Congratulations to Alwen Williams

Healthskills is delighted to offer our congratulations and warm wishes to Alwen Williams, Chief Executive at Barts Health NHS Trust who became a Dame in the New Year Honours List 2021, honouring her 40 years of service to the NHS. Healthskills worked extensively with Dame Alwen and her team prior to her appointment at Barts, supporting the development of outstanding leadership in Tower Hamlets.

Supporting organisational development with the Black Country and West Birmingham CCGs

Healthskills were commissioned in early 2020 to support the four CCGs in the Black Country and West Birmingham as they form a single collaborative commissioning organisation.  Mark, Dawn and the team are currently providing executive team development, supporting staff with Managing Change and Interview workshops, and shaping the organisational development strategy for the next two years.  We are thoroughly enjoying working with such skilled and energised leaders and being part of a long-term collaboration to make an impact on reducing health inequalities.

COVID-19 Training Partnership with Daniel Owen Ltd

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with Daniel Owen Ltd to develop a COVID Site Supervisor training course, specifically for leaders and supervisors in the building and construction industry.

The course has been built on the recommendations from the Construction Leadership Council and will be delivered online. A fully certified course, delegates will receive full CPD credits on successful completion.

“The training is, in depth, clear and concise, the easy to use format with a test at the end of the video will ensure people listen and have a full understanding of what needs to be carried out on site to help protect operatives against Covid-19.

Very good.” Chris Seal MRICS MCIOB LCGI

To find out more and book onto the course please click here to register your interest.


Supporting you and your staff right now

Healthskills has been supporting you and your teams for many years now, and in these incredibly challenging and difficult times when everyone is anxious and time-strapped, it is even more critical to treat each other with compassion and kindness. Here in a few words, is how Healthskills can help you, your teams and your staff right now:

  • First, an obvious point to say, that we have waived cancellation charges for any scheduled Healthskills interventions that have had to be postponed during this crisis;
  • If you or your team need a 30-minute coaching conversation to provide practical support about how to manage your resilience, your teams, or simply some headspace to think during this crisis, then please let me know.  You can contact me on 07771 655382 or .  These sessions will be free of charge, and my Healthskills colleagues and I have all committed to provide at least one day a week for this, for however long is necessary;
  • Facilitated ‘Team Check-ins’ for leadership teams can be incredibly powerful when you are under such pressure currently. These can be virtual, for up to 8 people, and can provide thinking space to focus on what’s working, what could be better and provide a solutions focus for ways forward;
  • One-to-one coaching sessions for up to 90 minutes on Skype, Zoom or MS Teams (for example) are formidable vehicles for personal reflection on behaviours and actions during change, and the Healthskills Coaching team is on standby to support you;
  • We have cancelled all face to face workshops until further notice and are able to provide alternative online / virtual solutions to support you immediately.  An example is our 90 minute Personal Resilience workshop for up to 8 participants online, where you can understand what resilience is, how to become more personally resilient and how to support colleagues to be more resilient;
  • All of the comprehensive Healthskills suite of workshops, action learning set meetings, staff engagement sessions and diagnostic tools are available virtually so that despite the enormous pressures on your staff currently, where development and support is critical, we can offer a range of solutions;

Finally, if you don’t see the learning, training or development answer to your issues above, then please get in touch with me.  Each client has unique challenges as a result of this crisis and we are working with you all to find different virtual ways to support you.

With best wishes to stay well and positive


Mark Greenfield
Managing Director, Healthskills

Congratulations to leaders at Chelsea and Westminster NHS FT

Healthskills is delighted to congratulate leaders at Chelsea and Westminster NHS FT for their latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings, which show that the Trust is well-led, and offers safe, caring, responsive and effective services.  For Well-Led, the CQC rated the Trust as ‘Outstanding’. Inspectors highlighted that the Trust is an organisation with a clear vision for what it wants to achieve, which has been developed with staff, patients, and key groups representing the local community. The Trust has been commended for having a leading role in the development and improvement of services across North West London. Inspectors found there was a ‘no blame’ culture and mistakes were regarded as opportunities for learning and improvement.

Healthskills has been collaborating ChelWest since 2016, with our co-designed and facilitated multi-professional ‘Established Leaders’ development programme, supporting over 150 senior clinical and non-clinical leaders, to develop consistent leadership behaviours, aligned to Trust strategic priorities and with a quality improvement project focus.

Happy Christmas

Healthskills wish all our clients, programme participants and leaders everywhere a very Happy Christmas and best wishes at this festive time.

We have greatly enjoyed working with you all this year, helping you to develop your leadership muscles, accelerate the fitness of your teams from front line to Boards, and providing supportive, challenging and empowering coaching for hundreds of individuals.

Thank you for continuing to support Healthskills for over twenty years now, and we look forward to working with you again in 2020. Here’s hoping that the New Year will bring health and happiness for you all.

As in previous years we are donating to a local charity instead of sending Christmas cards. For 2019, Healthskills is delighted to support Jasmine House, a rape crisis centre in Leicester: Jasmine House has been providing high quality therapeutic services for over thirty years. It is run by an all-female team of trustees, staff and volunteers and provides a safe space where women and girls can access free and confidential services following any form of sexual violence either recently or in the past.


In the week of #WorldMentalHealthDay, Healthskills is playing a small part along with thousands of other organisations to raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate against social stigma.  Our work coaching leaders and teams to improve their Organisational Health has highlighted that often basic communication skills such as learning how to give and receive constructive feedback, encouraging praise and recognising small wins, and empowering others to act are often the key to helping individuals with resilience and resourcefulness.

Time to Change is a growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. They have already reached millions of people and begun to improve attitudes and behaviour.  They offer excellent advice to end mental health discrimination and help organisations improve staff mental wellbeing, and I make no apology for repeating this here:

Your mental wellbeing at work

  • Take your breaks: a change of scene and fresh air
  • Don’t bottle things up: ask for help if you need it
  • Celebrate achievement: don’t just focus on what you haven’t done
  • Work-life balance: make time for non-work activities and meeting friends
  • In-house support: what wellbeing support is available at work?

Looking out for others at work

  • Avoid working in a silo: be mindful of others’ pressures
  • How are you?: take time to ask others how they are
  • Look out for changes: if someone is not quite themselves
  • One to ones: include mental wellbeing in catch-ups
  • Be informed: look into mental health awareness training

Remember that mental health can affect anyone and statistically, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year. No one should have to fear being treated differently because of a mental health problem so make the advice from Time to Change part of your cultural shift to ‘the way we do things around here’.

For more information and access to the Time To Change resources and to get your workplace involved in the discussion follow this link.


Civility Saves Lives

Chris Turner

I had a really great experience eating a meal in a pub with my elderly mum a few weeks ago. Apart from the fact that the food was delicious and well-priced, what made a difference was that the staff were terrific – polite, attentive, informed in helping us choose and being particularly patient with mum’s indecision.  Not for the first time I was struck by the impact that great manners and taking a genuine interest in others can have to deliver a very rewarding experience.

This reminded me of a recent conversation I had with a Medical Director at an NHS hospital trust, and his enthusiasm for the increasing evidence base showing that civility between colleagues can greatly improve patient care and save lives.

Put simply, if someone is rude to us at work, even if this is mild to moderate, and not extreme, research shows that our bandwidth to complete our tasks can be reduced by up to 61%.  As we can often feel powerless and even humiliated, this reduction in our performance can have an enduring impact throughout the day.  Furthermore, when an incident of rudeness or incivility occurs in teams, there is a collateral impact on other team members: a 20% reduction in team performance and a 50% drop in willingness to help others.

This has a major influence on how teams work and deliver.  Research from Riskin and Erez (The Impact of Rudeness on Medical Team Performance; Pediatrics; September 2015) shows that the single most important fact that determines the output of medical teams is how they treat each other.

So, if there is now strong evidence that when we work with someone who is civil and treats us with respect, we feel empowered and encouraged to work at our best, and the reverse is undoubtedly true, what is our challenge as leaders?  Maybe it starts with saying please and thank you routinely? Asking your colleague about their weekend, and holidays at this time of year? Avoiding rolling our eyes if someone continues to repeat things you’ve heard before? Tackling unacceptable behaviours in others proactively rather than expending wasted efforts going around them?

I would like to acknowledge the excellent work of Chris Turner and Civility Saves Lives – a project with a mission to promote positive behaviours and share the evidence base around positive and negative behaviours  A fascinating TEDx talk by Chris Turner from June this year can be seen here:

Millennials and Leadership

We all know that the Millennial generation (also known as Generation Y) covers those born between 1981 and 1995. Those born after 1995 are part of Generation Z.

Millennials cover an age range of 24-38 so it is no surprise that many are now in management and leadership roles. This article looks at how Millennials are impacting in the Leadership arena as they bring their focus and motivations to the workplace. My expectation is that many readers of this article will be Millennials and it would be really good to have their feedback to this article

How millenials are perceived

As part of the research for this piece I pulled on articles generated by others interested in this space.

Initially some pointers about Millennials in Leadership

In a Millennials survey conducted by Virtuali and Work Place Trends, some interesting pointers showed that 91% of respondents wanted to lead and 50% said that “leadership” is the empowerment of others. The respondents believed they were strong in communication and relationship building – core Millennial features – but lacked confidence in industry experience and commercial expertise.

This throws up to me a warning that Millennials need to have greater commercial awareness on the impact their lifestyle views have on the success of the organisation which is paying them to deliver results.

The survey showed that Millennials clearly have different expectations from previous generations about what they expect to see in their leaders and the social good their organisations are doing both in the workplace and the wider environment.

A Forbes report by Kimberley Fries: 7 Ways Millennials Are Changing Traditional Leadership – highlights how Millennials are impacting on Leadership

    1. They’re showing a willingness to leave when leadership doesn’t meet standards
      Millennial are much more prepared to leave a management role where the leadership has shortcomings and demonstrates the leaders are not prepared to change. Their actions here have caused major disruption in a number of organisations leading to changes about how managers communicate and engage with the wider work force
    2. Millennials are expressing different needs regarding leadership training
      Leadership Millennials are quite demanding about having mentors and on line training facilities to build on their leadership knowledge base. Not all organisations are ready to engage with their needs
    3. They embrace a flat management structure
      Millennials are interested in lateral development as well as ladder development. Flatter structures allow them to focus and develop in both areas
    4. Millennials value leaders who seek feedback from all employees
      Feedback across the workforce is a key Millennials principle and so with the flat management structure mentioned above, Millennials expect leaders who consider everybody in their decision making
    5. They push back against policy for policy’s sake
      In principle Millennials support leadership decisions that benefit the organisation at large. However they have a questioning/challenging approach to most workplace situations. This means as leaders they are more willing to delve into previous decision making processes
    6. As leaders they seek to empower and transform
      Millennials have a cause which is the improvement of mankind and the environment. This means as leaders they will want to create structure, empowerment and engagement levels across organisations
    7. They seek and support flexibility and work-life balance
      Top of the Millennials wants list are a true work/life balance brought about by flexible hours, telecommuting, self-care and flexible workplaces. As they gain an increasing part in the leadership of organisations they have a main focus to drive change across how organisations actually work.

Where does this all take us?

The initial reaction from those I have spoken with regarding this article is that Millennials are just one age grouping amongst the age range of employees across their organisation.

Further they say that they have people policies that are aligned to organisation needs and longer term strategies.

All very nice I say but globally – and Millennials are a global issue – they will become the largest employee demographic within the next two years. Therefore they are not going away and are already well up the management ladders in organisations of all sizes

My question is what is being done in your organisation to meet the Millennial’s needs?

Are you grasping the opportunity their free thinking brings to your leadership table?

Please let me know your point of view on this issue by emailing me at

Charity Golf Day

Bob playing golf Charity Golf Day group photo

Healthskills Partner Bob Baker helped to run a Charity Golf Day in aid of Parkinsons’ UK and Motor Neurone Disease Association last month and raised over £1000 for the two charities. Healthskills sponsored a hole for Bob who is pictured with his group and teeing off at the Weald of Kent Golf Club and Hotel near Maidstone.