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Nurses to be trained for NHS chief executive roles



Health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, will today announce that he wants more doctors and nurses to occupy senior positions within the NHS.

Health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, will today announce that he wants more doctors and nurses to occupy senior positions within the NHS.

Speaking at the NHS Providers annual conference, the health secretary will announce new measures to develop health professionals into chief executives.

Currently only a third of NHS chief executives have a clinical background.

The health service will recruit the UK’s “brightest graduates” to train in leadership roles by expanding the NHS graduate scheme, Hunt is expected to reveal.

Available places on the graduate scheme will be doubled in number next year from 100 to 200, with plans for up to 1,000 places by 2020.

The Government will develop a new NHS-approved masters of business administration (MBA) degree at top UK universities, as well as a fast-track programme for doctors and nurses to become future NHS leaders.

The first students will enrol in September. The training will be modelled on the successful programme piloted at Harvard University in 2014.

GPs and nurses are capable of taking on senior roles of the “same standard as the best in the NHS and the private sector,” Hunt will say.

He will also argue that building better leadership “is the only way” to deal with the high frontline pressures which GPs and nurses are currently facing.

Greater clinical leadership, fewer glass ceilings, more career progression and more flexible working are needed in order to “turn warm sentiments about frontline staff into practical improvements that show we truly value their contribution,” Hunt will say.

The health secretary will also ask the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management to report any existing issues that stop clinicians transferring into management and share ideas on what can be done to encourage them.