Leadership is a key part of the work of all pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, regardless of sector, location or experience. Leadership is for everyone.
In the complex and dynamic world of healthcare, the concept of a single ‘hero’ leader has been replaced with an engaging leadership approach that cascades throughout a profession. This collective approach to leadership works well for pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists who increasingly practice in cross-disciplinary environments, with pharmacists from other sectors as well as other healthcare professionals.
In an engaging leadership model, leadership is the responsibility of everyone within the team, not just the individual accountable for team performance. This non-hierarchical approach devolves leadership to individuals at all points along the patient’s pathway of care – from the pharmaceutical scientist creating new treatments, through to the community pharmacist dispensing a prescription.
Developing leadership behaviours is an integral element of pharmacists’ training and learning in order to contribute to the effective running and future direction of the organisation within which they work and, ultimately, to enhance patient care and outcomes.
Leadership development framework
The RPS encourages all pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists to develop their leadership behaviours, for their own personal development and for the benefit of patients, the public and the profession. A Leadership Development Framework (LDF) has been developed that encapsulates the concept of an engaged, collective leadership approach.
This comprises nine domains of leadership and outlines accompanying behaviours:
It is based on the NHS Leadership Academy’s Healthcare Leadership Model to ensure the leadership development of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists is consistent with their healthcare professional peers and reflects the extensive research undertaken by the Academy into effective leadership behaviours from all sectors, including healthcare.
While all nine domains are important in improving leadership, competence and ability in each can vary and strengths can be assessed using a four-level scale:
This is in line with the RPS’ four stages of post-registration professional development: Foundation, Advanced Stage 1, Advanced Stage II and Mastery.
To illustrate the diversity of leadership in action, case studies are included within the Leadership Development Framework Handbook (available to RPS members only) to provide users with real-life examples that can inform their own leadership practice.
Self assessment tool
The NHS networks provide a valuable self-assessment tool for anyone in health and care services, who would like to identify where their leadership strengths and development needs lie and to assist them with their professional development.