Green Templeton College Health Experiences Institute - Management in Medicine (HEXI-MiM) Lecture on 30th April 2012.
Medicine needs moral leaders. Healthcare organisations cannot keep patients safe, supply good cost-effective care, or meet the core health needs of their communities, without moral leadership by healthcare professionals. But to date there has been rather little research into what moral leadership is and ought to be. The medical leadership bandwagon is rolling forward on the fragile foundation of the medical leadership competencies framework, while the medical ethics enterprise relies heavily on models of morality that treat the main task as making moral choices. In this presentation I shall argue (i) that medical leaders have, and need, a richer appreciation of the moral demands of their work than the competencies framework implies; (ii) that the pressing challenge is to implement effective moral action not just to make good choices; and (iii) that we need to turn our attention to understanding and developing the capacity for moral action. Along the way I shall describe the moral work that medical directors in NHS Trusts do, and invite the audience to test their own moral perceptions.