Posted by: ayrshirehealth | February 12, 2014

Person Centred Leadership by @HazelNMAHPDir

Person Centred Leadership: What Matters to You? 


You have a bigger impact on the lives of those under you than you can imagine”“cultivate a sense of compassion and responsibility for others.


Culture within organisations

PCHCBeing person centred is very much at the forefront of our minds at the current time – whether because of our local situation, the national Person Centred Health and Care Programme, or consideration of the raft of national reports published on safety and quality of care.

These reports often focus on the culture within organisations which enabled standards to slip and people to stop talking to each other in a meaningful way.

With all that in mind I was asked to reflect at the end of last year on my own personal leadership and why it is important to me to carry out regular clinical shifts.

I realised that there were some strong personal leadership messages for me, and if they help others make sense of their world then it might be helpful to share them.

This is my personal story and does absolutely not suggest that this is the right way for everyone.

So here goes……….

 What matters to me?

I realised quite early on that what matters to me is the direct connection with patients and families and that as my career developed the risk of removal from that connection has grown. It helps me stay ‘grounded’ in the reality of what it feels like at the point of care.

Resilience 2I also recognised that the joy of working alongside staff striving to meet the needs of patients and get through complex days refilled my emotional bucket and gave me personal resilience.

So how was I going to maintain this connection and resilience? I decided when I came into post 5 years ago to aim for monthly clinical shifts round the region and round the nursing and midwifery specialties.

Initially this worked well and for the first 18 months I managed to achieve this, getting to know staff across services and understand the environment within which they delivered care.  Then I got sucked in, and my diary got more and more packed and for about a year I found that I was not able to commit the time I wanted to, only getting out about once every three months.

ValuesAt this point a I reflected and recognised that what mattered to me was to stay true to my values and what I felt enabled me to be the nurse director I wanted to be – if I was going to do that then I needed to make it clear that some things were non-negotiable and my clinical shift time had to be one of them.

So I re-instated the shifts monthly and made the time sacrosanct. I have worked with community nursing teams, midwifery teams, in acute hospital settings and across general and mental health specialties. Each time leaving with a sense of pride in what is being delivered to, and with, patients and their families.

 Whose needs are being met?

I am quite honest that this is about my needs being met, main staying my emotional, professional and personal resilience. However, it also enables me to build different relationships with staff at the point of care, so that hopefully they are able to feel confident in me too.

I can be the standard of care that I expect and hear directly form patients how it feels for them.

“the loyalty of your men is a sacred trust you carry.  It is something which must never be betrayed, something you must live up to”


What do I notice?

I notice that:

–       staff have welcomed being able to ‘put the face to the name’ .

–       patients are not generally interested in who I am – just that a nurse is providing their care

National RN Uniform

– the Registered Nurse uniform feels like wall paper and I become invisible when wearing it.  But what this in turn made me notice was the potential for all staff in this uniform to be invisible too, part of the fabric of the building – particularly when working in hospital settings.

–       Following a shift I feel uplifted, a sense of comfort.

So my challenge is how are you making the connection to generate and ignite pride, passion and compassion in what you do every day? What do you allow yourself to do to stay in touch with your core values and what made you come into the NHS in the first place?

 “No-one cares how much you know until they know how much you care”

This week’s blogger is @HazelNMAHPDir (Professor Hazel Borland) Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions, in NHS Dumfries and Galloway.


  1. […] Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions, in NHS Dumfries and Galloway. In Person Centred Leadership on the Ayrshirehealth blog, she wrote about how she takes a very practical approach to keeping […]

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