The complexity and cost of health care, along with a greater need for accountability calls for a new style of clinical leadership. The new clinical leader will lead reform by putting the needs of the patient first and foremost, looking at current and planned services from the patient's point of view as well as the clinician's. Excellent clinical skills will remain essential but will be supplemented by a focus on team work and mentoring, patient safety, clear communication and reduction in waste and inefficiency, leading to better financial outcomes. The new clinical leaders will understand the importance of consulting widely and engaging colleagues in creating change to improve patient care. They will develop trusting and mutually respectful relationships with health service management and be able to negotiate the delicate balance between clinical judgement, resource constraints and personal loyalties by keeping the best outcome for the patient at the forefront of their thinking.
© 2012 The Author. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2012 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).