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Northern Ireland Healthcare Leadership Forum presents: ‘In the dark about leadership?’ A conference exploring the what, the why and the how of collective leadership
  1. Niamh Woods
  1. Correspondence to Niamh Woods, Queen’s University Belfast Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK; nwoods08{at}

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What is the Northern Ireland Healthcare Leadership Forum?

The Northern Ireland Healthcare Leadership Forum (NIHLF) is a multidisciplinary, student-led society with the founding principle of promoting leadership at all levels of the National Health Service (NHS) workforce. We arrange conferences that give Health and Social Care students, staff, patients and senior leaders the opportunity to discuss service delivery challenges and leadership. We aim to give everyone a voice at the table regardless of their stage of training, discipline or position. I am a strong believer that only when you have every person who contributes to a service in the room, can you make realistic suggestions for improvement.

For the past three years, I have been privileged to be part of the NIHLF committee. The greatest thing about being part of the NIHLF committee is the opportunity to work and learn from other disciplines before it becomes a necessity of my workplace. This is my second year as chairperson and I have truly loved it. With over 1500 members and conferences with up to 200 attendees, NIHLF is certainly growing and we hope, encouraging collective leadership in the NHS. The first NIHLF conference of 2017–2018 was entitled ‘In the dark about leadership?’

Background thinking to leadership conference

In October 2017, the Department of Health, along with the Health and Social Care Board, adopted a collective leadership strategy as the most appropriate leadership strategy for Northern Ireland (NI). In light of this, the Leadership Forum wanted to host an event to explore the what, the why and the how of collective leadership. As we are at the outset of the collective leadership 10-year action plan, I believe it is of …

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  • Contributors NW was the only author of this article which is a write-up of a conference arranged by the Northern Ireland Healthcare Leadership Forum (of which she is the chairperson).

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.