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Ten minutes with Anny Sykes
  1. Anny Sykes
  1. Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anny Sykes, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK; anny.sykes{at}

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Anny is a Consultant Respiratory Physician specialising in Lung Cancer and Interventional bronchoscopy at Oxford University Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust. She is also Lung Cancer Lead for the Thames Valley Cancer Alliance. In addition to her clinical role she is deputy Chief Medical Officer and Director of Safety and Effectiveness at Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust and is particularly interested in Quality Improvement and spreading and embedding QI within organisations. She has previously been awarded a Health Foundation fellowship on the Generation Q programme and has completed a MSc in Leadership and Quality Improvement.

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First and foremost, are there any key leadership messages you want to get out to our readership?

At the risk of stating what may seem obvious, my key message would be that everyone is a leader and follower at different points in the journey and that everyone has something to teach you. Embracing diversity of opinion and experience, which can be challenging in fast moving and high pressure situations, is really important for learning.

My experience during the first wave of COVID-19 reinforced that by removing traditional assumptions around ways of working and allowing creativity and change to happen something better and potentially unanticipated has potential to emerge. I felt a genuine desire from most people on the ground to retain this freer and more fluid approach to leadership and decision making and almost an optimism about maintaining the changes going forward. As the pandemic has progressed, I have also sensed a slippage away from local decision making to a more traditional, centrally controlled model as the acuity waned over the summer. One of the many challenges for further waves is regaining that energy and dynamic creativity.

Tell us a little bit about your leadership role and how it is changing as a result of the pandemic?

Prior to the pandemic, I was working clinically as a chest physician and led the lung cancer service, my leadership role included being a deputy Chief Medical Officer and I also had a role in developing …

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  • Author note Initial Interview Oct 2020, revisited Jun 2021.

  • Contributors AS is the sole contributor to this work.

  • 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.

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