CSP Scotland conference: Karen Middleton gets members buzzing with leadership ideas

Mosquitoes and other tiny insects can have a huge impact on their surroundings, CSP members attending this week’s Inspire, Innovate and Impact event in Perth were told.


CSP chief executive Karen Middleton at the CSP Scotland conference in Perth yesterday. Photo: Simon Saffery

The insect image was conjured up by Karen Middleton as a way to puncture the ‘myth’ that only those holding senior management posts can influence practice.

In a keynote opening address to about 120 delegates, the CSP chief executive said that everyone can display leadership and help to ensure that innovative ideas are adopted as speedily as possible.

‘As a profession, and as a nation, we are very good at innovation. But what we are really bad at as a profession, and what the NHS as a whole isn’t terribly good at, is adoption.

‘I can think of some fantastic leaders who were relatively junior and I can think of some very, very senior people who wouldn’t know leadership if it hit them in the face.’

From the margins to mainstream

Pointing out that it takes from 10 to 15 years for new interventions to be absorbed into mainstream clinical practice, Ms Middleton said. ‘So that’s your challenge from today: think about how you adopt good practice.’

Nobody can afford to sit on their laurels, however, or continue with outmoded practices, delegates heard.

‘The reason leaders need to be future-focused is to make sure they remain relevant,’ Ms Middleton said.

‘If we don’t keep an eye on what’s coming, then the profession, the organisation, your service or your team could very quickly become irrelevant.

Every CSP member should be willing to measure their achievements in terms of impact, she added.

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