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Tasks and Challenges for a Leader in Healthcare Services

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Management
Wordcount: 6716 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Introductory Comments
(Suggested word count 200 words)



Section 1:  What do you consider to be the main tasks and    responsibilities of a Leader/ Manager within Health and Social Care?


  (Suggested word count 800 words)


Section 2: What do you consider would be the specific    challenges for Leaders/Managers working within this setting?


  (Suggested word count 900 words)



Section 3:  What knowledge, personal attributes and transferable   skills do you possess which you could apply to the role of Leader/Manager within this setting?


  (Suggested word count 800 words)



Concluding remarks


(Suggested word count 300 words)



Appendices (If included)




List of references







Introductory Comments


You should introduce the Health or Social Care setting you have decided to focus upon for the purpose of section 2 of this report here. Keep this brief so as not to use up your word count here.


This report is not only going to focus on what the main tasks and responsibilities of a leader/manager in health and social care are, but also explain why they are important. Carrying on from this, section 2 will focus specifically on challenges a leader/manager in a counselling setting may face. The chosen setting is a counselling service for young people. See appendix 1 and 2 for more information.

As there is no previous experience in this setting, section 2 will focus on what challenges a manager in this setting could potentially face. Lastly, self-reflection will be used in section 3 to draw on personal attributes, knowledge and transferable skills which can be applied to this setting. See appendix 3 for a mind map.

When the term manager is used throughout the report, this refers to both manager and leader unless said otherwise.

 (142 Words)

SECTION 1: What do you consider to be the main tasks and responsibilities of a Leader/ Manager within Health and Social Care?


There are various terms used within health and social care that can be used interchangeably for example, leader and manager. Upon reflection on the differences it is apparent that there is a close link between the two, but they are different. (Gope and Galloway, 2017, 65-66). A manager is ‘someone who directs the work of others and who does his work by getting other people to do their’. (Drucker, 2011, 6). To achieve goals a leader influences other individuals behaviours and actions by inspiring and motivating them which encourages development. However, a manager has leadership skills and qualities. (Gope and Galloway, 2017, 66).

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Good management in health and social care is vital to provide a good quality of care, without management nothing would happen. (MacKian and Simons, 2013, 1). Regardless of an individual’s position, anyone who works in healthcare’s priority should be to provide a safe, compassionate and high quality of care. To ensure standards are met, an effective manager is needed. See Appendix 3 for the core tasks and skills of an effective leader.

It is one thing understanding as a manager that these things are expected of you, but it is equally as important to understand why. A good starting point for a manager is to understand themselves so they can be assertive, this involves becoming aware of their assumptions and beliefs as well as identifying and challenging feelings and behaviours to develop as an individual. A manager needs to be honest and direct when communicating assertively without being aggressive to keep a level of respect. This will involve being specific, open to negation and willing to compromise, this applies to both staff and service users. In addition to this a manager should be able to set priorities and express opinions confidently without any fear. When used well, assertiveness builds attributes of non-judgement, care, sensitivity and empathy for others. Carlyle’s Great man theory believes that leaders are ‘born, not made’, in other words if you are not a natural born leader you aren’t going to develop into one and focuses on men. This theory is very much a nature not nurture approach. Trait theory has similar beliefs that people inherit certain qualities that make them a better leader. (Spector, 2015). However behavioural theories believe leaders are not born great leaders, they are made.

Assertiveness can be used to help with goal setting, working with difficult people, time management, complex communication such as conflict, handling criticism and being able to give constructive criticism which are all responsibilities of a manager. These behaviours can be powerful in a work place. As a manager, it is important to recognise that being assertive is not about being selfish, it is about recognising that everyone is equal, building relationships and encouraging development for everyone while also setting boundaries. (Phillips, 2013, 6,7,14). A theory that could be applied here is the transformational theory, this theory focuses on encouraging team members to work to their full potential. As said by Bass Burnard, this is ‘a model of integrity and fairness’. A manager who works by this theory will be performance focused, encouraging and have high moral and ethical standards. (Bernard, 1985).

Health and social care has experienced many changes and reforms over the year and will continue to change in future years. As the complexity of services increase, effective management is more important than ever. (Jones and Bennett, 2012,3). For successful implementation the management of change is crucial. Changes in society in terms of social, racial and cultural diversity play a part in the reasoning to why changes are being made in health and social care as well an ageing population. Because of this there has been an increase in prevalence of inequalities in health. (Jones and Bennett, 2012, 77). A frequently used model applied to describe individual’s response to change as well as any significant life change, is Kubler-Ross’s grief and loss model, ‘The model was originally developed to describe most people’s emotional responses to the prospect of their own death. It describes a sequential process of denial, followed by anger, bargaining, depression and finally with appropriate support, acceptance’. (Jones and Bennett, 2012,78.).

 From the work of Kotter, it has been proven that effort doesn’t always result in a successful outcome which is why resistance to change is to be expected, this is when an effective manager is needed. When changes are being made a good manager will explain the reasoning for the change, clarify information, be open to compromises but make it clear what needs to remain and demonstrate the positive consequences for reassurance and to gain trust. Change requires time, energy and a lot of effort especially from the manager and is not easy. (Kotter, J. P., 1995).

To help improve company’s adaptability to change and increase success Kotter created the ‘Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model’, see appendix 4. The first 3 stages can be used to create the correct climate for change, linking the changes to the organisation is what steps 4 to 6 are used for and steps 7 and 8 are to consolidate the change. This is a very easy and useful model for managers to use as it provides clear guidance on the process of change and emphasises how important the involvement of the employees is for overall success. However, a consequence of missing a step may result in problems and the process could potentially be time consuming. A result of Kotter’s recommendation to hire new staff once the 8 steps have been followed may lead to dissatisfaction and frustration within the work team. (Mulder, 2012).

880 words

SECTION 2: What do you consider would be the specific challenges for  leaders/managers working within this setting?


When hired as a manager within this setting there will be expectations to develop, lead and expand the organisation however, managers will be faced with challenges which may be dealt with using reinforcement. Leaders who follow this style are transactional leaders. The outcome of positive reinforcement will be that employees will be motivated and thriving to meet levels of expectation. This management style can establish a positive work environment and increase work performance which leads to a positive outcome for both the organisation and service user which in this setting is young people. However, negative reinforcement also has a place in effective management. When a manager is faced with the challenge of members of the team not providing the best quality of care, the manager needs to decide how to deal with it. A few examples of negative consequences which promote a high level of performance are reprimanding an employee verbally or through documentation, cutting hours of employees and in some cases termination. It is important to follow the organisations policy manuals and code of conducts which outlines standard of appropriate behaviour and the consequences if they aren’t met. (Kokemuller, undated).

A requirement of a manager is to be willing accountable for the ethical basis of practice as well as being ethically mindful. In this setting when a manager is faced with an ethical dilemma, making a reasonable decision is critical. Moral entrepreneurs such as health and social care managers are the rule makers and enforcers, therefore good practice require individuals to be aware of how this dynamic influence their practice especially in challenging situations. What we consider to be ethically relevant is a personal value, values contribute towards making an ethical decision however, when making any decisions a manager needs to consider ethical principles and the code of conduct for health professionals. These principles include being trustworthy, self-respect, justice, autonomy and non-maleficence. Although ethical principles justify the reason for certain decisions and actions, relying on them to much may detract from the individual’s ethical significance.

To reconcile all applicable principles will be impossible in some circumstances, this is when the manager will need to prioritise. (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2018). An example of a challenging ethical issue which may occur in this setting is deciding how much information to disclose to a child’s family in a critical situation such as self-harm or suicide.

Two relevant ethical theories are utilitarianism and deontology. However, there is conflict between the two, Utilitarianism focus on the what is going to benefit the greatest number of people, instead of focusing on an individual which is often the way a manager thinks. On the other hand, deontology focuses on how things are done instead of only focusing on the consequences which holds the respect for fundamental rights, doctors tend to be deontological thinkers. The conflict leads to waste of time and resources and patients receiving poorer services. (Garbutt and Davies, 2011)

Another challenge a manager may face is time management due to the rising demand for services, the lack of money also contributes to this challenge. There are several main duties that comes with a managerial role in this setting, such as the requirement to ensure the organisation is up to date with current legislation by reviewing and developing policies and procedures. Completing funding applications is needed to assist the sustainability of the organisation which may require assisting with tenders, to receive money from the government or institutes. In addition to this, reports will need completed to funders. Further challenges may come from not having time for the unexpected. Unexpected situations are when the situational theories could come into practice, “Effective leaders need to be flexible and must adapt themselves according to the situation.” (Hersery and Blanchard, 1988, 181). A benefit of the situational leadership approach is that it understands that organisations are different which removes the need to follow a rigid strategy. However, the style has been criticised for not taking demographic differences into consideration and that it may not always work in group settings. When the team has adapted to the managers leadership style and it is changed due to the situation, it may result in individuals not being sure what to do which may create more challenges for the manager. As addressed in section one, support from the manager when adapting to change is essential for successful implementation. (Cleverism, 2016).

The quality of service provided depends largely on the staff therefore it is important as a manager to carry out performance reviews to try preventing further challenges. However, good mental and physical health of workers including the manager is vital in providing a high level of care. Counselling can be emotionally exhausting which is why it is important for counsellors to have a balanced life to prevent stress and burnout. Managing stress benefits the organisation by decreasing the costs for turnovers and absence. (Navare, 2008).

When working in this organisation the child’s best interest is what is most important therefore, adoption of multi-agency approach is vital to provide an integrated way of supporting children and young people. Multi-agency approach requires good communication with other health and social care workers in different sectors to ensure the child’s addition needs are being met. Professional which may be included are social workers, teachers, youth justice and the police. For a successful outcome the manager in this organisation will need to organise meetings across services. Due to the wide variety of situations this organisation deals with, the multi-agency team will differ from case to case. (Department for Education, 2012)

891 words

SECTION 3: What knowledge, personal attributes and transferable skills do you possess which you could apply to the role of leader/manager within this setting?


After identifying what makes a good manager, I am now going to focus on what I have that could be applied to the role of a manager in this setting. In thinking about this section, I have created a mind map of personal skills and attributes I consider myself to have, see appendix 5.

Reflecting on my personal development in my time at university has helped me identify personal skills such as time management, punctuality, the ability to work under pressure and the ability to meet deadlines. Although every module has contributed to my knowledge there is a few modules which could be used specifically within this setting.

Skills gained from ‘Counselling and guidance skills’ module include the ability to work both individually and, in a group, the development of communication skills which includes being non-judgemental, empathetic, respectful and reliable. Good use of paraphrasing shows effective listening skills, this skill was developed through class role plays and discussions to provide an open and non-judgemental response to the client. It is important as a counsellor to not only encourage service users but also staff and create a comfortable, trustworthy environment which are skills I have gained from this module, as well as guiding the service user but not giving advice or telling them what to do.

From reflecting on my personal style of management and critically reflecting on my own qualities throughout a leadership and management module, it has helped me gain a lot of confidence. Although it is a different setting, self-reflection made me realise that I gained manager skills through previous work in a supervisor role in a hospitality setting. This involved running a team successfully, managing rota’s, legal responsibilities of health, safety and hygiene regulations, managing conflict within the team and difficult customers as well as recognising that the customer’s satisfaction is the priority. When relating this to a health and social care setting overall as a manager or worker the main aim should always be to provide the service user with the best possible service no matter how difficult it may be.

In addition to this, from completing a ‘Values, Ethics and Rights’ module I have gained awareness of the relevance of values, ethics and rights from both a professional and personal point of view and I am now able to appreciate the role they play in decision making. I have also become more socially aware.

Key aspects of the ‘Psychological and social development (Children)’ module included Child and adolescent development theories, contemporary issues such as self-harm, teen pregnancy and bullying, Attachment Theory, Safeguarding children and Vulnerability and resilience. Knowledge gained from this module can be applied when working with children.

Following on from what has been said in section 1 and 2 about the importance of managing change, completing a ‘Recognising and responding to change’ module has developed on my knowledge on how to do so. Throughout this module I gained knowledge from learning key aspects that are fundamental drivers of change, recognising contemporary changes in health and social care provision and situating social and health policy development in relation to service users and providers.

The outcome of successfully completing the ‘Mental health & well-being’ module is that I now understand the impact mental health problems has on an individuals and society, including children and adolescents and I am aware of management approaches which are used to work with people with mental health.

A skill I take pride in is having good work ethic, this can be shown through extracurricular activities such as work experience in a rehab hospital ward and coronary care unit, volunteering in care home and completing first aid training as well as mental health first aid training. I have recently become a friend with dementia and through future training I am progressing towards being a friend with dementia champion. In future months I hope to complete a suicide awareness course and gain a lot of knowledge from working with the homeless through my time with a local volunteering company. From volunteering I am gaining a first-hand insight on what homeless life is like, this type of work can be very challenging but also very rewarding. One of the main skills I have gained from this is that not everyone wants to be helped, but as a service provider it is up to you to ensure they access the best possible non-judgement, high quality care regardless of the individuals living conditions. I enjoy challenging myself and put my personal skills to good use by helping others, it will also help me learn a lot about myself.

Upon completion of this degree my priority is going to be on giving my time to a variety of organisations to enhance my skills and knowledge within different health and social care settings from a first-hand point of view. Although I can identify knowledge and skills I have, I am aware that there are several which I could improve on, this will take time and experience.


829 words















Concluding remarks


As said in 1967 by Fielder there is no one style of leadership that work best for every situation. An individual’s leadership style is personal to them and can differ depending on the situation and the personal skills and attributes which the individual’s holds. The positional power of a leader and the tasks required to be met can affect the relationship between the leader and other members of the team. (Barr and Dowding, 2016, 63).

There are many different beliefs on what makes a good leader and as the field of health and social care rapidly increases, so does the demand for an effective manager to avoid complications, unhappy service users, legal difficulties and challenges for the manager. It is vital for a manager to keep on top of health care policies and procedures to effectively manage a team and manage change. Change is one thing that will continuously happen, therefore the importance of managing change is extremely important and requires effective management to support the change and help both the team and service user adjust to whatever the change may be.

From the day to day running of a manager, leading and managing staff to ensure roles are being performed correctly and safely, managing budgets and making strategic decisions on future plans, there are a number of expectations from a manager role however, regardless of the situation anyone working within a health and social sectors main priority should be to provide the highest possible service of care to the service user keeping legal frameworks and safety in mind.

260 words

= 3,002 words



Appendix 1

About us

Here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Whether it’s something big or small, our trained counsellors are here to support you. Free, confidential and available any time, day or night. Support is given to young people for a range of issues from bullying to sexual abuse

Our counsellors are trained staff and Volunteers. All sorts of people become Childline counsellors. They could be 16 or 60. They could be gay or straight- or anywhere in between. They come from lots of different backgrounds and places.

What they all have in common is they want to help young people. They’re real people who want to support you with any issues you’re facing. They’re trained but they don’t follow a script.

Our counsellors will:

  • Listen to you
  • Know it takes courage to contact us
  • Is genuine, open and friendly
  • Knows about the problems young people can face
  • Won’t judge or put you down
  • Isn’t easily shocked
  • Will let you take your time.

(Childline, undated)





Appendix 2

Confidentiality agreement

Confidentiality means not telling anyone else about what you’ve said. So whatever you say will be just between you and Childline. You can feel sae talking to us, knowing that no one else will find out. But sometimes, if we’re worried about your safety, we may need to get you help.

We’d Only need to say or do something if:

  • You ask us to
  • We believe your life or someone else’s life is in danger
  • You’re being hurt by someone in a position of trust who is able to hurt other children like a teacher, religious leader, sports coach, police officer or doctor
  • You tell us that you’re seriously hurting another person
  • You tell us about another child who’s being hurt and is not able to tell someone or understand what is happening to them.

Counsellors have to look at your whole conversation, how unsafe you sound and how likely it is you will be in danger when you finish talking to them. That’s why a counsellor might tell you it will be confidential at the beginning but then as you tell them more that shows you are in danger, they can’t keep that promise anymore.

(Childline, undated)

Privacy policy

We have a responsibility to keep all your personal information safe

We may be able to give you copies of your records, if we can get enough information to identify you.

We also use our database to collect anonymous statistical information to help us improve. We might share this to help people understand what young people are saying. For example, to say how many young people are contacting us about bullying.

We will take all the steps reasonable necessary to make sure that your personal data is treated securely and in accordance with our privacy policy.

We’ll make sure that your personal information is kept in a way that meets European data protection rules. But when you enter personal information on our website, you automatically agree to the transfer, storing and processing at a location outside the European Economic Area. (Childline, undated)








Appendix 3

Core tasks/ Skills of Leaders and managers

(Croft, 2018)

Appendix 4

(Webster and Webster, undated)


Appendix 5

Mind map of person skills and attributes

Positive Attitude


Non -judgemental

Self- confident

Treat others equally




Standard Morals

                        Personal Skills


Interpersonal communication skills



Team worker

Work ethic


Determined and persistent

Conflict resolver




Able to Work under pressure

Good at setting boundaries

Understand confidentiality

Effective Listener

List of References


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  • Childline (undated) About Childline. London: Childline. Available from https://www.childline.org.uk/about/about-childline/ [accessed 11th December 2018].
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