Sir David Nicholson and NHS Leadership Academy welcome 2012 cohort for the Graduate Management Training Scheme

thumb image

A new cohort of NHS Graduate Management Trainees was welcomed at a special event recently (Monday,10th September)  by Sir David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive and Chief Executive of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority.

The award winning training scheme, now run by the NHS Leadership Academy, counts Sir David as one its most distinguished alumni.

There are 150 trainees for 2012, split across several specialisms: general management, finance, HR and health informatics.

The highly successful Graduate Management Training Scheme is a comprehensive programme that equips graduates with the expertise needed to become successful leaders in the NHS.

A combination of challenging work placements and educational components ensure graduates learn about the NHS and develop the confidence required to lead the ongoing transformation of NHS service.

In the past year the scheme has won a number of awards, including the ‘Large Employer of the Year’ category at the 2011 CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) Awards.

Most recently, the scheme celebrated a stunning individual success when Christine Oakley, 24, from the 2011 intake, received a commendation for achieving a perfect score – the highest ever – in a professional exam run by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

The scheme also represents excellent value for money. Recent research published in 2011 revealed considerable return on investment for the NHS with average savings generated per trainee running into tens of thousands of pounds.

In just one example highlighted in the report: ‘Payback – Return on Investment for the NHS Graduate Scheme’, a trainee generated savings of £74,000 by improving systems and productivity.

On top of all this, the scheme also currently retains more trainees long-term than any other public or private sector graduate scheme.

The welcome event for the 2012 intake was held at the Holiday Inn in Birmingham and speakers included Karen Lynas, Interim Deputy Managing Director and Head of Programmes, NHS Leadership Academy; Nik Kashu, Deputy Director of Finance and Information, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; Tracy Allen, Chief Executive, Derbyshire Community Health Services and Yvonne Coghill OBE, Senior Programme Manager, Leadership for Equality, NHS Leadership Academy.

During his welcome speech to graduates, Sir David Nicholson was keen to emphasise the importance of good leadership and the trainees’ role in fulfilling the future ambitions of the NHS.

Sir David said: “We need to move away top-down styles of management and embrace a more collaborative and supportive approach.Programmes like this are crucial to securing the effective and dynamic leadership we need to ensure that the NHS transforms and improves for staff and patients alike.
“Effective leaders and dynamic leadership are vital to shaping the NHS. We must seek to move away from top-down styles of management and embrace a more collaborative and supportive approach to secure the future for staff and patients alike. With truly participative leadership, there is huge potential for the system to improve, and the graduate trainee scheme is vital to achieving that.”

Sir David was introduced by Jan Sobieraj, Managing Director of the new NHS Leadership Academy, which brings together for the first time all the national activity supporting leadership development in health and NHS funded services, including the Graduate Management Training Scheme.

Jan said: “One of our strategic objectives is to lead on the professionalisation of leadership. Professionalising clinical and managerial leadership means raising the profile, performance and impact of leaders in health. As graduate trainees you will have a key role to play in achieving this.

“In future the schemes will be part of the Academy’s three core programmes for leadership, which will, for the first time, create a cadre of leader at every level and from every professional background who are universally and comprehensively equipped to lead. These programmes will follow the principles of good practice and expertise in leadership found in high performing organisations.”

For more information about the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme visit

No Comments

NHS Leadership Academy welcomes 2012 Clinical Leadership Fellowship intake

thumb image

Eighty clinical professionals from NHS organisations around the country were welcomed on board the NHS Leadership Academy’s flagship clinical leadership programme, on Friday (7th September).

The Clinical Leadership Fellowships aim to support the transformation of leadership in the NHS by offering clinical professionals the opportunity to develop leadership skills through a structured learning and experiential programme.

It is run on a part-time basis over nine months in the Fellows’ own organisation and in conjunction with their existing clinical roles. The programme is grounded with a real-time, work-based service improvement project, which can involve anything from making patient pathways more efficient to improving patient treatment with new technology.

The 2012 Fellows were welcomed at a special event held last Friday (7th September), in Birmingham. As well as the new Fellows, the event was attended by the graduating 2011 Fellows, and high profile speakers including NHS Chief Executive and Chief Executive of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority Sir David Nicholson, Managing Director of the NHS Leadership Academy  Jan Sobieraj and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health Anna Soubry MP.

Sir David Nicholson took the opportunity to reiterate the massive opportunity the Fellows have to reshape healthcare for patients.

He said; “We now have an opportunity like no other to get clinical leadership right.  The new NHS system gives pride of place to clinical leadership, putting clinicians in the driving seat to shape healthcare and improve patient outcomes. Leadership is a special skill and we will not get the right quality and quantity of clinical leaders by accident.

“The Clinical Leadership Fellowship is vital because it helps to give clinicians the skills they need to make the most of their knowledge and experience in leadership roles, giving us the transformational leaders we need to steer health and care services into the future.”

Jan Sobieraj, Managing Director of the NHS Leadership Academy, said “The NHS now needs clinical professionals who think innovatively, have a burning ambition to lead change and who want to improve services and outcomes for patients.

“The strength of the Clinical Leadership Fellowship programme is that it gives participants the tools and knowledge to do just this, in the real word. It is structured around academic learning but very much grounded by a real-time service improvement project.

“I welcome the 2012 Fellows on board and wish them every success on their leadership development journey.”

The Fellows will be expected to commit 48 days to the programme, 18 of which will be dedicated to designing and implementing their work-based service improvement project. Projects will be based on the principles of Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme and the Fellows will also work towards a Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Service Improvement.

Please note – We have available quotes from the 2012 Fellows (including doctors, nurses and medical scientists) about their acceptance on the programme and what they hope to achieve in their service improvement projects. Please get in touch with us if you would like a quote.

No Comments

New national programme for foundation trust governors

A new national programme to help foundation trust governors play their crucial roles to full effect will be launched in the new year.

The NHS foundation trust governor training and development programme will be open to the 2,600 governors across the country. As the number of foundation trusts (FTs) rises over the next few years the number of governors could triple.

the new NHS Leadership Academy awarded the contract for the national programme to the Foundation Trust Network (FTN).

The programme will prepare them for their increasingly responsible role.  The core training will cover governors’ responsibilities in governance accountability and finance through face to face and online methods. Governors will develop the practical and behavioural skills to question, challenge and hold their board to account.

More specialist modules will also be available including business skills, such as governors’ statutory role in mergers and acquisitions; strategy and planning; and  non-executive appointments and remuneration.

The general public will also have access to more information about the role of governors to help encourage more people to put themselves forward for election.

The programme will complement the work done by individual FTs and will ensure that consistently high standards are available across the country for the benefit of governors and their trusts. The FTN will develop a network of trainers recruited from within FTs or similar organisations around the country to help deliver the material regionally. This innovative approach has the potential to provide continuing professional development opportunities for NHS staff involved in delivery, as well as for the participants. Others who have worked within FTs, such as retired Chairs, may also become involved.

Academy managing director Jan Sobieraj said:

“Governors will play an increasingly crucial role in FTs. They will be central to the Trust’s community engagement and at the heart of its governance, making sure FTs are responsive and accountable to their staff, stakeholders and the local people. We believe the FTN is in a unique position to make sure this happens with current and new governors.  We’re delighted to be working with them and other partners across the NHS on this new exciting programme.

“One of the Academy’s priorities is to make sure there is a consistent approach to developing leadership skills across our health system – whether that is for FT governors, CCG governing body members, emerging leaders – is the same for all  organisations.”

Peter Griffiths, chair of the Foundation Trust Network said:

“The FTN has extensive experience of working with governors since foundation trusts were created. Developing governors’ effectiveness and enthusing the general public to get involved takes time. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we have been making steady progress in building up ways to impart the knowledge and skills needed by governors to perform their role effectively. This new national programme is a golden opportunity to ensure that they can make the most of their role.”

No Comments

NHS graduate trainee achieves highest mark ever in global accountancy exam

thumb image

NHS still attracting world-class trainees despite challenging public sector job market.

A trainee on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme recently received a commendation for achieving a perfect score – the highest ever – in a professional exam taken by more than 5,300 people world-wide.

Christine Oakley, 24, who joined the Scheme, which is run by the NHS Leadership Academy, in 2010, is on the finance specialism programme. As part of her training, she recently undertook the CIMA P2 Performance Management accountancy examination. Not only did Christine pass the exam with flying colours just like the others she has taken as part of her training, she achieved a score of 100 per cent in what is commonly described as one of the most difficult exams in accounting education.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountant – the organisation that runs the professional course – has revealed that Christine is the first student ever to have achieved 100 per cent in this particular paper.

The exam focused on complex accountancy topics such cost planning and analysis, and budgeting and management control.

The NHS Leadership Academy’s Graduate Management Training 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 and educational components enable the graduates to learn about the NHS and develop the confidence required to lead the ongoing transformation of NHS service.

Christine, from Liverpool, has taken up various finance–related placements in the NHS as part of her training. Her first role was as Technical Accountant at Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in Liverpool, and then a Management Accountant at the same trust. She is currently on her third ‘flexi’ placement as assistant to the Business Performance Manager at Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, in Chester.

Christine said: “Achieving 100 per cent in this exam was not something I ever imagined would happen. It certainly wouldn’t have happened without the support I had from my managers at Aintree University Hospital and from the tutors at BPP. I attribute my exam success to the amazing experience I’ve had already on the Scheme and look forward to developing my management career in the NHS.

Karen Lynas, Interim Deputy Director and Head of Programmes at the NHS Leadership Academy, said: “I would like to congratulate Christine on this outstanding achievement. This is clear evidence that despite the current public sector job market the NHS is still able to attract world-class future leaders.

“The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme is now part of the NHS Leadership Academy, and will continue play a key role in our vision to develop outstanding leadership in health, to improve patient health and their experiences of the NHS.  We will continue to offer trainees high quality work placements, education and support to ensure that the Scheme maintains its place as one of highest ranking graduate training programmes in the world.”

David Rowsby, Regional Director of Europe at CIMA, said:  “I would like to extend my congratulations to Christine. To obtain the highest possible mark on the CIMA P2 paper is an outstanding achievement.

“A CIMA qualification is renowned as being both thoroughly difficult to complete and prestigious to obtain. This makes Christine’s achievement even more substantial and confirms the calibre of CIMA graduates. I am sure she will have a glittering career in the NHS ahead of her.”

For more information about the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme visit

No Comments

New MD appointment for NHS Leadership Academy

thumb image

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.