The Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM) in the UK has warned that an insufficient training and the leadership skills gap may prove "disastrous" to the NHS structure.
The warning has come on the heels of an NHS overhaul that abolishes primary care trusts and strategic health authorities, while establishing clinical commissioning groups from 1 April 2013.
Aimed at opening up NHS services provision and allowing patients greater choice and control, the structural reform will put unusual demands on NHS managers' leadership skills, according to the IHM.
The overhaul of the healthcare system will place "unprecedented demands" on NHS managers' leadership skills.
"These are exceptional, unprecedented times. They call for inspirational, engaging, collaborative and inclusive leadership combined with commercial understanding and acumen," Hodgetts added.
"Without the training and development in place to develop our managers, there is a very real threat that the restructure of the NHS will fail and it will be patients, as always, that will have to pay the price."
According to an IHM survey on 334 members, 24% of health and care managers feel they don't have access to the support they need to develop their leadership and management skills, while 33% feel that their own managers don't have the skills and experience to improve them.
Meanwhile, 87% of managers suffer from a lack of confidence due to the shortcoming of proper training and development, according to the survey.
The IHM has called on the government to provide the necessary training and development programmes to help NHS managers to meet the challenge of the NHS reforms.
The institute has also identified the key areas where in the healthcare managers can be trained to develop their leadership skills.