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By: Gillian Hooper

Overcoming Selective Blindness

Pages: 164 Ratings:
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With a looming cloud of collective defeatism casting an increasing shadow across the NHS, this book offers a potential lifeline to exhausted individuals and organisations. ‘Selective Blindness’ is cited as the reason why the root causes of the NHS’s problems are failing to be addressed and the single biggest risk to the future of the NHS.


Seeking to share experience and learning from a decade of working with trusts to improve services, the pages are packed with practical, simple, and achievable tools and techniques to increase the pace and focus of improvements. The book recognises the need to practically help both those positioned by the bedside and around the board table so that they may be better positioned to address the root cause of local issues to achieve improvements for patients.


Only when this is achieved will they be able to challenge what is described as Selective Blindness present within those in legitimate positions of influencing the future of the NHS.

Gillian Hooper joined the NHS as a student nurse in 1977; set 447 at the Princess Alexander School of Nursing – The London Hospital, Whitechapel. Specialising in Cardiothoracic Intensive Care, she worked at the London Chest Hospital prior to become an ITU sister at the now closed Middlesex Hospital. She undertook a master’s in Healthcare Management at City University prior to securing her first Executive Director of Nursing/Quality and Community Services position at the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust in 1994. Four years later, she was appointed Director of Nursing and Deputy CEO at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS trust, providing general hospital and regional specialist services across four hospital sites. Stimulated by a major NHS reorganisation, she took the opportunity to lead a national team of service improvement managers improving patient access on behalf of the Modernisation Agency, where she developed a forensic knowledge of root-cause-analysis and how to effectively manage capacity and demand. She was invited to design and implement an innovative approach to commissioning acute services on behalf of four Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) serving the population of East and North Hertfordshire and in 2007, she was appointed the national lead for a 2-year commercial partnership programme aiming to build world class commissioning capacity and capability within PCTs. As Director of Quality and Commissioning for the London Deanery, she led investigations into high-risk patient safety concerns across London and led an organisational transition programme to Health Education England, in addition to designing and leading a £325m competitive procurement process establishing lead educational providers of Medical and Dental education across London. She was awarded an NHS London Leadership Award for this work in 2011. It was during this time that Gillian commenced her working with the CQC, as an independent clinical chair, where she chaired 12 comprehensive organisational wide inspections across hospital, community, ambulance and independent sectors. In 2014, Gillian began to establish an independent portfolio of part time appointments: to provide bespoke support to trusts. She was appointed by Monitor as a Turnaround Director to support multiple trusts in special measures, to develop improvement plans and strengthening assurance processes. A strong supporter of the work of the Florence Nightingale Foundation she has mentored leadership scholars, in 2018, she accepted a 2-year appointment as the CQC’s National Professional Advisor – Well led Reviews, where she developed assessment frameworks, contributed to numerous inspections, trained inspectors, developed the role of the trust Executive Reviewer and pioneered a risk-based approach to undertaking reviews. In 2019, she was appointed by KPMG as a Clinical Leadership Associate and the following year appointed to an Honorary Readership in the School of Health Sciences for the University of East Anglia. Gillian continues to provide bespoke support to leadership teams in trusts as part of a portfolio of work, whilst her family continues to increase the number of members that maintain hugely fulfilling careers in the NHS.

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