excellent care and support skills at level 3 are primary candidates for promotion into management but many find themselves unprepared for the very different set of knowledge and skills required.  These diverse skills are reflected in the different focus of the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services as compared with the Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care. Many employers report that the gap between these is too great for learners and it presents a barrier to progression.

Employers have continued to call attention to the absence of this route direct from level 3 into management, which is the most common progression path. A new qualification is now being developed – the Level 4 Certificate in Principles of Leadership and Management for Adult Care. The purpose of the qualification is to provide a progression route into management roles in social care settings from a variety of starting points. It will also serve as an induction route for managers new in their post, ensuring that the Manager Induction Standards can be achieved in the context of accredited learning and assessment.

The qualification will be knowledge only, to allow as broad an audience as possible to achieve it including those who are not yet in management roles.

Skills for Care, which has initiated the development, will liaise with CQC to ensure the proposed qualification is understood as a recommended development route for new managers.

By providing progression into the management role, the qualification will aid career development from care and support into management, and from non-social care degrees into social care management.

The qualification will map closely to both Skills for Care’s Manager Induction Standards (as revised 2015) and to the successor qualification to the QCF Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services that is planned. It will therefore offer an aligned route into the key competence qualification for social care management and support managers in meeting CQC’s expectations for workforce development.

The new qualification is available in England only and likely to be eligible for funding through the Workforce Development Fund administered through Skills for Care. Highfield has been involved since the planning stages and has participated in the development of the qualification, which will be available later this year

Sources –  Skills for Care

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