The new Rosalind Franklin programme for mid-level leaders in health and care

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On Wednesday 5 September 2018, the NHS Leadership Academy announced its new Rosalind Franklin programme for mid-level leaders in health and care.

The nine-month programme is due to open for applications later this year and will incorporate a blended learning style with mandatory and comprehensive online learning, face to face workshops and small group work.

It aims to help shape the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours of clinical or non-clinical mid-level leaders to help them become outstanding leaders, and for the NHS to develop inclusive and compassionate leaders working at all levels across the NHS to help improve patient care, people’s health and their experiences of the NHS.

The NHS Leadership Academy has a proud tradition of naming its leadership development programmes after those who have had a positive and influential impact on health care. Current programme names include Edward Jenner, Mary Seacole, Elizabeth Garett Anderson and Nye Bevan.

After a period of consultation, Rosalind Franklin was chosen for this programme in recognition of her achievements.

Rosalind Elsie Franklin; (born in London on 25 July 1920 and died in London on 16 April 1958) was a British scientist best known for her contributions to the discovery of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a constituent of chromosomes that serves to encode genetic information. Franklin also contributed new insight on the structure of viruses, helping to lay the foundation for the field of structural virology. Her X-ray diffraction images of DNA enabled the University of Cambridge’s Francis Crick and James Watson to identify the molecule’s double helix structure, which subsequently led to Crick and Watson receiving the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1962 for the discovery. Unfortunately, Franklin was not eligible for consideration for the prize, as at the time, the Nobel Prize was never awarded posthumously.

The Rosalind Franklin programme is currently in the design stage with the application process due to open in autumn 2018. It is aimed at mid-level clinical or non-clinical leaders aspiring to lead large and complex programmes, departments, services or systems of care, who could be described as people who are:

  • Directly leading those who manage others i.e. a step beyond first line management. This group is likely to include those who work in a traditional team based in a structured medium to large organisation
  • Specialist individual contributors who may not directly lead a team but who must, as part of their role, play an active part in a network/system which requires them to embody leadership around an issue, pathway or service etc. This might include clinical nurse specialists and doctors, including a proportion of those in training
  • Professionals who lead teams of specialists that may exist on a temporary basis before dissolving, and then realigning again around specific issues. This group might include those leading complex projects and initiatives who operate at the pivot points between other professional groups and need to balance operational and strategic demands
  • Managing complex programmes and projects, substantial budgets, politically sensitive and significantly impactful work.

Anyone can register their interest in the programme on our website. We’ll provide further information about the programme when the application process opens about what to do next.

Register your interest in the Rosalind Franklin programme


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