Chelsea and Westminster NHS FT (CWFT)

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