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Leading Change in Healthcare


The landscape defining healthcare service delivery is undergoing rapid changes. While this has created unprecedented opportunities for providing high quality person-centred care, it also brings with it unique challenges on best ways to manage the changes that are redefining the service environment.

Consequently, leaders and managers must not only deal with changes that are redefining care delivery, equally important, they must anticipate trends that will lead to change; provide leadership in a work environment often characterized by unforeseen events that trigger change; find ways to address reactions and resistance to change while at the same time identify and harness the opportunities that arise from the change.

At times, they might even have to initiate change, develop a plan and communicate this to staff and other stakeholders, and oversee the implementation process so as to facilitate the intended impact.

The aims of this module are:

1. Examine relevant evidence to develop an understanding on ways to respond to new challenges and uncertainties that can affect complex and highly distributed service organizations.

2. Develop the self-awareness to be a leader of change by understanding leadership theories and gaining self-insight through experiential exercises of how change affects oneself and how to inspire change in others

3. Understand and evaluate practical frameworks, tools and techniques in order to initiate and lead change, resolve conflicts and competing priorities in healthcare environments.

4. Understand the sustainable impact of change on governance, ethics and values involving health services


Drawing from existing evidence and theory guiding change processes involving complex service environments, the module will focus on the following outcomes:

  • Participants will have the tools and insights to be effective leaders of change in healthcare environments
  • They will demonstrate a critical understanding of the impact of change on the design, economics, governance and ethical considerations surrounding the management of healthcare service delivery systems.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the different requirements for initiating change and describe how these could be implemented in selected scenarios involving complex, highly distributed health care organizations providing patient services
  • Develop personal insight into the way that their personal past informs their present and future actions, emotional and perceptions of change
  • Develop systematic understanding of diverse concepts guiding change management and apply these in leadership situations in health care settings
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of existing theories and concepts involving change, and be able to apply these to new problems and scenarios in health service delivery
  • Evaluate the requirements and critically analyse the suitability of factors necessary to initiate and manage change in health service and describe how these be implemented in selected scenarios


  1. Leadership in the healthcare context of change, complexity and ambiguity
  2. Applying frameworks, models and tools for change in a healthcare environment
  3. Resolving conflict – values, discourse and dialogue
  4. Emotional responses to change in the care environment
  5. Embedding and sustaining change in healthcare contexts


5 Days (25 hours lectures, 10 hours seminars)


4000 words post module individual written assignment