New MD appointment for NHS Leadership Academy

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Jan Sobieraj to take on leadership challenge.

Jan Sobieraj has been appointed to the role of Managing Director at the NHS Leadership Academy – the new, national hub created to develop outstanding leadership in health to improve people’s health and their experience of the NHS.

He brings with him more than 30 years of management experience, including 13 years as a chief executive in different NHS organisations and many years working in partnership with leaders, staff and trade unions to improve healthcare for patients.

Jan said: “I was there when the idea of the NHS Leadership Academy was conceived and I’m delighted that I’m now here to be part of its development.

“The NHS is operating in a world which is changing at a scale and pace never seen before.  The challenges we face in delivering an NHS fit for the future will not be addressed by tweaking around the edges. We need industrial levels of transformation and innovation – and it is outstanding leadership that will deliver this change for us. It’s an incredibly exciting and challenging opportunity.”

Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive designate of the NHS Commissioning Board, said: “I am delighted to welcome Jan to this exciting and important position in the NHS Leadership Academy and to his taking us forward in this new era of leadership development for the NHS.  Jan has worked in every part of the NHS system and has seen great examples of leadership as well as those areas where we know we can do better. He knows what works and what doesn’t.  Great leaders create working climates where people working with them feel engaged, empowered and satisfied. This is the kind of leadership that the Academy will develop in the NHS and indeed exemplify itself, with Jan’s leadership.”

Mike Farrar, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “I would like to congratulate Jan on his new role.

“The NHS Confederation recognises the important role that good leadership plays in the delivery of high quality patient care. That is why we have made leadership one of our key work priorities.

“We look forward to working with Jan and the NHS Leadership Academy to help establish collaborative and innovative approaches to healthcare, and embrace the talent and ideas of our future leaders.”

Jan will lead the Academy to progress into a world class national centre designed to produce and inspire outstanding leadership in the NHS, with a continual focus on improving people’s health and their experience of the NHS.

The Academy brings together for the first time all the national activity supporting leadership development in health and NHS funded services.

It will set the standards for leadership, based on the Leadership Framework which many professions and organisations already use, ensuring there is a consistent, professional, approach to leadership built in to career development. It will work with individuals at different stages in their careers and from different professions and backgrounds, ensuring NHS leaders are more representative of the communities and workforce they serve. It will work with new and existing organisations from across the NHS system, supporting local capacity and capability and developing leaders with more breadth and different approaches, to deliver the industrial levels of innovation the NHS needs. And it will run national programmes, such as NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and NHS Top Leaders.

Jan was appointed after having served in the post of Managing Director for NHS and Social Care Workforce at the Department of Health from July 2011. He was originally seconded from the NHS to the Department of Health in 2010 as Director of Leadership.

Before that he had been a Chief Executive in different NHS organisations for 13 years. These included NHS Sheffield (a primary care trust), Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and an NHS Trust in Lincolnshire providing community and mental health services.

In addition to his health service experience, he has also held a number of senior general management positions in the social housing sector and has worked in the private sector.

He is a Visiting Senior Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University as well as Governor of the Health Foundation and previously Chair of the Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Leadership Group.


Rising clinical leader wins prize for increasing NHS service capacity by 30 per cent

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An NHS scientist who is participating in the national Clinical Leadership Fellowship programme has won a prestigious award for his innovative service improvement project.

Chief Audiologist Paul James and colleague Zena Butt designed a new pathway for patients with tinnitus, hearing loss and dizziness at the Royal National Throat, Nose and ear Hospital, which resulted in a 30 per cent increase in outpatient appointment availability at the hospital’s specialist clinics.

Paul and Zena discovered that 67 per cent of patients with these conditions can be managed by a senior audiologist and do not require a consultant appointment to rule out medical conditions.

Paul and his colleagues successfully influenced commissioners and key stakeholders within primary and secondary care to set up an audiologist-run clinic. Findings suggest that the new clinic is able to free up 30 per cent of consultant outpatient appointments per week, enabling doctors to see the right patients, more quickly.

This new patient pathway was tested for safety and achieved a score of 100%.

The team won the award for Innovation in Service Delivery at the 2012 Healthcare Science Awards for the programme, which was presented by Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley, on Monday, 30th April.

Paul is participating in this year’s Clinical Leadership Fellowship programme and submitted the project as part of his service improvement assessment. The Fellowships, which are run by the NHS Leadership Academy, aim to support the transformation of leadership capacity and capability across the NHS, and offer clinical professionals a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills, career, and contribution. It runs on a part-time basis over nine months in the Fellows’ own organisation and in conjunction with their existing clinical role.

Paul said: “This project is having a massive impact on pathway efficiency and quality of care. It has freed up to 30 per cent of capacity at the clinics so the hospital can see more patients and reduce waiting times.

“The Clinical Leadership Fellowship programme has given me the skills and confidence to take this project further. My ultimate aim is to develop more innovative ways of working in audiology and to provide a comprehensive diagnostic service in the community, with more joined-up care within hospitals.”

Applications for this year’s Clinical Leadership Fellowships are now open. 
The closing date for applications is 5pm on 7 June. Visit  Visit for more information.   

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Clinical Leadership Fellowships 2012 – Closed for applications

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Please note: Applications for this year’s Clinical Leadership Fellowships are now closed.

The National Clinical Leadership Fellowships, sponsored by the NHS Leadership Academy, is the only scheme designed for clinicians in all areas of the NHS across England.

It builds on the very best leadership development and offers a bespoke approach to clinical leadership challenges.

The scheme offers clinicians a unique opportunity to develop their personal leadership skills, career, and contribution to improving patient care.

Current fellowship participants have said:

“I am enjoying and feel I am benefiting immensely from the programme so far. I return from each module more informed and inspired to improve my service for the benefit of patients.” Claire Ellwood, pharmacist from East Midlands

“The programme has been a real catalyst to my development as a clinical leader and at a crucial point in my career and involvement in service transformation. The mentoring, supervision and high-level expert teaching have had a clear and positive impact on my ability to drive and influence complex service change at a challenging time for the NHS.”
Dr Paul Brown, from the North East

“The clinical leadership fellowship provided me with useful skills and knowledge from the outset. I have gained insight into practical tools that can help facilitate service development, improving the standards of care that my team provides.”
Karen Tomlin a nurse from East Midlands

Deborah Chafer, National Programme Director for Clinical Leadership Fellowships said “Now is the time to recognise that clinicians are not only experts in their professional field but also leaders and deliverers of our services. This scheme supports their learning and development and helps realise their potential in leading health services and improving patient care.”

Each individual selected will have access to a bespoke leadership development course, aligned to their clinical service, and of direct benefit to patients within the context of the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) agenda.

Individuals will need to demonstrate both a talent for leadership but also an ambition to further develop wider leadership skills in the service of the NHS. We are looking for clinicians who think innovatively, have a burning ambition to lead change, and want to improve an area of service.

The Clinical Leadership Fellowships are part of the work led by the NHS Leadership Academy to develop outstanding leadership in health.

The NHS Leadership Academy is the new national NHS hub for leadership development and talent management, and a centre of leadership excellence for all clinical and managerial staff working in the NHS, or providing care funded by the NHS.

The NHS Leadership Academy is keen to attract people from as diverse a range of backgrounds and professions as possible within the NHS in England.

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Double gong for NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme

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Scheme voted country’s most popular in public and HR sector by prestigious awards.

The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme has been recognised as the country’s most popular in two hotly-contested national awards. The accolades were based solely on thousands of votes by final year university students.

The Scheme is a comprehensive training programme that aims to equip graduates with the expertise needed to become successful leaders in the NHS. Challenging work placements enables graduates to develop the skills and confidence required to lead the ongoing transformation of NHS services.

On 4th April the Scheme was voted the most popular graduate recruiter in the public sector in 2012 by Target Jobs. The awards event is the largest student-driven graduate recruitment awards in the world, with nearly 100,000 students voting for organisations in fourteen sector categories. This is the second year in a row that the Scheme won the accolade, beating off other popular public sector graduate recruiters such as Civil Service Fast Stream and the Security Service (MI5).

Less than a month earlier (Tuesday, 27th March) the Scheme was voted the Graduate Employer of Choice in Human Resources at The Times Top 100 Graduate Recruitment Awards 2012. These prestigious awards are based on the results of an unprompted poll of more than 17,000 final-year students from the top 30 universities in the UK.

Trainees of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme (including the Human Resources Management programme) are available for interview.

Head of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, Alex Bush, said: “We are absolutely delighted with these awards and pleased that the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme is continuing to be recognised as one of the most popular schemes in the country.

“The NHS Graduate Management Trainee Scheme has long been the graduate training scheme of choice, and the recent accolades show that it still leads the way in graduate recruitment.  Already, the Scheme has helped start the careers of some of our most outstanding leaders in the NHS, including the current NHS Chief Executive Officer, Sir David Nicholson.

“What makes these awards that extra bit special is that they were voted for by prospective trainees themselves – showing that the NHS is still a recruiter of choice for many graduates.”

To find more about the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme visit or follow the Scheme on Twitter: @NHSGradScheme

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National centre of excellence for NHS leaders opens

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A world class national centre designed to produce and inspire current and future generations of NHS leaders to drive improvements in patient care, has been launched.

The NHS Leadership Academy will help develop outstanding leadership in order to improve patients’ experiences, their health outcomes and their wellbeing.

To do this it will work with doctors, nurses, health professionals and managers from across the NHS. It will also work with public health and social care, and with local government, where Health and Wellbeing Boards are key to improving health and care outcomes.

Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley unveiled plans for the Academy in July last year.

NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson said the Academy would be critical to delivering the strategic shift in leadership needed for the NHS in the coming years.

He said: “The ethos is simple. NHS success is dependent on great leadership right across the service, across clinicians and managers.  Great leaders create working climates where people working with them feel engaged, empowered and satisfied. Those people in turn have a direct positive impact on patients’ experiences and their health outcomes. Everyone working for, with or on behalf of the NHS has a crucial role to play in this, as we focus on our purpose of improving health outcomes for our patients.”

“We face huge challenges across the world of health, social care and public health. Our leaders must be better equipped and more innovative than ever before. Vitally, they must be able to work in an integrated way across health and social care, to make sure people have a consistently good experience of our services.

“Developing outstanding leadership has never been more important than now.”

Jim Easton is Director of Transformation for the NHS Commissioning Board.

He said: “The Academy will provide expertise and support to help the leaders we have now. At the same time it will support the development of a new generation. They will steer the NHS into a future which builds on our existing strengths and adds new ones, championing clinical leadership, inclusion, equality and diversity, and encouraging innovation.

“People will be able to access this learning and support from an ‘entry’ level to the most senior and experienced leaders. The Academy will give them all tools, techniques, support and behaviours to help them engage and enable their staff, partners and patients, as well as continually improving standards.

“’With change at a scale and pace the NHS has never seen before, the fundamental difference between success and failure is the calibre of leadership.”

Peter Lees FRCS MRCP, is Founding Director of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management. Its aim is to promote the advancement of medical leadership, management and quality improvement at all stages of the medical career, for the benefit of patients.

He said: “The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management believes the evidence that good leadership improves the quality of patient care; we are setting the standards for good medical leadership and will help all doctors to enhance their leadership skills through strong partnerships with the Medical Royal Colleges and NHS partners.

“We, therefore, welcome the timely establishment of the NHS Leadership Academy and look forward to a very constructive working relationship.”

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said: “The NHS faces a number of major challenges over the coming years which will require strong leadership and brave decisions.

“If we want the service to be the best it can be for patients, it is essential we provide senior leaders with the appropriate forum to come together and use their knowledge and skills to tackle the big issues.

“The NHS Leadership Academy will provide a useful platform to help establish collaborative and  innovative approaches to healthcare, and embrace the talent and ideas of our future leaders.”

The Academy launches its new website ( with video stories from some of the NHS’s most inspiring clinical and managerial leaders about their work and its impact on the NHS and patients.

These include high profile former winners of the prestigious NHS Leadership Recognition Awards talking about their work and the impact it has had on patients and the NHS.

The Academy has four main areas of work:

Developing the approach to leadership: defining and promoting what good leadership looks like, based on the recently developed Leadership Framework; setting national standards for leadership development and talent management with frameworks and toolkits; rewarding and recognising outstanding leadership (the 2012 NHS Leadership Recognition Awards are being run by the Academy and nominations have now opened

Providing and commissioning a range of cutting edge national programmes: in total these will make up the single largest training programme for leaders in the world and culminate in the professionalisation of leadership in the NHS. They include: the Graduate Management Training Programme for the most outstanding new graduates; Breaking Through to support leaders from BME communities; Top Leaders for those in the most senior roles; the Clinical Leadership Fellowship Programme, along with career development programmes with different entry levels for different staff

Supporting the development of local leadership capability: providing expert support for local NHS and key partner organisations to sustain and promote leadership in their area

Supporting changing and developing parts of the NHS system: developing shared leadership approaches with local government and providers of NHS services; providing frameworks for Foundation Trust governors and Clinical Commissioning Group development; supporting leadership for innovation and QIPP


  • From April Jan Sobieraj, Managing Director of NHS and Social Care Workforce, will be interim Managing Director of the Academy. Karen Lynas, Director of Leadership at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement and Director of NHS Top Leaders, will be interim Deputy Managing Director/Head of Programmes
  • The Academy’s small core team, supplemented by a faculty and associates, will be in place in the next three months
  • It will be steered by a Programme Board bringing together senior members of the Academy with representatives from different partner organisations
  • It will work with a network of organisations including patient representatives, professional bodies, regulators and key contributors to national thinking on leadership
  • It will be owned by the NHS for the NHS, with sponsorship from all parts of the system and, over time, other partners
  • It will be based in Leeds