The Nye Bevan programme: Why it’s worth supporting a candidate

Finding colleagues who are equipped to perform in senior roles in the NHS is difficult; the NHS isn’t exactly ‘spoilt for choice’ when filling senior vacancies. The average tenure for a chief executive is 2½ years, and almost a third of all NHS trusts have at least one vacancy for an interim executive board member. Evidence tells us that board-level vacancies have a negative impact on organisations, affecting staff morale and engagement and sometimes causing strategic instability. There’s also irrefutable evidence of the link between patient safety, teamwork and team leadership. Leaders have a direct impact on engagement by inspiring commitment and providing recognition, growth and development opportunities. 


Why choose the NHS Leadership Academy?


Funded for the NHS and by the NHS, we have worked with thousands of health and care staff to support and drive better leadership. Our learning programmes are designed by patients, staff, academics and educators and are strongly evidence-based and routed in current day reality.

Our ultimate goal is to secure improvements in patient care though better leadership and greater staff engagement.


About The Nye Bevan programme


The Nye Bevan programme has been specifically designed to develop senior leaders and accelerate them into executive roles. Over the course of 12 months, participants develop the skills needed to lead an organisation that does the best for staff and patients. Participants are challenged to look beyond their service and organisation and demonstrate how they contribute as leader to the wider system.

Designed with national and international experts in health and organisational performance, the 12-month programme offers support and learning to enable participants to build personal resilience, confidence and capability.


How your organisation will benefit


The Nye Bevan programme aims to develop the best executive leaders and has been shown to increase progression into executive roles. Over 900 participants have achieved promotion so far – that’s nearly 40% of recent graduates – and 90% directly attribute this to the programme. The programme also aims to help:

  • People perform better at board level
  • Boards better-meet immediate operational challenges while preparing for the future

Tomorrow’s leaders need competence, skill, expertise, experience and support combined with a breadth of behaviours to draw on. As well as on the job learning, this has to come from expert leadership development.

In summary, supporting a colleague to participate can mean:

  • Better succession planning for critical board-level roles in your organisation
  • Better-performing senior staff, which means you can meet short-term operational challenges while driving long-term change
  • Benefitting from leadership skills that enable the radical service redesign our health service needs
  • The ripple effect of better leadership across your organisation, resulting in higher-quality patient care and better staff engagement
  • Improved recruitment, retention and productivity, reducing the cost of interim support


What’s different about The Nye Bevan programme?


The programme’s Self-Managed Learning and peer assessment philosophy is what makes it unique. Participants submit evidence to each other, holding one another to account for their impact as leaders and making pass or fail decisions on each other’s work. These are the kind of behaviours that differentiate executive performance at board level.

The learning experience has been designed specifically for those working in healthcare, bringing together a world-class expert faculty of global business leaders, educationalists and practitioners from the University of Birmingham, University of Manchester and KPMG. It also leads to an NHS Leadership Academy Award in Executive Healthcare Leadership.


Frequently asked questions


  1. What do you need from me?

You’ll be required to fully support your team member to take part in the programme and agree to make the necessary arrangements to ensure they can:

  • Attend all of the face-to-face elements
  • Apply what they have learnt back in the workplace

If you want to nominate a colleague, please ask them to visit to complete an online application form. They might prefer to contact us directly by phoning 0113 3225699 or emailing [email protected].

We’ll then register their interest and book them in for an Assessment Centre. As part of the application process, you’ll be required to sign a set of Terms and Conditions to confirm your support, which need to be received prior to any confirmation of place.


  1. Who should I encourage to apply, and what criteria do they need to meet?

The Nye Bevan programme is for those working in healthcare at Band 8b and above who will be applying for executive director level or national equivalent roles within the next two years, or those who have been appointed to such posts within the last two years.


  1. Who pays for the programme?

For NHS organisations, the Leadership Academy heavily subsidises the full cost of the programme of £19,000, so the cost to your organisation is £7,000 which will be invoiced prior to the participant attending their first residential. Fees are fully inclusive of all accommodation, tuition and access to our state-of-the-art online virtual campus.

There are also a limited number of bursary places available for which a specific application is required.

This investment goes directly back into the NHS, ensuring that all healthcare staff become the best leaders they can possibly be and make a real and improved difference to patient care.


  1. Where can I get more information?

To find out more, contact our Enquiries Team on 0113 3225699 or email [email protected].


What our participants and their organisations think


“A number of our clinical and managerial leaders across the Trust have benefited from the Nye Bevan leadership development programme. As an organisation we have realised the immediate impact and value delivered through their enhanced leadership skills, thought leadership and contribution to our culture, service transformation and staff engagement agenda. I see this as investment for our ongoing commitment to supporting service improvement and the future leaders of the NHS.”

John Lawlor, CEO, Northumberland Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust


“Nye Bevan came at the right time in my development, enabling reflection on my role in the NHS and remembering why I remain an enthusiastic member of my local healthcare team. It provided opportunity to develop skills needed to be a successful leader in our Vanguard programmes of system transformation.”

Liz Dover, Deputy Network Director South, Cumbria CCG


“I would describe the journey as one which ‘broke me’. This may sound extreme. The best way to describe it is that it stripped ‘me’ back to expose my feelings and behaviour to ‘me’. And by doing so it allowed myself to build a stronger and better leader than before.”

Dr Joanne Fillingham, PhD, Clinical Fellow to the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, NHS England

What to do if you want to nominate a colleague


Please ask the colleague you’d like to nominate to visit NHSx to complete an online application form. They might prefer to contact us directly by phoning 0113 3225699 or emailing [email protected].


We’ll then register their interest and book them in for an Assessment Centre. As part of the application process, you’ll be required to sign a set of Terms and Conditions to confirm your support, which need to be received prior to any confirmation of place.


Find out more about the programme, including costs and closing dates here

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