Archives: Case Studies

Chelsea and Westminster NHS FT (CWFT)

Design, development and facilitation of a multi-professional development programme for senior clinical and non-clinical leaders, aligned to Trust strategic priorities and with a quality improvement project focus  

What was the issue?

CWFT manage Chelsea and Westminster and West Middlesex University hospitals and a number of community services. The Trust employs 6000 staff and 350 volunteers, who care for circa one million people.  In 2015 following the merger of the two hospitals, a major strand of the CWFT vision was to develop its diverse workforce. ‘A key aspiration was to have visible, approachable leaders who inspire, enthuse, motivate and who are positive role models for others across the organisation.’

The Trust was seeking to develop leaders at every level, to coach and empower others, develop and nurture all talents, build links within and outside the organisation to deliver excellent outcomes for patients. Integral to the work are projects to deliver transformation and efficiency.

What did Healthskills do?

In partnership with the Learning and Development team at CWFT, the Executive team and focus groups, Healthskills designed an ‘Established Leaders Development Programme’ for strategic leaders including senior clinicians. The Trust initially commissioned 3 cohorts of up to 20 leaders and through the success of the programme, cohorts 8 and 9 will commence in 2019.

The programme is delivered via a series of master classes, coaching, action learning linked to project work and presentations at a final conference. The NHS Leadership Academy model shapes the work.

The objectives of the programmes are to:

  • Develop self-awareness and enhance the impact of leaders within the organisation
  • Maximise engagement from teams both locally and across system boundaries to improve patient pathways
  • Extend and deepen improvement capability and transform the patient experience
  • Create opportunities for experiential and reflective learning

Uniquely, a major focus of the programme is small, mixed teams working on transformation projects designed to improve quality and services, and simultaneously develop better networks and interdisciplinary working.

What were the outcomes?

The CWFT Board is leading a Trust with improved national results and patient outcomes. The CQC results are ‘Good’ in all main domains: safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led; a significant improvement since previous visits.

The leadership programmes are directly influencing the improvement.  7 Established leaders programmes have been delivered to 108 participants to date with 92.5% of all participants highly satisfied with the programmes, 97.5% stating they enhanced their leadership capability and 67.5% stating they improve their career opportunities.

Transformation projects led by participants have for example:

  • Improved patient experience in T&O by increased productivity of ward rounds, discharging patients more efficiently;
  • Improved patient experience in Hand Therapy by development of an app to support exercise regimes;
  • Improved staff experience by condensing clinical skills classroom training and maximising efficiency of time for direct patient care.

What our client said

‘The programmes have been an invaluable catalyst to build our leadership capability, enabling individuals’ to flourish and create multiple new and energising connections across our organisation. Our leaders have led change supporting improvements to our performance …’ 

Lesley Watts, Chief Executive


‘An amazing programme, that gave me the opportunity to work with diverse team members. I have been able to take the project work forward with on-going mentoring support from the programme and trust management teams. Highly recommend it.’   

Consultant Obstetrician


‘Having worked with the Trust for over 10 years the programme has given me new insights in self, colleagues and our Trust’  

Programme IT Manager


‘Our work together with Healthskills has enabled the Trust to deliver first class leadership development opportunities. Regular feedback from participants has allowed the partnership to continuously improve the leadership offering’  

Christine Catlin, Trust OD Lead

Otis Elevator Company UK

Facilitation of a series of diagnostic interventions focus groups leading to the design and delivery of a four-day development programme for Executive and senior leaders

What was the issue?

Otis in the UK had been experiencing significant churn in their senior leadership in recent years, and with several Managing Directors having been in post for short periods, there was concern that the leadership, strategic direction and priority focus was inconsistent and disparate.

A new MD was recently appointed to lead the UK organisation and the senior leadership team were also new and didn’t know each other particularly well.  Otis in Japan had already developed their vision, mission and strategy and the intention was to do the same in the UK with an event to create high level company goals, develop underpinning strategic priorities and facilitate team cohesion to deliver.

Since employee engagement from UK surveys was not particularly high in Otis, Healthskills was asked for ideas and support to deliver a four-day developmental timeout programme, involving the senior leadership for the first two days, with a larger group invited for days 3 and 4 to develop specific projects to deliver on strategic priorities.

What did Healthskills do?

In collaboration with core members of the senior leadership team (SLT), Healthskills conducted a diagnostic phase before development of the programme, consisting of:

  • A series of semi-structured telephone interviews with the SLT aimed at building relationships with individuals; to ascertain their views on successful outcomes for the programme; to identify their views on what was working, what wasn’t and what needed to change across the organisation and how. 15 members of the SLT and a cross-section of 20 members of staff from Otis were interviewed;
  • An online organisational culture questionnaire was completed by 230 individuals from across the organisation to provide a robust survey of ‘the way we do things round here’;
  • A team functionality and cohesion questionnaire was conducted with the SLT.
  • Comprehensive feedback was provided to the Managing Director and relevant senior leaders from OD and HR and used as a platform for scoping discussions to design the programme.
  • The four-day event was then designed, consisting of:
    • Days 1 & 2: With the SLT, a focus on high-performing teams, feedback from interviews and cultural survey, refinement of vision and values, and development of high-level strategic initiatives;
    • Day 3 & 4: A team building event, followed by group project development and operational plans to deliver the strategic priorities with the SLT and 50 next level leaders;
  • An evaluation meeting to review outcomes, successes and challenges and provide recommendations for ongoing development

What were the outcomes?

  • The SLT embraced new ways of thinking and especially the need for change, and highlighted the need to develop trust and the ability to challenge each other more consistently;
  • The wider next-level leader team invited to join SLT were a positive and engaged group and they lent a richness to the contributions from the senior team about culture change;
  • Development of a ‘Wave 2 Change Champions’ group to lead groups to take strategic priority projects forward;
  • A behavioural framework was developed that provided insight into how to live the agreed values and understand how to hold to account;
  • Recommendations made for an ongoing SLT development programme consisting of interventions focusing on: 1. Exploring team foundations, developing trust and mastering conflict; 2. Discovering team behaviours that achieve consistent commitment; 3. Building team depth, sessions to enable the SLT to deal with ‘sticky’ issues and behaviours while understanding how to embrace accountability and focus on collective results; 4. Sustaining team cohesion, incorporating team coaching.

What our client said

I thoroughly enjoyed the days there Mark it was really well put together and you have a great team. I hope we get to work together again soon

Your event is still shaping the business, there have been some challenges but that’s why we get paid 😀 personally things may be changing for me at OTIS and I may have a promotion depending on a job win which we may hear about next week

Spectrum Community Health CIC

Wakefield Integrated Substance Misuse Service (WISMS) – now Spectrum Community Health CIC

An investment of expertise, energy and resource commitment from three partner organisations, aiming to achieve a radical change in care for substance misusers through positive and effective change in culture and leadership.

What was the issue?

WISMS is the NHS component of a multi agency partnership which includes the third sector, the local mental health trust, the local authority and criminal justice organisations in the Wakefield district.  WISMS provides treatment and care for substance misusers and offenders (adults and young people) working directly with and on behalf of GPs.

In 2007, NHS organisational and policy changes in this field were placing a significant focus on fitness for purpose, and required WISMS to adopt a more business orientated approach to managing the needs of service users.  Healthskills were commissioned by WISMS in conjunction with the support of a commercial partner, Schering Plough to develop an innovative project to deliver, measure and replicate tangible outcomes for service users.

The aims of the project were:

  • To develop competence and confidence across the WISMS partnership to initiate and lead service change
  • To engage service users, clinicians and managers across all disciplines within the broad substance misuse arena to improve networks and partnership working
  • To develop a set of markers that will measure impact on outcomes, and provide a ‘dashboard’ that will meet the expectations of commissioners, the needs of the service users and the ambitions of the service providers

What did Healthskills do?

The core elements of the programme have involved:

  • Diagnosis and assessment: Benchmarking of existing service outcomes and stakeholder mapping, interviewing and feedback
  • An ‘empowering’ leadership programme to develop knowledge, capability and confidence, and including strategic coaching and mentoring
  • A programme of events to engage and develop service users
  • Development of a balanced scorecard that reflects the outcomes of an exemplar service for substance misusers, focusing on the user experience; individual health and wellbeing; impact on communities and social return on investment.

What is different as a result?

The programme has provided an outstanding improvement in leadership and  communication across multi professional groups, evidenced by greater personal accountability to provide a better substance misuse service in Wakefield, and a wish to challenge the status quo.

There is greater understanding and integration of commissioning in substance misuse and services for vulnerable people.

Service users are more actively involved in driving policy at all levels, including commissioning and shaping services

WISMS successfully applied for, and achieved Integrated Care Organisation status in April 2009, one of only 16 healthcare partnerships in England to do so.

What our client said

I feel immensely privileged to have, through what might best be described as a series of serendipitous events, been able to be involved in the Healthskills Empowering Leadership Programme…

… overall I have felt increasingly more comfortable with myself and my role as “leader” and marvelled in the way in which so much personal achievement and personal change has been gained by so many of the participants on the ELP in such a short time …

… the ELP is about achievement at all levels – this has been a lesson in the importance of celebrating achievement, of whatever kind – helping individuals acknowledge what it Is, how to continue to aspire toward it and not being afraid to acknowledge it. A  lesson in watching how, when given the opportunity to step out, stand back, reflect within an evidence based framework individuals regardless of their role can all start to make significant achievements toward their goals – what power to effect change!

                                                                                                         Dr Linda Harris, Clinical Director, WISMS

Macmillan Cancer Support

The design and development of a Patient Leader development programme for Macmillan Cancer Support, aimed to develop the capability of local leadership to improve patient care.

What was the issue?

The NHS Five Year Forward View says that ‘we need to engage with communities and citizens in new ways, involving them directly in decisions about the future of health and care services’ (5YFV, 2014). The concept of patient leadership is emerging as one important new way of working collaboratively with patients and carers.

The establishment of Healthwatch as the independent consumer champion, provided an opportunity for patient representatives to have a strong voice of influence and a genuine leadership attitude and capability in order to adequately serve their local communities.  Healthskills were commissioned by Macmillan to develop and facilitate a programme to support patient leadership, recognising the need to develop these individuals, many of who were recovering from cancer and often in challenging and pivotal roles, to become the system influencers and community enablers who will truly make a difference to those using and receiving cancer services in their localities.

What did Healthskills do?

We designed a programme that incorporated different elements, different experiences and different levels of a blended approach to meet the diverse needs of the disparate cohort of individuals we were working with.  The programme design consisted of the following interventions:

  • Programme launch workshop: designed primarily as an engagement event with an emphasis on both what the programme can provide for participants and to explore specific needs and aims of participants from the programme;
  • Masterclasses exploring leadership issues and the application of theory into practice;
  • Action learning set sessions to reflect and consider how they are applying new skills and developing their leadership behaviours;
  • Individual coaching sessions to reinforce the learning and unpack the challenges ahead.  The sessions provided opportunities to consider next steps and focus on developing goals to enable them to realise their aspirations;
  • Leadership Conference to share learning, achievements and challenges and future plans

What is different as a result?

The programme has provided a significant improvement in the confidence and capability of the participants.   Patient leaders report that they felt more equipped and confident in their skills around leadership and management, better able to act as an advocate for their conditions and more effective at influencing peers and stakeholders.

What our client said

I currently work for Macmillan Cancer Support and invited Healthskills to submit a tender to design and deliver a pilot patient leadership programme.  The programme launched in May and evaluations and feedback so far have been excellent.  I would wholeheartedly recommend Healthskills as a quality provider of management and leadership programmes for the health and social care sector.

Angela Cleary, Leadership and Support Lead, Macmillan Cancer Support

The programme equipped me with the skills to distinguish between a leader and a manager and I learned to identify the areas I needed to work on. The one-to-one coaching sessions were probably the most valuable hours I have spent since restarting my career. I developed a great rapport with my coach and I was able to be frank and honest about my own personal fears and insecurities. These sessions have formed a huge part of my personal growth over the last few months.

As a direct result of this course, I had the confidence to apply for a job I may not have considered before and am now in a leadership role that I love.  It’s early days but I’m putting into practice the things I learned and achieving brilliant results so far. Through work and self-improvement, I feel like a different person from when I was just out of recovery. I feel empowered and on top of my game and so much of that’s attributable to the Patient Leadership Course. I’m forever glad I took the opportunity.

Participant, Developing Patient Leaders Programme

Hampshire County Council and CCGs


An OD intervention working with 5 CCGs and the County Council aiming to achieve a shared OD Plan to enhance integrated commissioning

What was the issue?

The Hampshire Better Care Fund programme included a work stream to deliver integrated commissioning with the aspiration that 4 local integrated commissioning ‘hubs’ would be established across the county.  Integrated commissioning is a key component of the wider Out of Hospital care strategy, that many health and care economies have been pursuing over recent years.

Hampshire County Council and its 5 partner CCGs were seeking an OD partner organisation to enhance their own strengths, capabilities and capacity to deliver a coherent OD programme which would run through their own programme work-streams as a coherent ‘golden’ thread.

The aims of the project were:

  1. An OD plan owned by all partner organisations to enable a ‘joined-up’ and integrated health and social care system
  2. To capture the honest views and ambitions of all key stakeholders to the stated approach to integrating health and social care commissioning in our approach
  3. To begin to develop the leadership behaviours and relationships that will model and sustain the required culture and system change

What did Healthskills do?

  • Undertook a quick review of the case for change by highlighting recent national research and evidence for improving services to patients, users, carers and relatives by joining up commissioning
  • Produced a simple checklist of success criteria for integrating commissioning which emerge from this research and evidence, spanning leadership, organisation, and system wide factors
  • Conducted a series of 20+ semi structured interviews with stakeholders in the system to explore assumptions, aspirations, success factors and challenges, which were thematically analysed using the checklist of criteria
  • Facilitated a number of perceived ‘difficult conversations’ between partner organisations and different professional perspectives.  This helped to surface underlying concerns and differences on how the shared vision should be achieved, and helped to steer dialogue in a more honest and collaborative approach
  • Distilled a set of outstanding questions and activities that will support the development of joined up commissioning and the overall capacity and capability within the system

What is different as a result?

A sense of collaboration has emerged that has provided a solid foundation on which to build the STP process.

An OD plan that summarised the key steps to be taken on the journey to wider service integration was shared with all partner organisations.

The partner organisations and key decision makers recognised the value to taking time to increase their face to face contact, building levels of trust and transparency between organisations across the system.

Specifically, they identified:

  • Further work was required to agree a shared definition of, and goals for, integrated commissioning across the stakeholders
  • There was a need to clarify what should be delivered at scale e.g. county-wide, on a sub county level, and locally determined (CCG or smaller locality)
  • The complexity of agreeing a common pace and scale of desired change across the stakeholders, and a view on whether change should be incremental or of a larger more radical scale
  • New initiatives such as Vanguards and devolved powers were seen as either helpful or confusing depending on which part of the system you were talking to.  Further engagement work was needed to mainstream these initiatives into governance and strategic planning processes

We proposed that a number of organisation and system development interventions be considered beyond our project to develop and support the process of achieving a ‘joined-up’ and integrated Hampshire health and social care commissioning system, these were:

  1. System wide learning network
  2. System leadership development and planning
  3. Strengthened Governance systems between organisations
  4. New Ways of Working across professional and organisational boundaries
  5. Developing a common data platform

UK Pharmacy Leadership and OD

An ongoing Leadership, Organisational Development and Strategic Change programme in support of significant change within and external to the profession and practice of Pharmacy in the UK

What was the issue?

The profession and practice of Pharmacy has been a mainstay and core delivery of health and wellbeing in the UK for 175 years; and of course more latterly embedded in the NHS since its inception in the late 1940s. The supply and sale of safe and effective use of medicines for the prevention and treatment of illness is delivered by Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians in a wide variety of settings from front-line Community Pharmacy and Primary Care, through Secondary care to R&D, Manufacturing and Professional Support. Like all sectors in modern healthcare there is increasing pressure to deliver better quality, safety, efficiency, plus save money and reduce costs, whilst maintaining the highest of professional standards. The first intervention came from a joint initiative between Healthskills and The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in the shape of a Leadership and Change programme called ‘Pharmacy Revolution’, supported and sponsored by MSD.

What did Healthskills do?

Initial consultation and co-design of a series of workshops focusing on Leadership, the leadership of Change and developing skills and competencies in line with the Pharmaceutical Society’s Professional Standards.

The workshops focused on:

  • Developing a Vision
  • Strategy and leading Change
  • Supportive management skills

to equip and enable Pharmacy leaders in the present and for the future. This programme has been delivered as a series of one-day workshops in various locations across the UK and uniquely was made available to multi-sector and non-pharmacist key stakeholders in local provision of integrated care.

What are the outcomes?

The programme has had a considerable impact in support of the change agenda in Pharmacy and has additionally evolved because further needs were identified in the early workshops … the outcomes are still having impact and there is an ongoing demand for this valuable work.

Key outcomes include the development of local visions, strategies and action plans to support the change agenda. Cross-sector working has greatly increased the collaboration, understanding and links between the various specialties and professional bodies within Pharmacy. Leadership skills have been enhanced and the increase in understanding of fundamental skills in communication, leadership of change and development of strategy have all been visible in the cohorts who have attended workshops.

What have the clients said?

As president of the RPS I intend to better integrate and support branches of pharmacy taking every opportunity to promote the whole profession, to health professionals and the public, helping us reach our goal in being a fully integrated part of the health and social care teams. I commit to championing the RPS and leading the transition of the society into a Royal College by committing to inclusivity and taking equal pride in the many varied roles of pharmacists working together across all sectors. I believe this program will aid leadership development as well as strengthening local pharmacy networks.

Ashok Soni, OBE, President, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Thank you so much for organising today, I found the facilitation and input invaluable, I thought we achieved a lot particularly with the challenges around engagement, one learning for me is bigger isn’t always better and quality will always trump quantity, I see today as the first step in an area wide change program for pharmacy, thank you as always for your valued support.

Chair, Local Pharmacy Network

Lewisham CCG

The design and development of a multidisciplinary leadership development programme for Lewisham CCG, aimed to develop the capability of local leadership to improve patient care. 

What was the issue?

Lewisham CCG wanted to develop local leadership capability to drive change within Lewisham working at both practice level and with local system partners.    The CCG recognised this required an investment to support the development in a leadership and capability development programme for both individuals working in current leadership roles and those aspiring to move into leadership positions.

The aims of the project were to:

  1. Build the leadership capability of individuals to support succession planning for existing clinical leadership roles (eg: clinical CCG lead roles or Board positions);
  2. Increase participants’ awareness of their own leadership styles and how this impacts others around them and the performance of organisations;
  3. Develop further political astuteness by supporting individuals to build relationships, influence and negotiate within the organisation and across the system;
  4. Enable clinical leaders to manage change and resistance.

What did Healthskills do?

The core elements of the programme have involved working in partnership with the CCG Board to identify their key outcomes and requirements for the leadership development programme.  We then designed a programme that combined a blended approach based on a 360-leadership feedback process that focused on personal learning goals, behaviour change and practical outcomes.

Workshops: Four workshops were delivered in half-day blocks over a five-month period.  Topics including: “Managing Self”, “Leading Change” “Leading Others” and “Managing Conflict” provided areas for discussion, insight and challenge.

Action Learning: Participants attended three action-learning sets where they brought real life challenges to explore and find solutions to take back and apply at work.  These sessions allowed them to consider how they apply their leadership, listen, ask questions and utilise great coaching skills.

Individual coaching and feedback session: provided an opportunity to consider the 360-feedback and understand how the individual operates as a leader at work, the impact they have currently, and what areas they could enhance in the future.  This one to one session provided a rare opportunity to consider next steps and focus on developing goals to enable them to realise their aspirations.

What is different as a result?

The programme has provided an outstanding improvement in leadership capability in Lewisham.   Since the programme, GPs have taken roles on the CCG board, accepted clinical lead roles within the CCG and driven pathway redesign.  Other clinicians have adopted clinical leadership roles within the CEPN or provider functions such as the Federations. Practice nurses have taken on Nurse lead roles within the CCG and are supporting changes and engagement with nurse revalidation.

Participants report that they felt more equipped and confident in their skills around leadership and management, a skill that is not taught at medical school or at VTS level and yet there is a great expectation of doctors to be able to take on existing challenges in the “new world”.  They also stated that the programme delivered on building understanding of organisations, teams and the role of leadership and how to drive change in complex environments.

What our client said

On a personal level, I have been working with Healthskills for 5 years since they helped me as a fledgling clinical director trying to understand what on earth was going on in CCGs and to start to have a positive influence and drive change within them.  It was very helpful, so much so that it enabled me to feel confident enough to take over as chair after a year, when our first chair stepped down.  Since then, Healthskills have provided excellent coaching as well as organisational development and other leadership interventions.

As a CCG we have used them to run our Leadership Programme and many of the cohorts – three courses so far – that have passed through this have taken up posts as clinical leads in our CCG in nursing and Doctor roles. They are also in lead and other roles in most of our GP federations. We notice, and they say, that the course has given them greater confidence and enabled them to sidestep some of the steep learning curve many of us feel as we start to take on leadership roles.   We are determined to invest in our wider workforce and to develop future and current leaders to drive change across Lewisham and Healthskills have supported us to achieve this.

Dr Marc Rowland, Chair, Lewisham CCG

Thank you for being such a great facilitator.  It has been such an eye opening experience.  I have learnt so much about myself but also now I’d like to be in the future.  I have so much to focus on over the next few months.  Your guidance has been invaluable. I’m really excited about the future now.       

Nasreen Ahmed, Bellingham Green Practice, Lewisham

Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Senior leadership development at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

A multi-professional Leadership Development programme for clinicians, managers, allied health professionals and administrators at a large teaching hospital

What was the issue?

Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the largest employer in Derbyshire with over 8,000 staff.  The trust was seeking a provider who could design a deliver a programme to support whole system leadership development, transformational change and the implementation of service line management from the Executive team down.

What did Healthskills do?

In collaboration with the Executive team and leadership advisors in the learning and development directorate, we designed a programme for a series of 7 leadership cohorts that reached over 200 senior leaders in a three-year period.  Interventions consisted of:

  • Leadership insight masterclasses
  • Action learning sets
  • A service improvement project focus
  • One to one coaching
  • Regular alignment and review sessions with the Executive team

What were the outcomes?

The client reported:

  • A significant improvement in employee engagement at the senior leader level
  • Greater involvement in high level project delivery and ‘stepping up’ to take on greater responsibility
  • Better talent management and an acceleration of succession planning of leaders into senior roles
  • Freeing up time for the Executive Directors to operate more strategically

What our client said

We first started working with Healthskills in September 2012 when they were commissioned to deliver a Leadership Development Programme. This multi-disciplinary programme was aimed at our senior leaders – general manager, matron and clinical director level. Healthskills were initially commissioned to run 3 cohorts. Extra programmes were commissioned as the feedback and evaluation from our early cohorts, were very positive.   Overall 7 cohorts were offered, covering almost 200 of our most senior leaders. 

The impact on our organisational development of this shared understanding of the role of the leader and how best to occupy it has been profound and long lasting.

Healthskills’ approach with us has been very collaborative, working with us to ensure the programme content meets the needs identified.   They have been diligent in providing us with regular feedback from delegates and giving a balanced view. One result from this feedback process was work with the Executive Team and their deputies to help create a common language and understanding across our whole leadership community. Healthskills are also very receptive to feedback they get from us as an organisation, making adjustments to content and delivery where necessary. 

We have since worked with them on an Aspiring Leaders programme for the Derbyshire health & social care community, which again has received good feedback. Their approach to development of individuals is very supportive and encouraging, offering a mix of delivery methods and drawing on a range of expertise and experience. This mix suits the different learning styles within the group and offers both group and individual learning. 

Mark has also offered facilitation and coaching to senior team away days which has had had added value given his extensive understanding of the organisation, warts and all, which he has gathered during the delivery of the leadership programme.

 Sue James, Chief Executive, Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust



The programme concentrated on the 6 areas which the Trust needed to improve:

  • Performance:
  • Safety
  • Strategy
  • Finance
  • Reputation
  • Structure

Project groups were set up as part of the programme and learning set groups designed and delivered tangible outcomes at the end of the programme on each of the above areas. These were presented to the other participants and the Board at the final conference which took the form of an exhibition and platform presentations. One notable comment came from the FD.

Yesterday, the second cohort of staff on our leadership programme presented the results of their work. The presentations were very well done, thought-provoking and presented with gusto! There was some powerful (and interesting) feedback on what staff think, some real analysis of things not working properly and then the potential solutions, and the strongest emphasis I’ve seen on how we actually do some things really well, but don’t necessarily communicate that. I look forward to the Teams progressing their schemes further and turning them into reality wherever we can. Our Frontline First Customer Care programme that is currently being developed was the brainchild of a group from the first leadership programme.


One notable outcome was an initiative developed by the Reputation Group entitled “Front Line First”.  This work stream pursued recommendations in relation to the original question:

Would you send one of your relatives to this Trust?

  • Improving front of house services through the “Frontline First” and “first and last impressions” initiatives by considering the needs of staff and collecting evidence to support their development to be more welcoming and informative. This imitative could be supported through the “SaSH stars” scheme that would recognise excellence and create the right forms of behaviour.
  • Developing better ways of managing people around the hospital sites coupled with a more effective communication process when patients or family contact the Trust. Ideas currently being developed further include volunteer floor walkers, picking up evidence via patient survey work, considering a better and more welcoming call centre by learning from other sites and personal hospital guides;
  • Creating a better entrance environment by considering rolling audio visual boards celebrating achievements, improved car park signage, text messaging services to welcome people and a welcoming board on wards with better movement of people around the hospital.

This combined well with a later development on the site where a multi- million pound capital investment was made to improve the hospital entrance and movement of patients around it.


One manager in a nursing role found themselves struggling to cope with the pressure which was being applied by their immediate line manager, sadly a fairly frequent situation we meet on many programmes. The overall impact was that the individual had become “frozen” not knowing which way to turn for fear of further criticism. Coaching had a big impact on them but there were also big learns from the programme overall.

It is difficult to comment on the individual days but overall it has helped to reinforce my leadership skills. This workshop came at a critical point – on reflection I was going into melt down mainly down to frustration caused by my line manager. I believe this course helped to identify this to me and as a result I found myself a mentor. Together with the mentor and the course I have learnt to accept things I can’t change but that doesn’t mean I have given up trying. My work life balance is so much better – Thank you.

Bromley CEPN


Design and development of a motivational interviewing programme to support multi-disciplinary professionals to facilitate self-management in patients with long-term conditions.

What was the issue?

There is significant evidence to suggest that current demands on primary care are high and that primary care clinicians are struggling to fit multiple agenda items into 10 or 15-minute appointments. It is therefore unrealistic to meet every need of patients with chronic conditions in such as short space of time. Bennett et al (2010) stated that half of patients left primary care visits not fully understanding what their GP had told them. Furthermore, whilst shared decision-making is associated with better outcomes, only 9% of patients participate in decisions. Primary care practitioners need to work with patients to ensure that they understand agree with and participate in the management of their chronic condition. Health coaching and motivational interviewing is one way to achieve this.

Research (Macadam, 2015; Coulter, 2013) has demonstrated that working with patients in a more collaborative way can yield better health outcomes.

The aims of the project were:

  1. To enable course participants to understand what motivational interviewing and health coaching is, and how it can be used within primary care in supporting patients to collaboratively set health and wellbeing goals.
  2. To understand some coaching models and frameworks that can be practically applied to enable goal setting and action planning with patients.
  3. To have the opportunity to practise core health coaching skills including: listening, questioning, and building rapport, goal setting and action planning.

What did Healthskills do?

Healthskills designed a bespoke one-day interactive programme aimed at nursing and other allied health professionals – “Motivational Interviewing for Management of Patients with Chronic Conditions”.

The course was designed combining both theory of health coaching and motivational interviewing blended with a strong practical component to provide attendees with space to practice new skills and theory. We believe this is a positive way to enable participants to build confidence to apply their newly acquired skills on return to work.

What our participants said

The course was really interesting and made you think about how you are with people.

I will now get patients to find more solutions rather than telling them what to do.

I have learnt to listen to patients more.