A qualitative study of senior management perspectives on the leadership skills required in regional and rural Australian residential aged care facilities

Dawes, Nathan, and Topp, Steph (2022) A qualitative study of senior management perspectives on the leadership skills required in regional and rural Australian residential aged care facilities. BMC Health Services Research, 22. 667.

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Abstract

Background: With increasing recognition of the quality and safety issues in residential aged care, there is an urgent need to better understand what skills senior managers require to deliver on the spectrum of leadership functions in residential aged care facilities. This qualitative study sought to explore the leadership skills that positively influence the quality of care within Australian residential aged care facilities and better understand the professional development needs of senior managers to positively influence care within these complex environments.

Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 19 senior managers purposively recruited from 14 high-performing non-government residential aged care facilities of varying geographical remoteness in northern Queensland, Australia. Participants held a range of professional roles, including Chief Executive Officer, Director of Nursing and Facility Manager, and had various professional qualifications. We used inductive thematic analysis to identify and categorise senior managers’ perspectives on the leadership skills and related strategies to promote quality of care.

Results: Senior managers reported leadership skills in five major domains: i) communication and relationship management, ii) stewardship, iii) professional development, iv) health care knowledge and v) information technology and finance. Most participants highlighted communication and relationship management skills and responding to regulatory change as influential to residential aged care quality performance. Participants with different professional backgrounds often emphasised different skills.

Conclusions: Participants identified a broad range of skills and strategies required by senior managers in Australian residential aged care facilities. Identifying different skills by differently trained individuals suggests more work is needed to understand and develop sector-specific professional development approaches to better prepare individuals to lead in this complex service environment.

Item ID: 74281
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-6963
Keywords: Leadership, Management, Skills, Quality of care, Residential aged care
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 26 May 2022 23:06
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420301 Aged health care @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420306 Health care administration @ 30%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420321 Rural and remote health services @ 20%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200206 Health system performance (incl. effectiveness of programs) @ 40%
20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200508 Rural and remote area health @ 30%
23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2305 Work and labour market > 230502 Professions and professionalisation @ 30%
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