ePrivacy and GPDR Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent
  • +44 (0)1904 239910
  • info@stroudresourcing.co.uk

Have you got what it takes to be a great Healthcare Manager?

From newly qualified to director level, at Stroud Resourcing, we support healthcare professionals across all levels in developing their careers. One of the most popular positions we recruit for is departmental managers. Vital to the smooth running of any hospital, the typical role of a Head of Department (HoD) includes working with both patients and managers to ensure the smooth running of your department. This is a demanding, but extremely rewarding role for the right kind of person, and several key attributes are essential if you want to excel at it.

Here’s what Heads of Department we’ve worked with told us is needed to succeed in the role:

Honest, open communication

Like any management role, clear effective communication is vital to your success as an HoD. Working with large and diverse teams, you’ll need outstanding written and verbal communication skills to manage interactions with colleagues, subordinates, and superiors alike. Remaining compassionate in stressful situations, actively listening to team member concerns, communicating new initiatives and ways of working (which may sometimes be unpopular), and facilitating healthy communication between junior staff and senior management are all routine for clinical leadership roles.


No matter what speciality you are working within, being a healthcare manager will often involve solving complex problems involving multiple people and challenges. From scheduling to new service implementation, and improving patient satisfaction, healthcare Managers are presented with a continuous stream of problems to answer and puzzles to solve, all the while balancing the needs of patients and colleagues.

The ability to think critically, analyse the root of a challenge, implement a solution, and objectively analyse its results are all part of a departmental leader’s job, and those who can methodically work through this process time and again, learning and improving each time, make excellent clinical leaders.


Patient safety is paramount in any healthcare environment, but HoDs are directly responsible for ensuring that good practice is followed and risks to patients are appropriately managed.

Beyond this though, a great clinical services leader knows how to calculate and manage risk. In developing new procedures, scheduling and policymaking, it’s important to be able to know what risks are worth taking, and which are best avoided. Being a good manager doesn’t always mean being risk-averse, but often requires striking the right balance between ‘playing it safe’ and taking an unnecessary chance.

Learning and teaching

If you have a passion for learning and development and are committed to always improving, then you may be well suited for a leadership role. HoDs often work with departmental or hospital directors and other senior staff, and so have access to a wide pool of potential mentors, who can provide much-needed direction and help you access professional certifications and training.

You also need to be able to act as a mentor to others, as great leadership focuses on creating more leaders. Clinicians and nurses working under you will be looking to you for inspiration, guidance and expertise, and part of your role will be working with them to identify their strengths and help them fulfil their potential.


Empathy is key to any leadership role but is perhaps even more important in clinical services leadership. Many patients will be experiencing some of the most difficult times in their lives, and this can equally take an emotional toll on your team. You and your colleagues are often working under significant pressure, and as a departmental manager, you’ll need to consider the needs of your team while simultaneously ensuring your department is delivering exceptional patient care.

Sound like you? If you’re a nurse manager or team leader looking to take the next step in your career, why not check out all our departmental manager roles, or follow Stroud Resourcing on LinkedIn to keep up to date with new vacancies nationwide