Improving leadership in healthcare

Do you want to be a better healthcare leader? These two books offer a structured and easily followed approach to improve your own leadership and the leadership of your healthcare institution.

CAREFUL Leadership

Dr DJ Hamblin-Brown

Do you work in healthcare as a doctor, nurse or allied health professional? Or perhaps your job-title includes the word supervisor or manager?

If so, then this book is written for you.

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Despite the recognised importance of leadership,  especially the impact of first-level leaders — who sit traditionally at the bottom of an organisation chart — few healthcare organisations systematically provide leadership training to those who are new to the job.

In this compact and accessible book Dr Hamblin-Brown offers such healthcare leaders some direct and practical advice using examples and exercises that anyone can follow.

Dr Hamblin-Brown has many years of experience both as a senior emergency doctor and international physician leader. He has also spent several years outside healthcare where he worked to coach and develop leaders in other fields.

CAREFUL Leadership distils leadership into seven qualities which can be learned and actively developed as skills. Using these skills, healthcare professionals can direct their energy more effectively to improve the care of patients. The book discusses the psychology of leadership as well as the basic approaches needed to influence and manage both peers and teams.

This is a companion and follow-up to Dr Hamblin-Brown’s previous book, The Meaning of CAREFUL, which discussed the issue of culture in healthcare institutions. Taken together, these two books can help organisations and individuals address the pressing need for better leadership in healthcare.

The Meaning of CAREFUL

Dr DJ Hamblin-Brown

In 1999 D J Brown left his job as a doctor in the NHS, frustrated by a cumbersome and badly run system. He developed a career as a business consultant, helping companies to improve the way they worked. But his vocation eventually drew him back to healthcare and he returned to the NHS, only to find that it was still hampered by inadequate leadership, inefficient processes, unbalanced targets and a lack of collaboration. He found institutions full of caring and committed healthcare staff unable to do the jobs for which they were trained.

And then his local hospital nearly killed his mother.


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This book is a response to that near-tragedy. It is a response also to our need for a safer, happier and more productive healthcare system.

Drawing on his experience as both a front-line doctor and his work with successful international companies, he has developed the seven-stage CAREFUL programme. This simple approach will transform your healthcare organisation and deliver the clinical efficiency that you, your staff and your patients deserve.

By putting people before process and taking the long-term view, he shows how we can improve the reputation and safety of every healthcare institution in the country.

Filled with real-life anecdotes and practical examples, this book exudes a passion to transform and improve the way that healthcare is delivered.

About the author

DJ qualified as a doctor in the UK in 1996. Since 2005 has been a practicing Emergency Physician in the National Health Service (NHS). He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine in London (FRCEM). During his years of training, he also worked in a leadership development and advisory capacity with healthcare organisations, promoting a balance of compassion and rigour to healthcare leadership.

For three years, he was the Vice-president of Medical Affairs at United Family Healthcare (UFH) in Beijing. As the senior medical officer, he was accountable for the safety and quality of clinical activity within the network’s seven general hospitals and fourteen primary-care clinics. His responsibilities included leading and developing the medical staff and acting as a member of the executive team in charting the strategic course of medical and technology development for the organisation.

Prior to that, he was the Group Medical Director for Aspen Healthcare, a group of nine hospitals and clinics across the UK.

He is also the founder of Careful Systems and the architect of the CAEFUL handover platform (, an inter-operable digital health application for clinicians. The application improves patient safety and patient flow by allowing clinicians to share critical information and tasks during handover and referrals.

He has dedicated most of his working life to the challenges of improving healthcare, but has also worked, prior to medical school, for city financial institutions and, for a few years after qualifying, as an implementation consultant, delivering results-focused change programmes in physical industries such as manufacturing and oil-and-gas.

He endeavours to practice as a buddhist.


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