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Joe is a junior doctor and National Medical Directors Fellow with experience in medical leadership and management. He currently holds a national trade union role with the British Medical Association and holds an Honorary Research Fellowship with the University of Salford’s School of Health and Society.
Matt is a consultant in Palliative Care Medicine and experienced medical director. He is passionate about addressing health inequalities and committed to the redevelopment and rebuild of North Manchester General Hospital. He is an honorary professor of Health and Behavioural Sciences at Bangor University.
In late 2019, Professor Matt Makin was facing the significant challenge of leading North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH) through a complex disaggregation process, as it left Pennine Acute NHS Trust and joined Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. This period of uncertainty was made yet more testing as the hospital had been earmarked as one of six hospitals destined for a complete rebuild and redevelopment, thus leading to significant management and leadership capacity being absorbed by strategic project planning. Moving into 2020, it soon became clear that a further challenge would require the full attention of leaders and managers across the health service. As the organisation with the regional centre for infectious diseases, North Manchester was looked to from the onset of the pandemic to provide support and advice to other acute providers across the region. In this short piece, Professor Makin describes some of the lessons learnt during this challenging time and describes how he dealt with the extraordinary pressures facing North Manchester services.
What are the key leadership messages you want to get out to the BMJ Leader readership?
The main messages were not only not to underestimate the virus but also not to underestimate the ability of teams to innovate and develop solutions if given the space, autonomy and authority to do so. What was clear was the depth and breadth of clinical leadership, …
Author note Interview Date: 5 Sep 2021.
Contributors JH planned, drafted, edited and submitted article. MM drafted and edited article.
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; internally peer reviewed.