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NHS CEO role ‘at risk of becoming impossible’

Vicki Arnstein | people management | 12 may 2016

PA Consulting Group’s Matthew Walker, a healthcare expert, is quoted in an article in People Management on leadership in the NHS.The article talks about the challenges faced by NHS chief executives.

A report from The King’s Fund found that regulatory and financial constraints, a loss of autonomy and support, and greater public exposure are among the issues creating a challenging environment for NHS leaders. The report claims that a combination of these factors was deterring future leaders from putting themselves forward.

Matthew explains that being a chief executive in the NHS is a particularly challenging job. He says: "[CEOs] are leading enormous organisations that would be FTSE 100 companies if they were in the private sector. They get a lot of stick for pay levels that are above the level of the prime minister, but they are way below that of the chief executive of a FTSE 100 company.

"One of the difficulties is the blame culture that goes with the job when things going wrong. That is not to say people should not be held to account, but there is a lot to be said in other industries where it is unacceptable not to call out error, as opposed to a system where if an error is found then [the person at the top] is punished."

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