Organisation-wide leadership development

TPC Health partnered with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to develop a “leadership pathway” programme for their top 300 leaders (Bands 8+, Consultants and SAS Doctors). This programme continued over a four year period, and as a result of the early success of this programme we were also asked to deliver Inclusivity Skills Training; a Practitioner and Foundation level accredited coaching programme and several CPD events.

Intervention

The leadership programme was structured around 4 workshops each 2 days in length and was supported by 1-1 coaching and action learning projects.  Content for the programme was coproduced with senior clinicians and was constructed around the following topics:

Workshop 1: Personal leadership

  • Forming as a learning group
  • Introduction to leadership
  • Understanding self as a leader and your own Leadership journey
  • Vision of self as a Leader
  • Developing Personal Resilience
  • Emotional intelligence

Workshop 2: Relational leadership

  • Communicating effectively with others
  • Coaching skills
  • Feedback and challenge
  • Conflict & mediation skills
  • Difficult conversations
  • Motivation and engagement

Workshop 3: Team and Organisational Leadership

  • Team leadership and development
  • Team facilitation skills
  • Delegation and control
  • Expectation setting
  • Performance conversations
  • Encouraging innovation

Workshop 4: Leadership in Action

  • Application of learning
  • Plans for ongoing development
  • Influencing systemically
  • Strategic thinking and acting
  • Measuring systemic impact and delivering results for patients
  • System wide projects

To facilitate application of learning, the programme was also supported by Leadership in Action projects, which required that delegates design and implement an organisational improvement project in small groups.  A number of projects have been put into practise, in areas relating to cost savings with linen usage, developing a retention measure which can be applied at a local level, and engaging patients in understanding the costs of DNAs. More recently, delegates have focussed their projects around developing staff engagement and delivering cultural improvements in their areas. 

Results

The programme’s objectives were to improve patient care through up-skilling senior leaders in terms of their capabilities, which would in turn improvement staff engagement and create a positive working culture.  Therefore the success measure is an increased application of improved leadership skills, cultural shift and organisational improvements.

This has been borne out by improved measures in the National Staff Survey: since the leadership programme was implemented in 2015, the National Staff Survey results for the Trust have improved significantly against all 32 Key Findings, with the overall staff engagement score for the Trust raising from 3.6 (below average) to 3.78. Quality improvements included an outstanding contribution award for surgery and critical care and a team of 5 delegates opened a new one stop age-related macular degeneration clinic at Amersham Hospital. 

Verbatim feedback

“I’m a big advocate of the LP programme. It’s great for networking and it’s helped me to think more globally and consider things outside of our area. It’s also got me thinking more about how I can help others. I’ve been coaching the more junior members of staff now and doing different things in my role that I wasn’t doing before”.

“Since going on the course, I am now very careful about how I provide feedback to my staff and where I do it. The course helped me to think about the way to deliver feedback too and structure it. I always make sure I maintain a positive approach to feedback now too, even if I am frustrated because something has gone very wrong. I take the emotion out of it and I make sure I stress what went right and what they did really well before suggesting areas for improvement”.