The pathway of succession plan to develop talent pool taking up the key nursing positions as vice-chairperson of department management sub-committees in the accident and emergency department of Pok Oi Hospital

Helen Y Y Leung1, S N Lee1, Billy W M Wong1, K L Ong1

1 Accident and Emergency Department, Pok Oi Hospital, Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR.


Department Management Committee (DMC) is the core departmental clinical management to maintain department operational effectiveness and quality of service, Under DMC, Subcommittees of various domains are chaired by assigned staff of leadership. In 2014, a structural succession planning program was firstly initiated and developed in Pok Oi Hospital (POH) Accident and Emergency Department (A&E). It was a proactive program to prepare the next batch of leaders ready to take up the role of Vice-Chairpersons of DMC subcommittee in 2016.


  1. To prepare competent and well-primed staff ready to take up the vice-chairperson positions in Subcommittee;
  2. To proactively develop a long-term strategic approach for nursing leadership capacity building to achieve success of professional and organizational workforce planning;
  3. To develop a culture that supports knowledge and skill transfer;
  4. To provide a workplace of development opportunities to attract and retain staff.


Step 1: Identify the key positions included in the succession plan

It is the focus of succession planning to maintain the operational effectiveness. In 2014, key positions to be included in the succession plan were identified in Senior Nursing Meeting for the next batch of Vice-chairpersons of the following ten subcommittees-

 Workplace Oasis & Communication
 Clinical Research
 Emergency Medicine Ward
 Inter-hospital Transfer
 Medical Equipment
 Workplace Violence
 Accreditation
 Medication Safety
 Patient Identification



Step 2: Recognize potential talents for specific positions

The performance and expertise of individual nursing officer was reviewed. Successful succession plan is based on the selection of suitable candidate to meet the competency requirement for the specific position.

Step 3: Generate staff development plan

Nursing officers were shared and advocated with the plan details. Their feedback was invited and discussed. The support from Chairperson of related DMC Subcommittees was obtained. When the successors were selected and timeline was confirmed, the succession plan was finalized for announcement in July 2014.

Step 4: Implement the succession plan

In line with the schedule and enable uninterrupted delivery of service, the present Vice-Chairperson and the successor worked together since 2015. Relevant training were arranged for the successor.

Step 5: Provide stability and seamless transition of duty

Handover duty was completed in April 2016 and continuous support was provided to the staff taken up the new roles. Progress was closely monitored

Step 6: Evaluate the outcomes


Result and Outcome

The plan began with strong staff engagement and steps to get the right person in the right place at the right time. It is not one event. For continuity of nursing leadership development, the succession planning will be operating year round and in long term as part of departmental activities.

Evaluation of the program has been starting since the Step One in 2014 and will be an ongoing process. Successors will offer helpful evaluation data if they are confident and well-prepared in their new roles after 2016.


Ms Helen Leung has been working in emergency nursing field for more than 25 years in three Accident and Emergency Departments (A&E) in Hong Kong. She is the Fellow of Hong Kong Council of Emergency Nursing, Member of Emergency Nursing Association and Hong Kong Society for Emergency Medicine and Surgery. Her present position is the Department Operations Manager of A&E in a District hospital.