Archives: Testimonials

John, Operations Director

“I have worked with Mark a number of times over the last decade. It has been easy to develop a relationship with Mark, he makes you feel relaxed and is extremely good at listening, it feels like he knows you as a person, and remembers information from previous sessions. During my time with Mark he has used a number of diagnostic tools to aid discussion, as well as prompting questions before the session, and items to follow up on afterwards. I always look forward to meeting with Mark as it gives me an opportunity to step-out, reflect and gain alternative perspectives on life. During my coaching time with Mark my career has developed from a middle manager to board level across three different NHS Trusts in a variety of posts. My work with Mark has broadly focussed on three different areas; interacting with others, career choices and personal resilience. In all areas working with Mark has helped develop my perspective, thinking and action. It has developed my appreciation for other points of view and therefore my interactions with them, I have developed in my career to executive positions in the NHS and I am a more content, confident and relaxed professional. Thanks”

Ernest, Consultant Surgeon

I undertook a course of individual coaching with Jane over a six-month period. We worked on particular aspects of my communication style. The coaching quickly produced marked improvements that were recognised by those I interact with. Jane uses her considerable expertise to get right to the very heart of an issue, identify the small practical changes that will have a big impact and ensure you make them. Jane demonstrates her integrity at all stages of the coaching process and is completely trustworthy. I wholeheartedly recommend Jane as a development coach.

Louise, Director of Communications

As a relatively new entrant to the NHS, I was keen to explore coaching as a way of helping navigate the healthcare leadership landscape. I undertook a year long programme of one-to-one executive coaching with Mark as part of the Healthskills contract with my NHS employer, and alongside my studies on the NHS Leadership Academy Nye Bevan programme.

I found being coached was revelatory. A good coach enables and empowers you to ask the hard questions of yourself, as well as explore possible answers. I found Mark to be very skilled at drawing out the areas where I needed to focus my time and energy in terms of self-reflection and then decision making. It helps if you approach coaching as a proactive and purposeful set of actions and interventions that you invest in – directionless navel gazing it isn’t! My sessions supported me in identifying areas for development and improvement, as well as helping me do the deeper thinking about my longer-term career goals, based on where I really felt I could make a positive difference within the NHS.

I also found the coaching support to be a complementary (and necessary) activity alongside my further leadership studies at the NHS Leadership Academy, helping me to deepen my learning and insights based on a more accurate understanding of myself and how I worked with and impacted others.

I would recommend a programme of coaching to any aspiring healthcare leader – it is a valuable investment both for you and your employer, as well as being highly enjoyable to boot, given Mark’s intuitive and personable approach.

Vijay, GP and Clinical Chair

I was slightly cynical when I started with yet another coach having been a senior clinical leader in the NHS for several years.  Right from the outset, Mark worked skilfully with a practical approach and the right level of challenge and coaching technique to strengthen my leadership skills.  I was particularly impressed with his support when I faced the most challenging and critical issues and I was able to successfully manage them.  Mark, I am really grateful for all your help and am delighted to recommend you and your organisation to any senior leader who might need coaching.

Zehra Safdar

Merton Community Education Provider Network has worked closely with Melanie Warner of Healthskills, mainly in delivering one of the core components of the GPFV training around active signposting. Melanie has been a real pleasure to work alongside, I am able to give her my vision for the program required and she turns into a great workshop for which we have received really positive feedback and evaluations. I have found Melanie to be approachable and accessible, working against tight deadlines at times, she certainly is able to engage with all the stakeholders within the program.  More over her interaction with the delegates has had had such a great impact on our programs.

Dr Marc Rowland

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.

Sue James

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

Ben, Clinical Director

What really made the difference to me has been your coaching.  Before our first session I suspected and hoped it would be valuable, but I couldn’t have articulated exactly how. During our conversation it was very apparent how carefully you were listening to me and paying attention to my needs. I found it easy to be honest and open, I felt respected and valued – and I realised that I had utter freedom to speak. The agenda was mine to determine, but whatever it was we discussed – you were there to help – not to tell me what to do or suggest we talk about something else you saw as more important.

On that basis we exposed a number of things that were blocking me from moving my own ambitions forward. You challenged me about problems I perceived, that in retrospect had obvious answers. I had a genuine feeling of excitement and a sense of urgency to act on the solutions you had helped me to suggest. Within weeks of our first session I had successfully delegated a number of time consuming jobs to other equally capable and responsible people. I did this in a way that ensured security of the task, but that liberated me and empowered others. Win win! That allowed me the time and energy to move my own aims forward again.

I told you I had a “hunger” to talk through certain issues and plans for our second session. I knew what potential there was, with your help, to clarify my thoughts and develop an action plan. Again you listened carefully. This time rather than specific problem tasks we were talking about broader plans and a longer term strategy around my career progression. You were able to break down what seemed a very big challenge into practical steps and stages. Having already thought about these I was then able to bring in suggestions and you helped create a logical narrative for me to act on.

I am grateful for the time you devoted to exploring my concerns and questions, and the skill with which you helped me generate my own solutions and encouraged me to act. Professionally and personally I found your coaching energising and very valuable. Thank you

Jacquie Foster, Southwark CCG

Healthskills have worked with us on a number of different projects for staff and Governing Body development.  I have been impressed with the company; Healthskills have been very willing to work with us to develop bespoke interventions to support the development of both individuals and groups at all levels of the organisation. The facilitator’s unflappability (or appearance of!) and flexibility to work with sometimes quite fluid agendas and ensure inclusivity of individuals with often quite varied views has been great.  I would recommend them as good value, credible across all levels, and able to deliver.

Vivienne Stimpson

Fantastic facilitation and very positive feedback from those who attended