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Enhancing Engagement in Medical Leadership

The Academy has worked with the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement as part of the UK-wide Enhancing Engagement in Medical Leadership project that aims to promote medical leadership and help create organisational cultures where doctors seek to be more engaged in management and leadership of health services and non-medical leaders genuinely seek their involvement to improve services for patients across the UK.

Medical Leadership Compentency Framework

The Medical Leadership Competency Framework (MLCF) describes the leadership competences doctors need in order to become more actively involved in the planning, delivery and transformation of health services.

The MLCF applies to all medical students and doctors throughout their training and career. The project team works with regulatory bodies and medical education organisations throughout the UK to integrate the competences into each stage of a doctor’s training and career.

The MLCF is also being used in NHS organisations to inform the design of development programmes, appraisal and recruitment and it can assist with doctors with personal development planning and career progression.

A Medical Leadership Curriculum for postgraduate and specialty training has been developed, and was scrutinised by PMETB (merged with GMC as of April 2010). As a result, the competences have been integrated into the 58 Specialty Specific Curricula that were approved by PMETB (merged with GMC as of April 2010).

An Undergraduate Guidance for Medical Education - Integrating the MLCF has also been developed to support the development of leadership and management curriculum design within medical schools.


LeAD, e-Learning for medical leadership, is a free e-learning resource developed in conjunction with the Department of Health's e-Learning for Healthcare to support doctors to develop medical leadership. It has over 50 innovative e-learning sessions that address the knowledge components of the Medical Leadership Curriculum based on the MLCF.

Medical Engagement and Organisational Performance

Research has shown that medical engagement is one of the key factors influencing organisational performance.(1, 2) Engaging Doctors: Can Doctors Influence Organisational Performance? is a report that shares findings from research into a link between organisational performance and medical engagement.

The Medical Engagement Scale (MES) offers NHS trusts a greater insight to the level of engagement of doctors in their organisation and ways in which this engagement might be improved.

The MES is designed to assess medical engagement in management and leadership in NHS organisations. It has been designed to differentiate between the individual’s personal desire to be engaged and the organisation’s encouragement of involvement.

Engaging Doctors: What can we learn from trusts with high levels of medical engagement? is a report that shares the key findings from a study ofseventrusts which achieved highMES scores from an initial survey involving 30 trusts in England. It describes the actions and initiatives taken by these Trusts to achieve high levels of engagement and seeks to make this 'best practice' available to others.

Related research

The report Engaging Doctors in Leadership: what can we learn from international experience and research Evidence? contains a systematic and research based overview of the evolution of medical leadership and the reasons why a concerted focus on the training and support for doctors who are taking on leadership roles is needed.

The Medical Chief Executives in the NHS: Facilitators and Barriers to Their Career Progress study explores the factors that influence doctors to assume Chief Executive roles and to identify what changes may be required to encourage more doctors to seek Chief Executive positions.

For more information on this project please visit the Enhancing Engagement in Medical Leadership website.

1 Hamilton P, Spurgeon P, Clark J, Dent J, Armit K (2008) Engaging Doctors: Can Doctors Influence Organisational performance?

2 Spurgeon P, Barwell F, Mazelan P, Clark J (2009) The Link Between Medical Engagement and Organisational Performance.