11 Jun, 14 | by BMJ
I looked down at my name badge. Although it said chief executive officer, I felt like an impostor. Across the table sat a suitably intimidating panel. The members of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) wanted me to justify why we were keeping open a crumbling hospital with poor outcomes, while the community was crying out for more resources. Expectant faces were staring at me, waiting for my presentation. A presentation? No one told me about that. I looked down at my notepad searching for something to say. It was blank.
This scenario was all part of a simulation, and one of the many training experiences I’ve undertaken at the NHS Leadership Academy.* The truth was, two days earlier, I’d never heard of the HOSC. Yet in this particular exercise, our trust board had come up with an options appraisal to tackle its ailing services and financial problems. Now it had to convince all and sundry, including this committee of councillors, that they were doing the right thing. The HOSC is an operation of the council in England and Wales, and has a role in independently reviewing and holding health services to account.
Such experiences are gravely familiar at the NHS Leadership Academy, which I am a part of. I have grown used to being dropped into difficult situations, and having to rely on my burgeoning skill set to figure out what to do. more…