NHS Professionals Lack the Managerial Skills Needed for the Pharma Industry

Many NHS doctors who wish to move into the pharmaceutical industry do not have a good enough understanding of the skills needed in a corporate culture. This was one of the findings of a think tank hosted by the Only Medics team.

As it currently stands, less than 10% of NHS budgets are spent on developing management skills and the training does not empower staff to cope with financial and management pressures. This is particularly of concern when you consider that pharmaceutical companies use psychometric, leadership and development tests as part of their recruitment process. With doctors noting limited exposure to these rigorous tests, they fail to progress through the process.

The pharmaceutical industry is facing talent shortages and if it hopes to fill positions with staff from the NHS, those candidates will need to undergo internal training or external business development courses.

Desautels Faculty of Management is already trying to bridge the gap through its International Masters for Health Leadership program. This scheme offers healthcare professionals the chance to enhance their skills to improve the delivery and management of healthcare.

Only Medics also has an accelerated management training scheme for medical professionals entering the pharmaceutical industry. The scheme supports candidates and develops the skills they need to be successful in the industry.

As our own Yvette Cleland commented, ‘it’s the responsibility of both candidates in the industry and organisations themselves to ensure the right training and opportunities are available’. The environment within pharmaceutical companies is very different to that in the public sector, she continued.

Although medics find the thought of switching to the pharma industry appealing, the reality is that the barriers they face are causing a brain drain. However, ‘through the right training and development it’s possible to create a platform that is more conducive to the mobility of talent’, she concluded.

The problem of transferring skills from the public to the private sector is not unique to the pharmaceutical industry. How can we ensure that our public sector workers have the right skillset to transition into the private sector?

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