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Bringing people together through shared purpose and identity: lessons learnt from NHS Providers CEO Sir Julian Hartley

James, R, Hartley, J and Stroud, Laura (2024) Bringing people together through shared purpose and identity: lessons learnt from NHS Providers CEO Sir Julian Hartley. BMJ Leader. p. 211. ISSN 2398-631X

Item Type: Article


Introduction The healthcare sector is facing increased demand with reduced resources, yet despite these challenges, leaders such as NHS Providers CEO Sir Julian Hartley have created cultures where the workforce can realise shared values, through a focus on staff engagement. This article describes Julian’s journey, through the eyes of a doctor-in-training working in an organisation he has led, to understand what we can learn from his approach to leadership.

Narrative As a manager, Julian saw how many different people it takes to make the NHS work, and decided the role of an NHS leader was to bring people together, through a strong sense of shared purpose and identity. As CEO of Trusts in Blackpool and Leeds, he put this focus on staff engagement into practice to great success. Julian then introduced lean methods that flourished in the culture he had created, and when external factors such as COVID-19 began to erode that culture, returned to refresh that underpinning shared purpose.

Reflection Julian has developed a toolkit of behaviours and approaches, refined through experience and reflection, to help him elucidate and bring to life both the values and goals of the workforce. Because he shares these values, he has been able to lead with authenticity, creating engaged workforces, empowered to drive continuous improvement. We can reflect on Julian’s approach as leaders ourselves: how can we align the values and visions of our staff, and ensure they are empowered to realise both?

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More Information

Depositing User: Laura Stroud


Item ID: 17821
Identification Number:
ISSN: 2398-631X
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for R James: ORCID iD
ORCID for Laura Stroud: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2024 13:29
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2024 13:29


Author: R James ORCID iD
Author: Laura Stroud ORCID iD
Author: J Hartley

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing


Sciences > Health Sciences

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