NHS Clinical Commissioners have today launched a new publication calling for the gender imbalance in clinical commissioning leadership to be tackled.‘Women in clinical commissioning leadership: A case for change’ looks at why there is a lack of gender diversity in health leadership, the efforts currently being made to improve this, and actions that need to be taken to increase female leadership in the clinical commissioning arena.
 
NHSCC Chief Executive Julie Wood said: “Not only is achieving gender equality the right thing to do for the sake of fairness, it’s also one that is crucial to improve performance. 
 
“Research has shown that organisations with at least three women out of every ten members on their boards do better than those without, both in terms of operational excellence and financial performance.”
 
The new publication sets out practical changes that the whole health system, CCGs themselves and NHS England can make to redress the gender imbalance. NHSCC also pledges to take a number of actions to help its members, almost 90% of CCGs in England, do this.
 
These include championing the cause of women clinical leaders in its work, publications and as a member of the HSJ Women Leaders Network, and developing an offering to its members which would include mentorship and buddying.
 
Julie Wood continued: “When it comes to gender equality in the NHS there is a long way to go, but it is encouraging to see that there is a lot of good work going on to change this.
 
“There is more to do, but I strongly believe if everyone takes action, the number of women in clinical commissioning leadership can be boosted – and the performance of the organisations that they are a part of along with it. This has got to be a good result not only for women but for the populations CCGs serve who rely on them to commission the best possible healthcare.”
 
Recommendations in the report include:
 

  • CCGs should develop a talent management programme to identify, support and nurture women who have the    potential to be clinical leaders of the future.
  • CCGs should measure where they are now and develop a plan to boost female clinical leadership.
  • NHS England appoint a champion for women in clinical leadership.
  • NHS England regularly publish data on representation of women in clinical leadership.