Whither the elephant?: the continuing development of clinical leadership in the UK National Health Services

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The paper revisits the theme of clinical leadership in UK countries, following an earlier (2009) review. It examines the competency-based approach; considers the emerging voices of clinical leaders; explores the results of evaluation research studies; identifies learning from intra-UK and international comparisons and considers the issue of leader development versus leadership development. It concludes that there is little conceptual clarity; that there continues to be a major disconnect between clinicians and managers; that different approaches to developing clinical leaders are emerging in different parts of the UK and that the major challenge remains to develop leadership, rather than leaders. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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