The most far-reaching and comprehensive leadership development portfolio the NHS has ever developed launches today (Wednesday, 1 May).

Aimed at wide range of NHS staff, including nurses, doctors, allied health professionals, support staff, scientists and managers, the programmes are set to change NHS culture with an across-the-board approach to leadership development. They will touch people at every level across the whole healthcare system.

Developed by the NHS Leadership Academy, and delivered in partnership with local and regional partners, the national programmes are the first to combine successful leadership strategies from international healthcare, private sector organisations and academic expertise. The focus of the programmes is to support leaders in creating an environment where staff feel supported and encouraged to focus on providing high-quality health care.

Designed for people from all backgrounds and with different experience levels, who want to create a more capable and compassionate healthcare system, the programmes focus on developing the skills, knowledge and behaviours to help deliver greater compassionate, high-quality, innovative and efficient health care for patients.

Thousands of staff working in NHS-funded care are expected to go through the programmes over the next three years at a cost of over £30 million.

Working in partnership with high-profile universities, businesses and patient groups, these programmes have been designed to change the way we lead health for a generation. The programmes add to the Academy’s existing portfolio which includes the hugely-popular Top Leaders and NHS Graduate Training schemes, which all together, provide a suite of support programmes for many levels of staff.

The programmes have been named after inspiring leaders who made a significant difference to health and patient care, and will be key to changing the leadership culture in the NHS:

The programmes are:

  • The Edward Jenner Programme – Leadership Foundation. Edward Jenner was an English physician from Gloucester, who spent part of his career developing the smallpox vaccine. Leaders in the NHS have a key role to play in improving the health of their communities and contributing to maintaining health as well as preventing sickness. This breadth is well represented by Edward Jenner’s work.

The Edward Jenner Programme – Leadership Foundations is an open access online learning package designed to support anyone looking to gain essential leadership skills. Designed for newly-qualified clinicians, but open to all, this programme leads to an NHS Leadership Academy award in Leadership Foundations.

  • The Mary Seacole Programme – Leading Care I; Mary Seacole was a Jamaican-born woman who provided assistance to sick and military personnel in Jamaica and Central America, before and during the Crimean War. She embodied the care and compassion we look for in all our leaders and is a lasting example of the crucial role nurses continue to play in healthcare.

The Mary Seacole programme leads to an NHS Leadership Academy Award in Leading on the Frontline and a Post Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership. For those who want to take on their first (formal) leadership role, this one-year programme combines experiential and online learning, personal development delivered locally, leadership diagnostics, group learning and stretch assignments. It develops key leadership skills, like holding appraisals and giving feedback, staff engagement, communications, leading patient-centred services, patient safety and decision-making. The programme will be open to all those working in health (nominated by an individual’s place of work) regardless of professional or academic background.

  • The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Programme – Leading Care II; Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was an English Physician born in London, who became the first Englishwoman to qualify as a Physician and Surgeon in Britain, as well as the first female Dean of a medical school.  She represents the courage of all great leaders and demonstrates the enduring importance of inclusion in our health leader communities.

The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson programme leads to an NHS Leadership Academy Award in Senior Healthcare Leadership and an MSc in Healthcare Leadership. When leaders are approaching readiness to take on more senior leadership roles – leading multiple teams or services – they can apply for this programme. The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson programme provides personal development, online and classroom-based academic sessions, group working, assignments and mentoring/coaching. The programme is 18 months long, and available to all those working in the NHS or in NHS funded care, regardless of professional background.

  • The Nye Bevan Programme – Leading Care III; Aneurin “Nye” Bevan was Minister for Health in Clement Atlee’s post-WWII government.  A champion of social justice, Bevan spearheaded the establishment of the National Health Service, seeking to create a health service free at point of care for all Britons. Great leaders have bold visions that serve the needs of their populations selflessly. Bevan is an inspiration to those who seek a senior role in health with the potential to lead radical and lasting improvements to the NHS.

The Nye Bevan Programme leads to an NHS Leadership Academy Award in Executive Healthcare Leadership. Working at an executive level in the NHS offers some very particular challenges, and this stretching programme is for those who are ready to apply for executive level roles. The Nye Bevan is centred on the needs of patients, and led by internationally-renowned academic and business leaders. It combines a significant element of personal and behavioural leadership development with the knowledge and skills needed to operate successfully at the most senior levels in NHS organisations.

Karen Lynas, deputy managing director of the NHS Leadership Academy said: “These programmes recognise that the NHS is about providing not only some of the best healthcare in the world, but doing so in an environment where staff feel able to focus on care, compassion and respect.

“Leaders in health, from whatever profession, background or sector, have a responsibility to use taxpayers’ money wisely, but moreover to ensure that staff are encouraged, supported and developed so they can do what they came in to healthcare to do: care for patients.

“These programmes will see a generation of leaders equipped with the knowledge, skills, experience and expertise they need to lead while creating a caring and compassionate climate for staff.”

Chris Lake, head of professional development at the Academy said: “By the time the first cohorts start in September, a whole cast of people will have been working very hard on the programme development for a full year, putting patients at the centre of their creation and working with leading edge learning and health experts

“The applications opening marks the start of our journey to ensure tomorrow’s leaders create cultures where patients receive excellent, high-quality care in surroundings where NHS professionals are recognised, valued and supported as leaders that make a real difference.

Applications for the majority of the programmes close on Friday, 14 June, and will start in September. The exception to this is the Edward Jenner programme, which is an online course, opens to interest, and will be ready to start during June.

Full details on the programmes and how you can apply are available from the NHS Leadership Academy website.

1 comment

  1. Eamonn ,m , G ,Clabby

      # Reply

    very inspirational to see the launch ,hope to see people giving it a go ,maybe some of our up and coming stars and unsung heroes too…..Eamonn Clabby