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Social justice and medical leadership: what is preventing trainees in the East Midlands from accessing leadership training?
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  1. Rebecca Clegg,
  2. Jennifer Bowen
  1. Leadership and Management Programme, NHS England East Midlands, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rebecca Clegg, Leadership and Management Programme, NHS England East Midlands, Leicester, LE3 5DR, UK; rebecca.clegg3{at}nhs.net

Abstract

Introduction Health inequality is a problem worldwide, with life expectancy decreasing in parts of the UK. Social justice requires effective leaders. Doctors can engage with their patients to understand how social determinants of health affect them and use their leadership skills to create meaningful change.

The East Midlands Leadership and Management Programme (LMP), run by NHS England (NHSE) East Midlands, teaches trainees the grounding principles for effective leadership and management. Many trainees struggle to access the course; therefore, we created a survey to determine the barriers for access.

Methods The survey was sent to all applicable trainees in the East Midlands. 210 of 3000 trainees responded (7%). The questions were both qualitative, analysed using thematic analysis; and quantitative, which were descriptively analysed.

Results 90.5% of trainees said leadership training was somewhat or very important; however, only 52.4% had accessed training. The top barrier was not knowing what training was available (54.3%), followed by a lack of time or study leave (48.6%), and being unable to get a place on a course (46.7%). Concerningly, 3.8% thought leadership training to be of little or no importance.

Discussion Despite most trainees acknowledging the importance of leadership training, barriers to access exist. Of concern, some thought leadership training to be unimportant.

Leadership is vital for social justice and to enact positive changes within our communities. The LMP provides tools for doctors to help them achieve this. Our work documents the perceived barriers our trainees have to accessing leadership training, alongside proposals for change and further research.

  • medical leadership
  • trainees
  • clinical leadership

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. All data are anonymised and would be available for review on reasonable requests after discussion with the APD who is responsible for the programme.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. All data are anonymised and would be available for review on reasonable requests after discussion with the APD who is responsible for the programme.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors The authors have worked together on updating the programme stated. JB created the survey described, reviewed by RC before sent to trainees. RC reviewed the results of the survey and subsequently wrote this article, with revisions and comments from JB. RC is responsible for the content as guarantor.

  • 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.