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Case Study: Nottingham University Hospital (NUH)

Happy developed a six-month Clinical Leadership Development Programme for the Nottingham University Hospital (NUH), which included five days of classroom training, eLearning, an online community and online assessment.

NUH identified a need for greater skills and support for clinical staff when they took on Heads of Service or other leadership positions in the trust. It was clear that doctors taking on these roles had a wealth of interest and enthusiasm, and a desire to do things differently to achieve great care. What was lacking were skills in improvement and change, performance management, finance and strategy.

The trust wanted a programme that would fit around clinical commitments, that was grounded in the context of their organisation and gave colleagues knowledge and skills not only in their own leadership, but also in an understanding of the healthcare system in which they work.

Why Happy?

“After a formal procurement process we chose Happy. Their ethos of focusing on staff, ensuring they are empowered to fulfil their potential, and the understanding that Happy staff not only deliver on results in business but also deliver on safety and outcomes in healthcare was very compelling; their previous involvement with healthcare and provision of leadership programmes that addressed the findings in our TNA; the cost of the programme and finally the fact that the individuals involved clearly had the gravitas, understanding and presence to deliver what could be seen as ‘fluffy’ ideas to clinical colleagues’.”

– Paediatric Emergency Consultant, Head of Medical Leadership Development

The programme

Happy conducted a series of interviews with key figures within the trust and talked with current and previous Heads of Service, to ensure the programme met the specific needs of the trust.

The programme included the involvement of key leaders at NUH, including presentations and question sessions from the Chair and Chief Executive. While teaching key leadership skills, it was firmly rooted in the Five Year Forward View and included extensive analysis of some of the most innovative new models of care in use around the world.

The core of the programme was five days of classroom delivery, spread over six months. This was supported by e-learning, an online community and online assessment and feedback tools.

What was Happy like to work with?

“Happy were incredibly responsive to feedback and flexed and changed the programme both on the day, during the cohort and between cohorts to try and ensure that we got exactly what was needed for colleagues. They delivered a final report for both cohorts and a train the trainer day at the end of both cohorts to ensure we are able to deliver the programme in the future.

“They designed and delivered a programme that has supported colleagues to think differently about their leadership and the healthcare system in which they work, it has also offered networking and peer support opportunities and has had very positive feedback from the attendees.”

– Head of Medical Leadership Development

The results of the programme

Every participant stated they would recommend the programme to colleagues. 100% agreed that “I have learnt about myself as a leader” and 67% strongly agreed with that statement. The programme is now to be rolled out further across the trust, delivered by NUH’s own facilitators.

The participants described a range of benefits from the programme:

  • “The benefit? Greater cohesion, understanding and shared common vision. A more positive outlook and increased morale.” – Surgical Consultant
  • “The programme made me more aware of my role as a leader. Increased my ability to understand my team and bigger picture. In terms of connections: it was a great opportunity to interact with colleagues from different departments which I found helpful. I have learnt a lot more in every session.” – Consultant, Breast Services
  • “I have been more confident and stuck to my guns more. Am enjoying the role more as a result.” – Radiology Consultant, Clinical Lead
  • “I gained insight into the effect of leaders and personality types of those you are trying to manage.” – Consultant, Head of Service, HCOP (Healthcare of the Older Person)
  • “I think that the most valuable part of the whole programme was the opportunity to sit with other clinical leaders and share the common frustrations and challenges in a unpressured environment, some great conversations and reflections, made me realise we are all in the same boat.” – Lead Consultant, Cleft Lip and Palate service
  • “As a result of the programme I have had more difficult conversations than I ever thought possible! It isn’t the same as other leadership courses. It is worth it.” – Advanced Nurse Practioner, Head of Service Emergency Department
  • “I fully support and am actively marketing the programme having had three of my team attend / currently attending.” – Interim Director, Hospital Improvement Programme
  • “I am a more relaxed leader, more confident. Just do it!” – Head of Breast Services

Contact us to arrange your own Leadership Development Programme and find out how we can help your organisation. Training can take place over six months, like this programme, or we can adjust the timetable to suit your team’s needs. We can implement eLearning solutions and an online community for discussion for your team too.