Structure of Clinical Management in NHS

23 12 2008

The military is the basis of some of our concepts of leadership. The British Army currently has the following structure.

A Corps

  • two or more Divisions
  • commanded by a Lieutenant-General.

A Division

  • two or three Brigades
  • commanded by a Major-General.

A Brigade

  • three Battalions
  • commanded by a Brigadier.

A Battalion

  • around 700 soldiers
  • made up of five companies
  • commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel


A Battlegroup.

  • mixed formation of armour, infantry, artillery, engineers and support units
  • formed around Armoured Regiment or Infantry Battalion
  • 600 and 700 soldiers
  • under the command of a Lieutenant Colonel.

A Company

  • about 100 soldiers
  • in three platoons
  • commanded by a Major.

A Platoon

  • about 30 soldiers
  • commanded by a Second Lieutenant or Lieutenant.

A Sectionarmy-march1

  • about 8 to 10 soldiers
  • commanded by a Corporal.

Think about a conflict that this Army might be involved in. The overall goal will be well defined, tasks and responsibilities are clear. There are likely to be many good leaders whose efforts may not recognised by any except those closest to that action and the ultimate outcome of the conflict may not reflect the leadership skills of those lower down the structure. What is paramount however is the acknowledged and understood practice of followership.

Now, I’m not suggesting that it should be the same, but can anyone explain the concepts of the structure, aim, chain of command and function of clinical management in the NHS?

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