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What is COVID-19 teaching us about leadership for improvement?

Tracy Webb shares what we’ll be discussing at the Q community event, where we’ll reflect on what we’ve learnt about leadership from the pandemic.

We have watched as leaders everywhere have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, whether they are global Heads of state or team leaders in our care homes. Perhaps in some instances we can point to ‘good leadership’ and ‘bad leadership’, but in the majority of cases the picture won’t be so neat.

Leaders everywhere, in all positions, will have got some calls right and some calls wrong. Some days they will have provided clarity of vision and brought people together around a common goal, and some days they will have struggled to make sense of the world around them and the steps that should be taken.

Very few of us will emerge from this experience without having learned a thing or two about leadership, including how important it is to work together and lead with compassion.

What we’ve learnt about leadership: a theme of Q’s annual community event

That’s why we think it’s so important to spend time at Q’s virtual event on 18 and 19 November reflecting together on what COVID-19 is teaching us about leadership for improvement, and how to bring people together to achieve change.

There will be opportunities to hear about some of the great progress made in cross-system leadership and reflect on the opportunities to build on this for the future. Wessex Integrated Care Partnership is a great example of this – where professionals collaborated and responded to COVID at a system level. Q members will have the opportunity to hear from senior leaders in Wessex, including Alex Whitfield, Chief Executive at Hampshire Hospitals NHS FT, and Nicola Decker, Clinical Chair of North Hampshire CCG, as well as colleagues in Wessex AHSN, about the work they did and what they learnt. They will share their practical tips and learning for the future, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions in this interactive live session.

For those interested in a bite-sized overview of some of the developments in cross-system leadership, Professor Becky Malby will give a 15 minute on demand snapshot of some of the major leaps forward in this area, specifically within primary care.

Collaboration, often across boundaries, has been at the heart of the COVID-19 response and maintaining the energy and expertise needed to do this well will be vital over the coming months. Leaders will need to support their teams to understand and develop their skills for collaboration. We’ll be sharing a short, on demand introduction of Q’s recently launched Skills map and user guide. You’ll learn how you can use this practical tool to understand and develop your own and your teams’ skills for collaboration.

Finally, we will host a conversation on wellbeing. If we don’t look after ourselves, and each other, we cannot deliver safe, high quality care. COVID-19 has spurred on the health and care sector to put much greater focus on this, and we will explore how we can continue to prioritise wellbeing and make it a hallmark of our leadership. You will hear from national leaders who are making the strategic case for investing in wellbeing, as well as having the space to talk to peers about how we can continue to look after ourselves, in order to look after patients and communities.

Q members: register to join the event

Although November is likely to be another busy month, I hope you can take some time out to join us and create space for yourself to reflect, learn and recharge.

Register now to join fellow Q members at the Q annual community event. Once you’ve registered, you’ll get access to a form to select the live workshops you’d like to attend as you build your own agenda. Keep an eye out for that email and book your sessions as soon as you can – some workshops have limited spaces allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Alongside the sessions described here, you’ll also have the chance to explore the themes:

And, as ever, there will be plenty of opportunities to make connections and learn with fellow members. We hope to see you there.

Register for the event

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