Leadership for community pharmacy – the Mary Seacole Leadership programme for community pharmacy

Leadership for community pharmacy – the Mary Seacole Leadership programme for community pharmacy

The changes in the NHS and community pharmacy in the recent times have indicated that there is a need for managing the situation better. To help all those working within the NHS, the NHS has established a dedicated Leadership Academy (LA) and started to spend vast sums on Leadership Training. The LA’s website (https://www.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk/) is useful as it gives the direction of travel and explains why leadership is important to the NHS and all working within the system.

These are complex times, ways of working are going to be multi-disciplinary and there will be times when you would need to challenge, be able to challenge others, work as part of a team and be able to direct a team in a manner considered modern and effective. We are now facing an environment of rapid shifts in attitude within the NHS and outside, social and political circumstances including personal politics of the healthcare professionals, adverse economic conditions and technology. More importantly you will need to balance your reactions and responses after engaging your heads, hearts and guts. For many, this is culturally difficult. GPs in the area are also offered training on leadership.

The NHS is promoting evidence based practice which up until now meant evidence in books. Now, with person-centred multi-disciplinary care it also about evidence of emotions, courage to make decisions and persuasion. So, coaching skills are going to be increasingly important when working with your team, GPs and patients.

Based on the generic statements on the website given above, here is why you and your staff should consider the opportunity to take up the offer of free leadership training.

LA’s website gives the following information which is set in the context by your LPC secretary.


What’s our approach?

Although ambitious and innovative, the philosophy behind the leadership development principles of the Academy are simple and well proven:

  • For leaders to be at their most effective they need confidence in their role.

HP: This training is not designed to make you a Gandhi or a Mandela. It is designed to help you work better in the NHS, get a better picture of what is happening holistically, and respond with maturity. So, when faced with a challenging or complex situation you can use your experience and wisdom. This means using your head, heart and guts in a balanced way, one that is acceptable to the NHS.

  • To secure confidence they need competence, skills, expertise, experience and support. This comes from expert development and training as well as on the job learning.

HP: If for example, you are prescribing or challenging a doctor’s prescription, you do not shy away from taking a risk in a stressful situation. We will face moral dilemmas going forward and new skills would be needed to not only deliver a person-centred care but also not feeling bad or defeated after a discussion.

  • Leaders need to have a breadth of behaviours to draw on to exercise their role in a multi-agency, complex system such as health care.  Lack of development tends to result in leaders having a very narrow range of styles to draw on.

HP: This confirms that the health and social care systems are going to be multi-disciplinary and complex. Whilst pharmacy skills would be needed, narrow pharmacy perspectives will need to be replaced with a broader and a more open approach to be a local credible partner in delivering care. New learning about individuals, systems, preferences, guidelines and policies will be constantly needed. This is necessary as you negotiate care plans on behalf of the patients and consider options involving input from a local MDT and possibly patients.

  • Leaders need the right behaviours to build alliances with a wide range of professionals and across organisational boundaries to serve the needs of diverse communities with enduringly complex needs.  The success of the NHS over the next decade or so will rely heavily on the behaviours adopted by healthcare leaders at all levels being able to work with leaders in other parts of the public and private system.

HP: All those trained in leadership will understand the way to behave which includes offering suggestions, critiquing a process rather than criticising the individuals, ways to improve collaboration with your internal and external teams, driving for results, persuading with confidence, and importantly building relationships that endure despite stress of change and circumstances on the day.

  • Leaders need to be able to engage and empower those working with them, and rely less on old style command and control approaches that inhibit innovation, discretionary effort and a more caring and considerate climate to work that generate both employee engagement and compassion in care.

HP: Everyone has fatal flaws and profound strengths. These behaviours described above have a significant impact on the commitment and satisfaction of employees, partners and self. Once learnt, leadership training is a transferable skill which will help you manage relations and achieve success in other areas of life as well.

Please note the message from PSNC, (12.12.’20) on the subject:

Dear All,

We would like to encourage more community pharmacists to sign up to the above programme. Full information is available on the CPPE website. You may have already sent out communications about the leadership programme but the next cohort is taking place in London and applications close in approximately three weeks on Thursday 4 January 2018 as outlined below. I have copied in some LPC Chief Officers that are within a reasonable distance of London and don’t have a cohort that is particularly close to them, so London may be an option for those with interest in this programme.

We recognise the constraints which may be impacting on getting community pharmacists/technicians to sign up for the programme (ie three days out of the pharmacy) and especially as this is the busiest time of the year for community pharmacy.

We would be grateful if you could get some final communications out to community pharmacies in your area or to encourage any particularly keen LPC members (please note it’s only open to those working in community pharmacy for at least 40% of their working week) or contractors that you may be aware of locally to apply for this training.


Cohort 9 – London Closing date for applications: 4 January 2018

Cohort start date and online access: 8 February 2018

Workshop 1: 8 March 2018

Workshop 2: 3 May 2018

Workshop 3: 28 June 2018

Programme end: 8 August 2018

For more details and link to the application form, please see the CPPE website: https://www.cppe.ac.uk/services/leadership-community#navTop




Leave a Reply