The impact of leadership development in allied health on clients, employee and health services

Ms Janice Mc Keever1

1Monash Health, Australia


Aims: This review aims to determine the benefits of Allied Health Leadership Development for the employee, the patient and the health sector and to recommend future directions in leadership development in Allied Health.


Method: A review of both academic and grey literature was undertaken with nine peer-reviewed publications and four reports deemed relevant for inclusion in this review.


Results: There was no research that investigated the outcomes of leadership development for Allied Health Professionals (AHP) specifically. The literature was positive about the impact of leadership training on employee, patient and health service. All study participants reported improvements in psychological states (confidence and preparedness) in addition to increased knowledge and expertise. High performing leaders were associated with reductions in patient infection, increased safety, the uptake of innovative workforce practices. Leaders were also associated with reduced staff turnover especially in rural or remote areas. Grey literature point to high performing leadership behaviours in Allied Health (AH) such as the successful uptake of workforce innovations, role substitution and advanced practitioner roles. These showcase the collective leadership within the AHP workforce and the impact they can have in improving healthcare outcomes. However there needs to be greater investment in the development of leaders in AH to showcase the impact AH Leadership can have.


Significance of results: This paper shows the positive impact leaders can have on healthcare outcomes. These can add weight to the abundant anecdotal evidence for the positive impact Allied Health leaders can have on health outcomes and provides a framework to market AHP leadership development.