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Introduction

You can be a leader at any point in your professional life, from student and beyond. This leadership section is designed to show you where there are opportunities for you to lead and resources to help you with challenges you may face.

RCSLT’s leadership resources

The RCSLT has pulled together a selection of key resources which link to common concerns, leadership, resilience or innovation frameworks in your nation.

Comments and queries

If you have any general comments, queries or suggestions for resources which can be added to this page, please contact us.

Related pages 

See also:

Importance of leadership in SLT services

SLT services require effective clinical and professional leadership to ensure they are able to deliver high-quality, safe and cost-effective services for people with communication and swallowing needs.

Please see below for a brief RCSLT position statement regarding leadership in SLT services. This brief statement outlines the importance of effective leadership in SLT services and documents the capacity and capability required.

RCSLT brief position statement regarding the importance of leadership in SLT services

Apply to be a leadership mentor/get help from a leadership mentor

The RCSLT has launched a new category of adviser called ‘Leadership Mentors’ as a result of member demand for extra support that is not based on a clinical area; for example, service transformation.

Apply to be a leadership mentor

A Leadership Mentor can be any member with experience of leading in any area of speech and language therapy, and it's a great chance to give back to the profession while working towards your own CPD.

If you’re interested in becoming a leadership mentor, please click here to find out more.

Get help from a leadership mentor

Leadership Mentors are members who have experience of leading in any area of speech and language therapy and are happy to be on hand to support other members. They can provide mentoring for your development and also help you with challenges in your role, such as support with change and transformation issues.

Please click here if you would like support from a leadership mentor.

What’s a leader?

At The RCSLT we believe that everyone has the potential to develop their leadership capabilities and this applies whatever career stage you are at.

There are also many different types of leader – including clinical leaders, leaders who campaign for the profession, leaders in research, leaders in innovation  and leaders in education. This variety means there is likely to be a pathway to leadership which suits you.

What is your perception of a leader? Here several people reflect on definitions of what leaders are and where you can find them.

Why develop your leadership skills?

Developing your leadership skills means developing yourself to be the best that you can be. If you embark on a journey to develop your leadership skills you may be surprised by to find what you are capable of achieving! Plus, when you become empowered in your field, your service users, your colleagues and your profession all share the benefits.

Resources and programmes to develop your leadership skills

Here is a selection of materials and programmes to help you in your leadership development. Although they are from different nations you may find it useful to refer to those outside your nation as their messages still have relevance wherever you are based.

Building my networks

A key way for you to develop your leadership and resilience skills is to be part of a network. RCSLT provides many opportunities for you to develop networking relationships in your region, your clinical area and with the RCSLT as part of our governance roles or our projects. Whatever level you are at and wherever you are, there is a way for you to network via the RCSLT.

RCSLT networks and opportunities

RCSLT Hubs

RCSLT groups:

Hubs and networks

There are 14 RCSLT hubs and networks for nations around the United Kingdom. A RCSLT Hub is a network to support all members of the profession working in collaboration in a region. Find out about your local hub, your nation's network and how to get involved. You will also be able to jump to your groups’ ‘Basecamp’ networking site from here.

Clinical Excellence Networks (CENs) CENs provide a great route to CPD and also networking opportunities. Involvement in a CEN gives you the chance to network with peers in your field and build those important professional links: links which will strengthen your resilience and which you are likely to find very useful in times of change. Furthermore, by taking an active role in a CEN, such as undertaking the role of chair, treasurer, or secretary or by being closely involved in CEN events, you are also developing your leadership skills.

RCSLT roles:

Advisers

Becoming an adviser can not only benefit your professional development, but it gives you the chance to engage with a wider group of the profession and influence policy.

Board and Committee members

RCSLT is governed by its members for the members. If you would like to get involved there are opportunities on our boards and committees.

Giving Voice champions

Giving Voice Champions act as the link between RCSLT and their team, coordinating local activity. Our champions come from across the RCSLT’s membership. Students, NHS managers, independent practitioners and assistants have signed up to help make Giving Voice happen in their local area.

Learning champions

Find out about becoming a learning champion

Research Champions

Find out about becoming a research champion

CPLOL

Resources

RCSLT networking resources:

Resources from other organisations:

If you have any general comments, queries or suggestions for resources which can be added to this page, please email info@rcslt.org

Dealing with change

In the course of your career you are likely to need to respond to changes, some of which may be challenging, but some of which may create opportunity. The following resources have been gathered to help you to build your knowledge about how to deal with change. 

The importance of engaging with the bigger picture

If you know what is going on in the wider political and economic fields you will find yourself  better prepared for change and maybe will even see it coming.

Influencing in a time of change

Those who develop relationships with budget holders and decision makers stand a better chance of surviving in difficult times.

Resilience

In times of change leaders need qualities of resilience. Resilient people are better able to shape change in terms of challenge rather than threat.

You may also find the networking section above useful, as having a wide support network promotes resilience

Staff wellbeing in times of change

If you are responsible for leading a team then it is important to ensure that their health and wellbeing is protected and supported in times of change:

Speak the language of clinical business

Speak the language of clinical business

All speech and language therapists should have an understanding of clinical business skills: what are the drivers for your service, how do you deliver to these and how do you prove the  value of your service? You'll need to know the language of clinical business in order to maintain your service, to be ready to adapt to change and to be able to speak to commissioners and budget holders and others you will need to influence.

Those in management roles may also find they need to develop the business case for moving into new sectors, such as justice or new modes of delivery, like telehealth or adapt their service specifications. The resources on this page should assist you in developing the skills to plan for change.

Service planning

Service redesign

The nations all have future-facing strategies for healthcare improvement which you will need to consider when developing your service specification

Proving value by measuring outcomes

RCSLT has a major project looking at measuring outcomes of therapy – i.e. to prove the value of speech and language therapy interventions.

Case studies

England and Wales

Introduction

The healthcare leadership model (2013) used in England and Wales is aimed at any healthcare professional to help them become better leaders. It is useful for everyone, whether you have a formal leadership role or not, whatever setting you work in and whatever size of team you work with. It is divided into nine ‘dimensions’. Here you will find resources both from RCSLT and other organisations.

In this section you will find

  • Inspiring shared purpose
  • Leading with care
  • Evaluating information
  • Connecting your service
  • Sharing the vision
  • Engaging the team
  • Holding to account
  • Developing capability
  • Influencing for results

Note that you may also find the Academi Wales ‘Leading in the Welsh Public Service Framework - a leadership behaviours framework for senior leaders’ useful

Inspiring shared purpose

‘Inspiring shared purpose’ is one element of The healthcare leadership model (2013) used in England and Wales. It relates to valuing a service ethos; curious about how to improve services and patient care; behaving in a way that reflects the principles and values of the NHS. Here are some resources to help you in your thinking about a patient and services based approach:

RCSLT resources

The Health Foundation

The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership

NHS

Skills for Health resources

Leading with care

‘Leading with care’ is one element of The healthcare leadership model (2013) used in England and Wales. It relates to having the essential personal qualities for leaders in health and social care; understanding the unique qualities and needs of a team; providing a caring, safe environment to enable everyone to do their jobs effectively. We have pulled together some resources which will be useful in developing your personal leadership qualities:

RCSLT resources

NHS England

Open University

King’s fund resources

eLearning Healthcare

Evaluating information

‘Evaluating information’ is one element of The healthcare leadership model (2013) used in England and Wales. It relates to seeking out varied information; using information to generate new ideas and make effective plans for improvement or change; making evidence-based decisions that respect different perspectives and meet the needs of all service-users.

Below are some resources that will support you in evaluation and decision-making:

RCSLT resources

Connecting your service

‘Connecting our service’ is one element of The healthcare leadership model (2013) used in England and Wales. Understanding how health and social care services fit together and how different people, teams or organisations interconnect and interact.

Some resources in helping you achieve those aims:

RCSLT resources

Health Education England

King’s Fund resources

Skills for Health resources

eLearning Healthcare resources

  • Working with others – additional material as part of the elearning resources supporting clinicians of all professions

Sharing the vision

‘Sharing the vision’ is one element of The healthcare leadership model (2013) used in England and Wales. It relates to communicating a compelling and credible vision of the future in a way that makes it feel achievable and exciting. Some resources in helping you achieve those aims:

RCSLT resources

NHS

Ted Talks

Open University

King’s Fund resources

Engaging the team

‘Engaging the team’ is one element of The healthcare leadership model (2013) used in England and Wales. It relates to involving individuals and demonstrating that their contributions and ideas are valued and important for delivering outcomes and continuous improvements to the service. Some resources in helping you achieve those aims:

RCSLT resources

NHS resources

King’s Fund resources

Holding to account

‘Holding to account’ is one element of The healthcare leadership model (2013) used in England and Wales. It relates to agreeing clear performance goals and quality-indicators; supporting individuals and teams to take responsibility for results; providing balanced feedback. Here are some resources to help with supporting colleagues and teams:

RCSLT resources

Developing capability

‘Developing capability’ is one element of The healthcare leadership model (2013) used in England and Wales. It relates to building capability to enable people to meet future challenges; using a range of experiences as a vehicle for individual and organisational learning; acting as a role model for personal development. Some resources in helping you achieve those aims:

RCSLT resources

NHS England resources

Skills for Health resources

Influencing for results

‘Influencing for results’ is one element of The healthcare leadership model (2013) used in England and Wales. It relates to deciding how to have a positive impact on other people; building relationships to recognise other people’s passions and concerns; using interpersonal and organisational understanding to persuade and build collaboration. Some resources which will help you to think about opportunities for influencing and how to be ready for them:

RCSLT resources

Northern Ireland

Introduction

To support the delivery of Northern Ireland's Quality 2020 strategy Health And Social Care (HSC, 2011) there are a selected a range of resources that link with the Quality 2020 Attributes Framework: supporting leadership for quality improvement and safety.

In this section you will find:

  • Strengthening foundations
  • Delivering improvement
  • Driving improvement
  • Directing improvement

Strengthening foundations

Strengthening foundations for improvement’ is one element of the Quality 2020 Attributes Framework: supporting leadership for quality improvement and safety (2011).

It relates to everyone employed in a health and social care role, including those in training.

  1. I understand why and how we put patients/service users at the centre of everything we do.
  2. I understand what contributes to the safety of patients/service users and can work with my colleagues to identify problems and help reduce risks.
  3. I understand what is meant by quality improvement and can collect information in my area to aid improvement in patient/service user care and services.
  4. I understand how I can play my part in improving care and services for patients/service users.
  5. I take part in activities to improve the way I do my job.
  6. I understand the benefits of using small steps to improve care and services.
  7. I understand the benefits of developing myself in order to care for others.
  8. I keep my knowledge and skills up to date.
  9. I develop my skills in improvement methodology.
  10. I work with my colleagues as an effective team member.
  11. I listen to patients/service users and their carers/families and share their comments with colleagues to help improve care/services.
  12. I understand my responsibility to speak up if something goes wrong and I know how to do it.

RCSLT resources

HSC Northern Ireland

Skills for Health resources

Delivering improvement

‘Delivering Improvement’ is an element of the Quality 2020 Attributes Framework: supporting leadership for quality improvement and safety (2011)

It relates to staff and those in training who can lead small-step-change(s), with support in their service.

  1. I understand how the culture in my workplace influences the quality and safety of care and services.
  2. I recognise my responsibility to question the way we work in order to improve care and services. 
  3. I am able to work with a team to achieve small-step-change. 
  4. I can explain and use PDSA3 cycles to make small-step-change to care and services.
  5. I can identify where teamwork could be more effective and I work with others to improve team performance.
  6. I work to involve patients/service users and their carers/families in planning care and in quality improvement activities.

RCSLT resources

HSC Northern Ireland resources

Driving improvement

‘Driving improvement’ is one element of the Quality 2020 Attributes Framework: supporting leadership for quality improvement and safety (2011). It relates to staff who lead team(s) or service(s) within their organisation.

  1. I communicate effectively with diverse audiences.
  2. I mentor and teach others about improvement methodology.
  3. I understand, use and present data to improve care and services.
  4. I influence, negotiate and lead improvements in care and services.
  5. I strive to motivate and energise my colleagues.
  6. I demonstrate resilience in order to lead improvements in care and services.
  7. I facilitate and lead teams to improve the quality and safety of care and services.
  8. I encourage, promote and support a learning culture in my workplace.
  9. I listen to the voices of patients/service users and their carers/families, using their input to inform quality improvement activities.
  10. I use systems such as governance, quality assurance and
  11. Measurement for improvement to identify for myself and team members areas for development.

HSC Northern Ireland

Ted Talks

Open University

Skills for Health resources

eLearning Healthcare resources

Directing improvement

Directing improvement’ is one element of the Quality 2020 Attributes Framework: supporting leadership for quality improvement and safety (2011).

It relates to staff charged with leading quality improvement across their organisation and/or across the Health and Social Care system.

  1. I lead improvement in care and services, aligning priorities and removing barriers.
  2. I encourage, promote and support a learning culture in and/or across organisations, learning from engagement with patients, service users and their carers/families.
  3. I direct the implementation and spread of improvement methodology across service boundaries.
  4. I advise/have access to expert advice on the development of improvement measures and understand variation in data, using relevant tools where appropriate.
  5. I monitor the quality and safety of care, understanding that measurement is for learning, not judgement.
  6. I provide/have access to expert advice and maintain an oversight of the progress of improvement.
  7. I use evidence-based tools, or accepted guidance, to ensure that appropriate resources are used in the organisation.
  8. I direct the improvement work across the organisation and respond directly, openly and rapidly to safety alerts, early warning systems and complaints from patients/service users and staff • I promote transparency across the organisation.
  9. I provide high-level support to a multi-organisational collaborative/network, in which teams can learn from, and teach, each other.
  10. I pay attention to my own learning so that I enhance the way in which I direct improvement within my organisation.

RCSLT resources

HSC Northern Ireland

Scotland

Introduction

Leadership capabilities The Leadership & Management Development Framework for Health & Care in Scotland uses six leadership capabilities which have been developed to support and encourage people to think about how they exercise leadership in everyday roles as well as formal management positions.

The information about the capabilities can be found in the Leadership & Management Zone on TURAS Learn.

In this section you will find

  • Self-leadership
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Collaborating and influencing
  • Vision
  • Motivating and inspiring
  • Empowering

Self-leadership

RCSLT resources:

What is your perception of a leader? Here several people reflect on definitions of what leaders are and where you can find them.

Collaborating and influencing

RCSLT resources:

Creativity and innovation

RCSLT resources:

Vision

RCSLT resources:

Brief statement regarding the importance of SLT services, 2017

Other resources:

NES leadership and management portal

Motivating and inspiring

RCSLT resources:

Other resources:

Empowering

RCSLT resources:

Leadership resources

Leadership video series

The RCSLT Leadership Video Series is designed to give a speech and language therapy perspective on leadership.

We interviewed healthcare professionals, academics and advisers in education and clinical settings, local health services, government and RCSLT Hubs members from across the UK, in 2014. Their expertise, thoughts and experiences were brought together to create this video series.

Please discuss and reflect on these videos in your teams and on social media.

Watch the RCSLT Leadership video series on You Tube

**If you experience problems hearing these videos, please make sure both channels on your speakers are switched on. When listening to them via headphones, please use both earpieces at the same time. Some of the interviewees are in mono, so will only be heard through one channel.**

Workforce planning session

A Speech and Language Therapy workforce planning session was held on the East Midlands Hub in 2013. The presentation was presented by David Amos, Healthcare Human Resources Management Consultant.

The session was recorded in two parts, which you can watch here:

RCSLT East Midlands Hub SLT workforce planning session - Part 1

RCSLT Hub East Midlands SLT workforce planning session - Part 2

Leadership and engagement for improvement in the NHS - Downloadable publication