Working With NHS to Improve Medical Engagement and Medical Leadership

School of Business Academics Working With NHS Consultants to Improve Medical Engagement and Medical Leadership

Drawing on their earlier publications on the work experience of senior doctors in the NHS, Prof. Graeme Martin, Dr. Brian Howieson and Dr. Stacey Bushfield have produced new research and theory that is already having an impact on the policy and practice of the British Medical Association (BMA) in Scotland.  They have also extended their influence across the border by beginning to work with the Medical Directorate of Leeds and York Hospital Trust to improve medical engagement and medical leadership.  

At the beginning of this month, the team presented the findings from a recent study the Scottish Consultants Committee of BMA (Scotland).  This study was a follow up to an earlier one conducted in 2015, which was widely reported in a number of national newspapers, TV and radio, and the British Medical Journal.  It was also discussed in the Scottish Parliament and has influenced BMA policy on medical engagement structures.  Dr Simon Barker, Chair of the Committee expressed his thanks in a recent letter by saying:

“In a similar vein to the first piece of work you conducted on our behalf, the research by you and your colleagues has provoked extensive debate among committee members and is likely to have a significant impact on our thinking and policy, and engagement with key stakeholders in the near future.  This new research has provided an even greater insight into our consultant colleagues in the NHS in Scotland – a little like holding a mirror up to us. 

We particularly found your framework, showing the variation in consultants’ perceptions and feelings in response to changing ‘logics’ (new jargon for us), to be insightful and potentially useful in helping improve relations in health boards.    

 Keep up the good work and look forward to seeing future instalments”

The previous week saw Graeme present the team’s research to the Medical Directorate of Leeds and York Health Hospital Trust, led by Dr Claire Kenwood.  Claire had invited him down to Leeds after reading their publications and the report for the BMA.  The outcome of the meeting was that the Medical Directorate undertook to work with the UDSB team to use their emerging research framework and findings to help improve medical engagement and relations between doctors and medical leaders.  This organizational development project is felt by the Directorate to be essential in improving key strategic outcomes and patient care.

It is becoming clear that the research  of the Dundee team, together with a colleague from the University of Glasgow, is having a significant impact outside of the academia.  Graeme has been invited to work with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management in London, part of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, while Brian, Stacey and Graeme have begun to work in an action research capacity with four of the new Integrated Joint Boards responsible for facilitating Health and Social Care Integration in Scotland. 

We hope to hear more from them as their work continues to have an impact.