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Turning tide for trainee leadership view from the faculty
  1. Peter Lees,
  2. Donna Hickford
  1. Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Peter Lees, Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, London, UK; peter.lees{at}

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The year 2021 marks a sea change for emerging clinical leaders in the UK. Building on over a decade of clinical fellow schemes in all four nations, there is a healthy burgeoning of opportunity. The pandemic challenged, even postponed, some schemes, but 2021 sees them all return enthusiastically and in greater numbers, with greater professional diversity and greater geographical equity.

The value of clinical fellows and the alumni to the national effort during the pandemic is and was considerable and can only have helped to encourage an expansion of the number of schemes, host organisations and the total number of fellows. That number has more than doubled across the UK—going from approximately 50 in 2020/2021 to over 120 in 2021/2022. All seven clinical professional groups will be represented for the first time in 2021. Frich and Spehar1 explored the perceived value of multiprofessional leadership development in healthcare. Also reviewing the literature, they concluded that there are potential advantages and disadvantages and further research is necessary. In the fellowships outlined previously, and in the absence of clear evidence, care is being taken to optimise the benefits and limit the potential disbenefits of this by ensuring a blended approach of learning in both multiprofessional groups and scheme specific, and therefore multiprofessional, groups.

This investment in emerging leaders at a challenging time is impressive and acknowledges the dependence of high-quality care on good leadership and teamworking, which have been highlighted before in BMJ …

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  • Contributors PL wrote the paper. DH checked the paper for factual accuracy.

  • 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 The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management managed the English clinical fellowship schemes referred to in the paper. PL and DH led the delivery of the schemes.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.