Doctor Joanne Medhurst Medical Director
Organisation: Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Joanne is a GenerationQ Fellow and Medical Director of Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH) NHS Trust.
Her responsibilities include the professional leadership of the trust’s doctors and dentists and overseeing infection control. She is also involved in service redesign for out-of-hospital care, research and stakeholder engagement with the wider medical workforce across the four London boroughs that CLCH covers.
She practises as a GP in the London borough of Bexley one day a week. Joanne received her medical degree from the University of London in 1989 and carried out her GP training in Bexley. From 1995-2009 she was a GP partner in Sidcup and took on additional responsibilities as a local practice based commissioning lead and programme director for the area’s GP training scheme.
From 2009-12, Joanne was Medical Director and then Joint Managing Director for the Bexley Business Support Unit within the NHS South East London Cluster. During 2012, she spent five months on secondment as director of the Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich Transformation Programme.
Joanne says that taking part in GenerationQ has given her a much broader understanding of what it means to lead change within the NHS. 'It was fascinating to study the psychology and philosophy of change – how it effects people and organisations, and what this means for people leading change. Previously, I tended to hold quite definite views on things that were going on organisationally. Now, I’m more open to different options and interpretations.
'The programme helped me to clarify my personal vision of leadership, which is about making space for conversations, listening to what people have to say, and then doing something in response to what you’ve heard.'
Joanne says the programme has also enabled her to fine-tune her leadership style to suit different situations. 'I’ve learnt to pay close attention to what’s going on ‘in the moment’ rather than thinking backwards or forwards, and to let this influence my approach to leadership. And I have the confidence to experiment with new approaches too.'
One area that Joanne is currently exploring is how to develop a higher profile for clinical leadership within her organisation. 'There’s a great deal of change going in within the trust and I think that strong leadership from our senior clinicians is vital at this time. I’m interested in how we can support our senior clinicians to play an active role in leading change and become a positive force for improvement.'
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