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Header image for the current page Effective Leadership

NHS Effective Leadership Solutions

The NHS Long Term Plan set out the pivotal role Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) must play in establishing more collaborative working and joined-up care for patients and local populations.

ICSs, Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) and Provider Collaboratives are dependent on a collaborative approach and a willingness of all organisations involved to work together. System leaders face a daunting range of challenges in delivering this large-scale change, from gaining commitment from a broad range of organisations and stakeholders to ensuring the co-creation and co-production required for a truly collaborative approach. Effective leadership is crucial in successfully bringing NHS, local authority, private and third sector organisations together to improve health outcomes and deliver sustainable healthcare.

Effective Leadership Solutions has been established to support health and care systems to overcome the unique challenges associated with operating as an ICS. Our approaches and expertise can help you to develop the capabilities and behaviours required for:

  • effective relationships and connectivity
  • scalable innovation and improvement
  • individual effectiveness
  • learning and capacity-building.

As an integral part of the NHS, we understand your culture, operating environment and local and national priorities. Our knowledgeable, experienced and credible Associates can provide invaluable capacity and expertise to support your increasingly complex change programmes.

Our services
Our solutions are delivered by an unrivalled pool of Associates that bring experience gained at CEO and board level in both NHS provider and commissioning organisations. With significant regulatory expertise, we have a deep understanding of complex systems and direct experience of leading an accelerator ICS.

We provide modular or end-to-end support spanning the four key areas required for creating and leading an effective ICS:


As Integrated Care Systems evolve, strong leadership and governance are prerequisites for bringing NHS, local authority, private and third sector organisations together.

Our solutions can help you to establish true system leadership that creates collective accountability across your health and care system, working for the good of the population and removing historical barriers between hospitals, GP practices, community services and social care.

Our leadership and governance services support health and care systems in their maturity to true system thinking, including:

  • Transformational Support – a full range of support to system leaders on their organisational development journey. We focus on the transition of moving from a culture of competition to collaboration and a regulatory framework where system accountability is the default position.

  • ICS Board and Committee Development – individually tailored development planning and activities that ensure ICS, place and / or provider alliance boards and committees work collaboratively and effectively.

  • Coaching and mentoring - for individual leaders within an integrated system, including managerial, operational and clinical leaders.

  • Strategy development and delivery – working across both provider and commissioning organisations to support systems to create, review, refine, refresh and deliver ownership for their strategy.

  • Well-led reviews – detailed analysis of leadership and governance utilising the well-led framework. Our reviews focus on quality, finance and operations and the increasing emphasis on organisational culture, improvement and system working.

Evidence demonstrates that quality of care and organisational performance are directly affected by the quality of leadership and the improvement cultures that leaders create.

Our solutions can help your system or organisation to create and sustain the leadership cultures necessary to deliver the quality of care performance objectives set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

We work collaboratively to co-create effective leadership in quality, starting with a full assessment of emerging needs followed by a modular programme that draws upon services including:

  • Developing quality strategies and governance systems - facilitation and support to system leaders from medical, nursing and service improvement to:
    • Develop the vision and ambition for the system via a quality strategy
    • Design a quality governance system with a focus on driving change that avoids duplication and excessive bureaucracy.
  • Data for improvement - exploration of quality data and how it can be used to instigate and drive improvements.

  • Management of organisational change and transition - moving from a culture of competition to collaboration, including engaging and working in partnership with patient groups and voluntary agencies.

  • Shaping the future regulatory framework - where the system owns and is accountable for standards of care across all pathways, with individual organisations/ boards held to account for quality as one.

  • ICS board development - with a focus on quality and what it means as an integrated board to own quality strategies, and to oversee accountability of delivery and management of failures in quality standards.

  • Coaching/mentoring - for individual leaders in a system, including clinical leaders across health services (including primary care).

  • Quality governance support – review of governance of ICS board and supporting quality infrastructure.

Effective financial systems and measurement play a crucial role in supporting successful integrated care. Fragmented approaches to payments and finance make it harder to understand how resources can be used to deliver best value for patients across care settings. This can also create conflicting incentives and frustrate efforts to integrate services.

Our team of finance experts enable a successful business approach to ICS development and the subsequent delivery of the required financial targets. We work collaboratively with systems to understand their vision and needs, before building a bespoke finance solution spanning the following areas:

  • System finance development – helping teams to work together more strategically, developing a system financial leadership model with boards more able to support a strategic financial approaches.

  • Health system costings - to enable pathway costing, support transformation, view operational impacts on cost while still taking an organisational view.

  • Network development - to proactively share learning and create a good practice library that builds on the benchmarking from the Model Hospital to form practical implementation solutions.

  • Developing business models - to support identification, oversight and implementation for delivery of cost reduction and service transformation programmes at a system and provider level.

  • Business intelligence - to support systems in the delivery of strategic financial change and transformation.

  • Specialist resourcing - a team of specialists that systems can draw upon for support to meet their individual financial challenges.

The demands of delivering sustainable and integrated healthcare has made search and recruitment of high-calibre individuals fiercely competitive.

It is increasingly important that NHS organisations attract executives and senior professionals who can deliver value while maintaining or improving quality of care and patient outcomes. We help NHS organisations to find and recruit inspirational leaders with the capabilities required to succeed in the most complex, challenging and highly scrutinised environments.

Our NHS Executive Search solutions are delivered by the NHS, for the NHS – which ensures we are best placed to understand your individual requirements (including increasing diversity within your senior leadership). As part of the NHS family, we appreciate your operating environment and share your commitment to delivering best value for patients and taxpayers. Working in partnership with Badenoch + Clark, our combined expertise enables clients to navigate obstacles, access expert guidance and successfully deliver the right candidate.

We support NHS organisations including providers, commissioners and NHS England and NHS Improvement with the recruitment of all executive posts (including Chairs, Non-Executive Directors, Chief Executives, Chief Nurses, Medical Directors and a range of non-clinical roles including COOs, DoFs, CIOs and HRDs).

Find out more about NHS Executive Search here.

Why Effective Leadership Solutions?

  • PROVEN TRACK RECORD: We have a proven track record in supporting the successful transformation of health and care systems. Our multi award-winning work in this area demonstrates experience and best practice.

  • SKILLS BASE: We provide access to highly experienced individuals who have operated at CEO and board level in NHS provider and commissioning organisations.

  • CULTURAL ALIGNMENT & VALUES: We are an NHS organisation that shares your culture, challenges and values. We are driven by delivering better outcomes for patients and sustainable healthcare – not profit.

  • COLLABORATIVE WORKING: Our strong background and passion for collaborative working across the social care, voluntary, community and health sectors ideally positions us to deliver integrated models of care.

  • CUTTING EDGE: We provide access to a wide range of carefully selected partner organisations that enhance our services through both niche and global expertise.

As an integral part of the NHS, we understand your culture, operating environment and local and national priorities. Our knowledgeable, experienced and credible Associates can provide invaluable capacity and expertise to support your increasingly complex change programmes.

We would love the opportunity to talk with you about working collaboratively to further develop your leadership team.


Arden & GEM has unrivaled experience in supporting health systems to deliver effective and sustainable change. Find out more about our work by accessing the resources below.


If you’d like to find out more about Effective Leadership Solutions, please contact us here: