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Medical directors need more ‘support and encouragement’


12 May 2014

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Clinicians need more support and encouragement to take on NHS leadership roles, a survey of top doctors has revealed. 
Senior consultants on NHS trust and foundation trust boards told Monitor and the Trust Development Authority (TDA) that moving into top level jobs should be a clearer career option within the NHS to attract more clinicians to this increasingly crucial management role.
A high proportion of current medical directors are new to the role, with 25% having been in their role for less than a year. 

Clinicians need more support and encouragement to take on NHS leadership roles, a survey of top doctors has revealed. 
Senior consultants on NHS trust and foundation trust boards told Monitor and the Trust Development Authority (TDA) that moving into top level jobs should be a clearer career option within the NHS to attract more clinicians to this increasingly crucial management role.
A high proportion of current medical directors are new to the role, with 25% having been in their role for less than a year. 
The new medical directors said they would value more mentoring and induction, particularly on their corporate responsibilities. More established medical directors value networking, coaching and board support.
The survey also found that it would be useful for medical directors to have:
 – Greater role clarity.
 – Clearer training and career pathways.
 – Organisational and peer support – from above, below and alongside.
 – More acknowledgements of the strategic as well as the operational aspects of the role.
Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor, medical director at Monitor, said: “The medical director role is a varied and vital one. What our survey tells us is that medical directors at all stages of their careers want more support and we’ll be working with our partners to find out how we can best give it to them.
“One initial idea is to offer a version of Monitor’s board induction days – currently aimed at chief executives, chairs and non-executive directors – to medical directors later in the year.
“But we’re open to all ideas which will help us both offer support and a career pathway to current medical directors and help us develop new ones. This is just the beginning of what will be a very interesting project.”

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