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Healthcare Executives – The Essentials for Excellence in Leadership and Management

Pickuth, D. Healthcare Executives – The Essentials for Excellence in Leadership and Management. Troubador Publishing, Leicester, ISBN 978-1-78901-706-9, 529 pages

Short synopsis: The book is a powerful guide for healthcare professionals from all backgrounds and at every level. Featuring a high degree of conciseness, practicality and comprehensiveness, the book is a capability framework that aims to encourage, inspire and enlighten future and current healthcare leaders and managers.


Key words: Healthcare | leadership | management | excellence | career | essentials


Key features: Succinct text | fact boxes | bullet format | quick reference | expert insights | practical tips


Target audience: Future and current healthcare leaders and managers


Typical readership: Medical Directors | Clinical Directors | Consultants | Doctors | Chief Executives | Board Chairs | Nurses | Policymakers | Plus other healthcare professionals and experts at various levels



ISBN: 9781789017069

Available at https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/business/healthcare-executives, Amazon and other retailers

Also available as an ebook




Effective and sustainable leadership and management are vitally important to care quality and health outcomes.


This handy, authoritative and inspiring book provides a highly systematic and practical overview of the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective healthcare leadership and management. It covers all key topics and recent developments, with a focus on high quality care and best practice.


The author presents the material concisely and precisely, walking the reader through all important aspects of leadership and management within today’s complex healthcare environment, with special attention to situations and examples in the United Kingdom.


Keeping busy executives in mind, the text is streamlined with fact boxes, bullet point summaries and smart graphics to allow rapid and easy reading, while providing quick reference through chapter overviews and descriptive headlines. There are hundreds of useful and actionable tips and hints for aspiring and current healthcare leaders and managers.


Value and outcomes for patients are the main goals of a healthcare organisation. The book advocates an adaptive, forward-focused, value-based, outcome-oriented, collective leadership and management style. It aims to increase reader knowledge, raise effectiveness, improve performance and advance healthcare careers. As such, it is an indispensable guide to mastering the key elements of leadership and management for all those who wish to improve their productivity and maximise their impact.


Typical challenges faced in healthcare do not have national boundaries, nor do they have national solutions. As an eminent Medical Director at a large healthcare trust for more than a decade, author Professor Dirk Pickuth is a senior healthcare leader with extensive experience in healthcare leadership and management. He is an advocate of the British National Health Service (NHS) which has been judged by many sources as the best, most affordable and safest healthcare system in the world. Grounded in the author’s international expertise, the book takes a universal perspective and is a valuable resource for anyone involved in the healthcare sector around the world.


Professor Pickuth has enjoyed a long and successful career as an international healthcare leader. He is a trust executive with an outstanding and unblemished track record of delivering change. Sharing his expertise, insights and wisdom, Professor Pickuth reveals the methods and techniques he applies in providing a comprehensive framework of leadership excellence and management efficiency.


The reader will learn how to apply in practice the principles of outstanding performance on both a personal and a professional level. This is the definitive guide for those wishing to move to game changing action in healthcare leadership and management.



ISBN: 9781789017069

Available at https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/business/healthcare-executives, Amazon and other retailers

Also available as an ebook

Dirk Pickuth

Professor Dirk Pickuth MD, PhD, MDs (honoris causa)


  • Medical Director of the Caritas Hospital Foundation Trust, Saarbrücken, Germany
  • Head of the Department of Radiology at the Caritas Academic Teaching Hospital, Saarbrücken, Germany
  • Medical studies in Kiel, London and Edinburgh | Clinical Research Fellow at the Royal Marsden Hospital | Radiology training at Heidelberg University | Professor of Radiology | Honorary Professor of Imaging Techniques and Medical Physics | Visiting Professor at the University of East Anglia in Norwich
  • Member of the Royal College of Radiologists | Member of the British Institute of Radiology | Member of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management



For over two decades, Professor Dirk Pickuth has been a visionary in the leadership development field, serving as a trust leader and change manager. He advocates a high performance culture and practises evidence based leadership, holding a respected role in engaging staff, empowering people and building trust. With a reputation for excellence in areas such as interpersonal skills, communication style and team working, Professor Pickuth sets the tone for an environment that encourages highly motivated staff to more readily act in the best interests of their patients and consistently observe the highest professional standards in clinical care.


As Medical Director of the Caritas Hospital Foundation Trust in Saarbrücken, Germany, since 2006, Executive Director and a full voting member of the Trust’s Executive Board, Professor Pickuth holds a flagship role in contributing to the development of the trust’s strategy from both an expert medical and a broader business perspective. Since 2001 he has also served as the Head of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at the Caritas Academic Teaching Hospital. The Caritas Hospital Foundation Trust is recognised as one of the best performing healthcare trusts in Germany.


From 1991 to 1992, Professor Pickuth studied medicine in London and Edinburgh and was a Clinical Research Fellow at the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research in London. His professional affiliations include membership of the Royal College of Radiologists and the British Institute of Radiology since 1996. Since then he has shared in many successful cooperative activities with British colleagues in clinical, scientific and management areas. His times in the United Kingdom have included intensive travel throughout the whole country, while cultivating a rich network of great friends and acquaintances, both personal and professional.


Professor Pickuth’s experiences of living and working in the United Kingdom alongside people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures impressed and influenced him deeply. His affinity for Britain and the National Health Service (NHS) stems from a passionate appreciation of the great traditions of healthcare excellence, academic research and clinical teaching in British medicine.


As a way to express his gratitude for the cumulative influence of the United Kingdom on his life, he dedicated his bestselling radiology textbook Klinische Radiologie Fakten [Clinical Radiology Facts] to the British people.


Currently at the Caritas Hospital Foundation Trust in Saarbrücken, Professor Pickuth works in close collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer to ensure that a clear and coherent medical strategy is developed and translated into service improvements. He is an eminent adviser on medical issues, clinical governance matters and care quality. As the responsible medical expert, he leads daily operations in providing excellence in patient safety, clinical effectiveness and patient experience in an environment where the best care is offered in a timely, consistent and reliable manner.


In his activities in leading patient centred care through effective role modelling and continuous professional development of all medical staff, Professor Pickuth fosters and nurtures constructive working relationships with clinical directors, hospital consultants, general practitioners and health organisations. He provides expert, innovative and proactive advice and is a key contributor in shaping the overall strategy, decision making and medical vision within his trust.


Professor Pickuth has extensive expertise in service transformation, in strengthening the strategic positioning of a trust and in service improvement. Combining a systemic holistic manner, excellence in his speciality and strong business acumen, he is a charismatic leader in how to effectively translate strategic business decisions into operational project management. He offers a specialist background in harmonising medical responsibility to meet economic targets, promote strategic alliances and shape organisational visions – including developing strategy concepts across traditional boundaries and care systems.



Please email the author at healthcareexecutives@yahoo.com


  •  About the concept
  • About the book
  • About the author
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements



  1. Healthcare trends
  2. Healthcare globalisation
  3. Healthcare systems
  4. Healthcare rankings
  5. Healthcare structure
  6. Healthcare constitution
  7. Healthcare values
  8. Healthcare ethics
  9. Healthcare legislation
  10. Healthcare resources
  11. Healthcare finance
  12. Healthcare commissioning
  13. Healthcare services
  14. Healthcare infrastructure
  15. Healthcare regulation
  16. Healthcare inspection
  17. Healthcare reviews
  18. Healthcare governance
  19. Healthcare risks
  20. Healthcare safety
  21. Healthcare quality
  22. Healthcare audit
  23. Healthcare incidents
  24. Healthcare safeguarding
  25. Healthcare complaints
  26. Healthcare whistleblowing
  27. Healthcare concerns
  28. Healthcare litigation
  29. Healthcare information
  30. Healthcare IT
  31. Healthcare challenges
  32. Healthcare transformation
    • Policies
    • Strategies
    • Management
      • Change management
      • Lean management
    • Reorganisation
      • Healthcare system
      • Healthcare services
    • Privatisation
    • Innovation
  33. Healthcare personalisation
  34. Healthcare jobs
    • Preparation
    • Application
  35. Healthcare employment
    • Workplace
    • Workforce
    • Recruitment
    • Training
    • Wellbeing
    • Stress
    • Law
    • Discipline
  36. Healthcare diversity
    • Staff
    • Language
  37. Healthcare communication
  38. Healthcare meetings
  39. Healthcare presentations
  40. Healthcare negotiations
  41. Healthcare projects
  42. Healthcare workflow
  43. Healthcare performance
    • Responsibilities
    • Management
    • Implementation
    • Improvement
    • Appraisal
    • Challenges
    • Underperformance
    • Excellence
  44. Healthcare productivity
  45. Healthcare talents
    • Management
    • Induction
  46. Healthcare teams
  47. Healthcare managers
    • Qualification
    • Standards
      • Governance
      • Conduct
    • Induction
    • Development
  48. Healthcare leaders
    • Leadership
      • Principles
      • Elements
      • Responsibilities
      • Impact
      • Development
      • Levels
      • Styles
      • Culture
    • Leaders
      • Definitions
      • Qualities
      • Competences
      • Personality
      • Traits
      • Behaviours
      • Challenges
      • Participation
  1. Healthcare executives
    • Executive recruitment
    • General tips
      • Career
      • Qualities
      • Agility
      • Organisation
      • Peers
      • Staff
      • Communication
      • Prioritisation
      • Decision
      • Execution
      • Feedback
      • Criticism
      • Courage
      • Change
      • Uncertainty
      • Crisis
      • Media
      • Happiness
    • Board Chair
      • Role
      • Qualification
      • Responsibilities
      • Tips
    • Chief Executive
      • Role
      • Qualification
      • Responsibilities
      • Tips
    • Medical Director
      • Role
      • Qualification
      • Responsibilities
      • Tips
  1. Healthcare excellence



  • United Kingdom
    • Overview
    • History
    • Politics
    • Law
    • Economy
    • Medicine
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Art
    • Music
    • Sport
    • Media
    • Fare
    • Attractions
    • Britons
    • British
  • Business phrases
    • Meetings
    • Minutes
    • Reports
    • Publications
    • Presentations
    • Moderation
    • Correspondence
    • Phonecalls
  • Essential grammar



  • Bibliography

As Professor of Radiology at the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research, London, for over 30 years I have witnessed some of the most extraordinary advances in the history of medicine. These include the birth of the technological revolution in diagnostic imaging, led by the introduction of CT and MRI, the successful innovation and development of new drug programmes which have resulted in improved outcomes for patients, and the continued advance of surgical techniques which have also had a huge positive impact on patient survival rates.


Equally important over these decades has been the recognition of the need for robust systems to manage healthcare within a strategic and operational framework to provide the best care for patients in the most cost effective way. While much progress has clearly been made in all these areas, the challenges faced by healthcare services to provide the very best care for every single patient on every single day are relentless, and continue to grow.


Successful modern healthcare systems are those which are patient focused, cost effective and continuously improving. In order to achieve these objectives, it is imperative that clinicians and managers work together seamlessly to provide an integrated approach with common goals and within a culture of trust, shared experience and learning. This requires strong leadership and commitment from both clinicians and managers at every level throughout an organisation.


As Medical Director during the latter years of my career, I learnt an enormous amount about successful leadership and management by working closely with the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Marsden Hospital, Miss Cally Palmer, CBE, and her entire team. This new world of increasing regulation and of balancing high quality clinical performance and continuous improvement with service efficiency and meeting very ambitious financial targets was crucially important to the success of the Royal Marsden Hospital as one of the first wave Foundation Trusts within the National Health Service (NHS). Cally inspired my further interest in healthcare management in my future roles as President of the British Institute of Radiology, President of the Royal College of Radiologists and, more recently, as a Non-Executive Director both at the Royal Marsden Hospital and within the independent sector.


Professor Dirk Pickuth, Medical Director of the Caritas Hospital Foundation Trust and Head of the Department of Radiology at the Caritas Academic Teaching Hospital in Saarbrücken, Germany, has compiled his vast knowledge and expertise in medical leadership and management to give the reader a wonderful tapestry of best practice guidance. Dirk draws on his personal experience in very senior managerial roles as well as his highly regarded clinical and academic reputation as a leading figure in international radiology.


Dirk undertook a Clinical Research Fellowship in Radiology in our department at the Royal Marsden Hospital from 1991 to 1992. It was during this Fellowship that he stood out as an exceptional young doctor with extraordinary commitment and incredible enthusiasm for achieving excellence in each and every aspect of his clinical and academic work. Dirk attained and sustained peak performance at all times, was always a role model for other colleagues and put collective needs before his own needs. His positive energy and inspirational demeanour encouraged and empowered those around him to reach their full potential.


We established a long-term friendship, and over the years I have been fortunate to witness Dirk’s enormous success as his career has continued to broaden and flourish into the leading role in healthcare that he enjoys today. Over the years, Dirk has gained a deep understanding of the history, development and framework of healthcare systems in several countries, with a strong interest in the NHS as well as the governance systems embedded within its matrix. He is a highly acclaimed and truly exceptional leader and manager, innovator and reformer.


Dirk has brought all his vast experience together in this exciting and informative book on leadership and management in healthcare. Enhancing management priorities, developing robust hospital strategies, business planning, promoting effective communication techniques and resolving challenging issues are among the many topics covered in this very readable and highly systematic text. This book will therefore appeal to a wide audience of healthcare leaders, managers and clinicians across international boundaries, but will have particular relevance to those interested in the complex organisational structures in Britain, as Dirk focuses on the framework of the NHS to provide the reader with much valuable information on its organisational structure and code of practice.


A major attraction of this book is the succinct and clear format of the text, with fact boxes, bullet points, expert insights and practical tips. Suggestions for further reading add a useful dimension for those wishing to explore particular topics in more detail.


I know that if I had been able to have this little gem during my time as a medical leader, it would have been close to hand for quick reference at all times and would have helped me resolve the various issues and scenarios that healthcare leaders deal with in everyday practice. The book also provides useful information on how to manage more complex challenges, such as coping with poor performance within a team or on an individual basis and dealing with bullying and harassment. Other useful chapters cover appraisal and revalidation of doctors as well as the role of the various professional bodies in underpinning high quality care.


Dirk is wholeheartedly Anglophile. The supplementary chapters on Britain are entertaining and fun to read, giving a snapshot of Britishness, and, although I was born and bred in England, there were several little aspects of our culture of which I was totally unaware until I read this wonderful book.


This text is indeed a ‘must get’ for all aspiring managers and medically qualified individuals who are interested in developing their management skills. It will also be the perfect tool for experienced leaders as an aide-mémoire and to provide a check list for thorough preparation of various activities and for resolving problems.


I recommend this book to you all most highly as an inspirational and compelling read.



Professor Dame Janet Husband DBE, FMedSci, FRCP, FRCR
Emeritus Professor of Radiology
The Royal Marsden Hospital and The Institute of Cancer Research
London, United Kingdom


The aim of this book is to inform and inspire you, while challenging and encouraging you in your leadership and management role.


Healthcare executives create ideas, deliver messages and provide context while radiating confidence, conveying trust and leveraging energy. They are dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate professionals who embody purpose, vision and strategy. They never walk alone; they have their team, they empower other people. They aspire and inspire.


Great leaders are successful.


Extraordinary leaders make extraordinary things happen.


Outstanding leaders are humble.


Healthcare leadership and management, however, is not an area for the faint of heart. Healthcare executives are required to make difficult decisions under significant scrutiny from politicians, the media and the public.


This book is designed to provide healthcare professionals with the knowledge they need for leadership positions. It addresses structures, topics and issues while providing an actionable framework for developing and applying leadership skills.


Each chapter, subchapter and factbox in the book is self-contained.


Starting with an initial overview – from a healthcare perspective – of trends, globalisation, systems and rankings, the book then proceeds to explain healthcare structure, constitution, values and ethics. This complex material has been deliberately presented in a concise manner for a speedy read by busy individuals. Key chapters cover legislation, resources, finance and commissioning. Additional chapters are dedicated to healthcare services and infrastructure. This systematic overview helps you make sense of and navigate through the changing waters of modern healthcare while imparting fundamental knowledge of business administration.


It is essential that leaders at any level clearly understand topics such as regulation, inspection, reviews and governance. A breakdown of these themes explains essential facts and key issues to allow easier comprehension for any professional, whatever their background. Organisations and bodies, remits and responsibilities are described. Healthcare risks are discussed in a separate chapter.


Safety, quality and audit are fundamental in achieving high standards in modern healthcare. These subjects are covered using a structured and disciplined approach with the help of checklists and templates. Chapters cover practical details: incidents, safeguarding and complaints, and how to handle them.


Whistleblowing, concerns and litigation play an increasing role in healthcare. It is vital that executives possess a basic knowledge of these core issues, which are covered in consecutive chapters.


Healthcare information management and information technology are outlined in subsequent chapters.


The following units contain factsheets on healthcare challenges, transformation and personalisation. To help you quickly absorb and apply the information, the chapters concentrate on typical scenarios and trusted solutions.


Special attention is given to all aspects surrounding work in the field of healthcare. Chapter topics include jobs, employment and diversity. This material serves as a comprehensive source of easy-to-use materials for staff management.


A leader’s most important job is communication, a vital area which constitutes a large part of this book. Reflecting on recent evidence, the most efficient communication techniques in the modern healthcare environment are presented, ideas you can immediately put into practice to lead and effect change within your organisation.


Issues that are faced daily by healthcare executives are also covered in subsequent chapters. Key themes of leadership and management activities include meetings, presentations, negotiations and projects. These topics are relevant to both emerging and established executives, and the book covers up-to-date information and on-the-spot guidance to help in mastering day-to-day issues. Concise insights provide realistic ideas and thoughtful advice to help you reach your full potential and make a real difference.


Special chapters are devoted to workflow, performance and productivity issues, focusing on both individual and organisational assessment and development. This material provides easy-to-apply strategies for engaging and improving leadership and management. Critical aspects of appraisal are also covered.


The chapters covering talents, teams and the personalities and skillsets of managers and leaders are a valuable resource for new managers and seasoned leaders alike. The lessons contained here feature personal experiences, wisdom, insights and principles that will help you reach the top and stay there. The toolkits give you modern concepts and best practices at your fingertips.


The next theme focuses on healthcare executives, with an emphasis on Board Chairs, Chief Executives and Medical Directors. Recruitment, roles, qualifications and responsibilities are presented in subchapters. These sections also contain numerous practical tips for healthcare executives.


The final chapter is dedicated to outstanding leaders from around the world. Outstanding leaders are people who have shifted from success to significance. These cream-of-the-crop individuals serve as role models at all levels and in all situations – and they create a culture of excellence in healthcare.


The supplementary chapters are aimed at international residents working and living in the United Kingdom. The material provides information on the country, its history and its language. These lists are arranged in chronological or geographical order and then alphabetically or by preference. The book concludes with business phrases and essential grammar for executives whose first language is not English.


All facts are from reference sources which are listed in the bibliography at the end of this book. I will be happy to correct any inaccuracies in later editions.


Over the past quarter of a century, I have had the privilege of studying, working and teaching in several countries around the globe. I have engaged with many distinguished executives and clinicians from public and private healthcare organisations. It has been a tremendous honour to have met inspiring global leaders during my work in establishing exchange programmes and cooperation projects.


Written in a personal capacity, this book reflects my hands-on experience as Medical Director and Department Head in various healthcare settings. It is designed for practitioners, by a practitioner.


Since time is scarce and precious for all of us, I have favoured a note format wherever possible. The text boxes represent individual facts, are free-standing and provide clear structure, enabling you to open the book at any section and begin reading in whatever timeframe suits you. The tips are tried and tested and are intended to inspire you, even while you are on the move.


I sincerely hope that you enjoy this book and find it relevant, useful and rewarding.



Professor Dirk Pickuth MD, PhD, MDs (honoris causa)