Case Study - East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

What was the issue?

The Trust was at an interesting point in its development journey in becoming a Foundation Trust and a modernisation of services was well underway when the senior leadership team approached Healthskills for development support of 30 key business leaders.

What Healthskills is doing

Healthskills was asked to co-design and deliver an innovative programme aimed at divisional general manager level but to also include a team of consultants and matrons.

The programme was structured around leadership insight days composed of half day business skills development workshops followed by reflective action learning sessions.  We were specifically asked to inject some practical leadership activity into the programme which we did very successfully with three leadership in action challenges.  These challenges were day long events where the participants were tasked with moving a specific Trust issue forward.  The “apprentice” style approach really energised and motivated the leadership cadre and more importantly rapidly brought their learning to life. 

The three challenge themes incorporated were:

  • Service readiness for change assessment
  • Marketing and branding a service
  • Promoting the NHS brand within a competitive commercial environment

For authenticity we often use mock up instruments, such as newspaper headlines, to maximise impact and reality.  We used a local Stevenage newspaper in the third of the above challenges thus:


The programme was also underpinned by three service improvement programmes that were presented to the Chief Executive at the programme celebration event.

What is different as a result?

The programme has resulted in confident leaders with a much more innovative approach to their current and future roles.  The approach to business development has been transformational with really strong clinical engagement developing rapidly across the Trust.
Projects that have resulted from the programme include:

  • A single point of access project that has capital funding approval from the Trust Board
  • Improving communication of discharge planning and bed position between teams
  • Implementing a single equality scheme - researching, analysing and developing action plans to inform the scheme
What our client said

“The Healthskills leadership programme has helped me progress from being just a Clinical Director with very little managerial and leadership experience, to being much more of a clinician involved in hospital management.  It really was a first class programme and extremely beneficial to me.”

Fred Schreuder
Clinical Director, East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

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