Exploring the factors that hinder effective leadership in the mental health settings in the UK and
Updated: Jul 21
Proposed research title :
“Exploring the factors that hinders effective leadership in the mental health settings in the UK and it\'s effect on staff mental health”
Your template should address the following key points:
Statement of research aim, including objectives and rationale/ relevance of the research in relation to an academic problem.
Identification of background, focal literature elements that is applied to the research problem/aim.
Identification and review of relevant literature, including a statement on how the literature relates to the research questions generated at the end of the literature review.
Identification of (a) research approach (epistemology and ontology), (b) research design for data collection and analysis, (c) any tools and techniques and their justification. The student has to make a clear link between the research problem, the theoretical concepts investigated, and the research methodology proposed.
You might also consider ethical and legal issues and a statement describing how these will be applied when conducting research.
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Effective leadership is a fundamental element of the healthcare system and directly translates to better patient care. The well-being of staff and the proactive health of the workplace also depend on the effectiveness of the leadership system. Successful leadership in mental health promotes motivation, employee satisfaction, and subsequently staff performance, which aids early intervention and recovery. A research by Dionne et al. (2004) links tranformational leadership style to improved team performance. The UK’s mental health system faces various challenges among them a lack of effective leadership. Various factors hinder effective leadership leading to barriers in reforms and leadership transformation culture that would ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and consequently, better patient outcomes. The study aims to identify barriers that hinder effective leadership in mental health in the UK and the consequences on staff.
Objectives of the Study
1. Identify barriers to effective leadership in mental health
2. 3. Identify the effects of ineffective leadership on staff
3. Evaluate the impact of different forms of leadership on employee performance
4. Identify ways of improving leadership in mental health
II. Literature Review
Quirk et al. (2018:1362) conducted research to evaluate the barriers and facilitators of leadership in implementing health and wellbeing services. According to the outcome, the senior leaders reveal that financial constraints, a pressurized environment, and reluctance to invest in the staff’s wellbeing are the top hindrances for decision-makers in mental health (Quirk, et al. 2018). Similarly, in a case study to examine leadership challenges in the hospital setting, Ghiasipour et al. (2017:96) reveal complex organizational structures, leadership qualities, regulations, and work nature including stress and burnout as the major factors hindering effective leadership in healthcare. In another study, Kelly & Hearld (2020) explore the relationship between leadership in mental health and burnout. The authors conclude that an effective leadership style is an important factor in promoting better outcomes for staff and patients. However, given that mental and behavioural health settings vary from one place to another, no particular leadership style is suited for all the settings, but each requires a different leadership approach depending on the context.
Kline (2019) evaluates the leadership culture of NHS and its outcomes. according to the author, leadership influences the quality of patient care, as well as staff performance. However, in NHS, the leadership culture does not motivate staff because it is based more on fear and compliance instead of creating room for innovation, participation, and culture (Kline 2019). For example, the top-down management style in the NHS promotes poor treatment of the staff. Further, the success of mental health services depends on effective collaboration with other agencies such as social care. In research, Cameron et al. (2012) determine factors that hinder/facilitate an effective relationship between mental health and social care and note differences in models and complexity of organizational structures. Finally, using UK’s National Health Service as a case study, Martin et al. (2015:14) study the challenges of leadership in healthcare service. The authors show that the distributed leadership model adopted by the NHS has several disconnects concerning power and values that hinder the effectiveness of leadership in healthcare settings.
The literature reveals several challenges with leadership in healthcare ranging from limited resources, lack of staff engagement, lack of leadership development, inappropriate, leadership models, and poor strategy. More studies focus on healthcare in general with minimal attention to mental health. Thus, my study will explore challenges of leadership specific to the mental health area and how these impact staff welfare and performance. The study will focus on the NHS leadership system being the country’s largest healthcare provider.
What are the factors that hinder effective leadership in NHS mental health?
What are the effects of poor/ineffective leadership on mental health staff?
The research will be a qualitative study involving a case study of relevant literature combined with a survey of leaders and staff from mental health on their perception of the factors that cause a barrier to effective leadership and the resultant consequences of staff. The study design will be ethnography, an approach useful for understanding a group of people and their environment. The research theory is based on the understanding that people interpret experiences based on social context (Young & Langford 2012). Thus, understanding issues affecting a group of people and the meanings prescribed to these issues is best done by examining the everyday life of the individuals.
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The case study will involve the collection of data from the literature sources retrieved from academic and organizational databases. The sources will be evaluated for credibility and reliability to pass the inclusion criteria. Another inclusion criterion for the sources will be the year of publication. Only sources published from 2000 and later will be used in the analysis. The analysis will seek to draw similar themes from the sources and compile factors that hinder effective leadership in mental health.
The survey part will involve the collection of data through questionnaire forms distributed to the selected leaders and employees of mental health. The choice of the survey is based on its flexibility and dependability. For example, it gives the option of conducting a face-to-face interview, mail, messaging, or simply distributing the forms to the participants and collecting after they have answered the questions. Another rationale for choosing the survey is its dependability because the respondents remain anonymous (Young & Langford 2012). Anomnity enhances the chances that the participants will provide accurate information thus contributing to the reliability and credibility of the data collected. The participants will be selected through random sampling with representatives coming from different mental health care settings in the country. This will ensure that varied views are collected based on various sites and contexts, which will give a complete picture of mental health leadership and its challenges. The questions will be open-ended to give the participants an adequate opportunity to express themselves through elaborate responses (Young & Langford 2012). This approach allows understanding of the phenomena from the participants' perspectives and exploration of other issues that the researcher may have not anticipated.
Problems and limitations
The expected limitation is finding sources that discuss leadership in NHS with specific attention to the mental health component of the health service delivery. To overcome this limitation, I will use various sources to retrieve as many resources as possible then filter these to get the ones relevant to the topic.
Ethical and Legal Issues
Issues of informed consent, privacy, and confidentiality may also arise during the study. I will create an informed consent form containing the purpose of the research, potential risks, and benefits involved to give the participants a chance to make an informed choice. The collected data will be kept safe and the confidentiality and privacy of the participants observed. For example, the collected data will only be available to authorized persons.
Cameron, A., Lart, R., Bostock, L. & Coomber, C., 2012. Factors that promote and hinder joint and integrated working between health and social care services. Social Care Institute for Excellence, pp. 1-21.
Dionne, S. D., Yammarino, F. J., Atwater, L. E. & Spangler, W. D., 2004. Transformational leadership and team performance. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 17(2), pp. 177-193.
Ghiasipour, M., Mosadeghrad, A. M., Arab, M. & Jaafaripooyan, E., 2017. Leadership challenges in health care organizations: The case of Iranian hospitals. Med J Islam Repub Iran, Volume 31, p. 96.
Kelly, R. & Hearld, L., 2020. Burnout and Leadership Style in Behavioral Health Care: a Literature Review. J Behav Health Serv Research, Volume 47, pp. 581–600. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-019-09679-z.
Kline, h.-0.-5.-8., 2019. Leadership in the NHS. BMJ Leader, pp. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/leader-2019-000159.
Martin, G., Beech, N., MacIntosh, R. & Bushfield, S., 2015. Potential challenges facing distributed leadership in health care: evidence from the UK National Health Service. Sociology of Health & Illness, 37(1), p. 14–29.
Quirk, H. et al., 2018. Barriers and facilitators to implementing workplace health and wellbeing services in the NHS from the perspective of senior leaders and wellbeing practitioners: a qualitative study. BMC Public Health, Volume 18, pp. 1362. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6283-y.
Young, A. & Langford, R., 2012. Making a Difference with Nursing Research. 1st Edition ed. Pearson.
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