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Building leadership capabilities in maternity


Background Over recent years, there has been increasing recognition that effective leadership is critical to establishing positive organisational culture and improving patient outcomes. In maternity, there is a unique interplay between different specialties and disciplines in providing high-quality services.

Methods Review of literature pertaining to leadership and maternity.

Results Good leadership is the key determinant in ensuring that our multi-professional teams function effectively. The relational aspects of teamworking, linked to safer delivery of services, have been explored in great detail in maternity services. However, there has been less focus on the application of leadership theory in this environment and the impact of interventions used in developing leadership skills within maternity teams.

Conclusions In this paper, we discuss how leadership theory can be used to understand high profile maternity service failures and how effective team culture, clinical team building and individual leadership skill-development are strong contributors to this thinking. Specific examples are used to describe ongoing work in our drive for improvement and to highlight the current lack of evidence in this area.

  • medical leadership
  • learning
  • multi-disciplinary

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