In my report I describe my leadership scholarship journey from December 2015 – April 2017. I will describe my aims and objectives in undertaking the scholarship, along with my learning and development during the scholarship. My patient improvement project is outlined from inception, describing the methodology, the challenges and successes and my role as lead for the project. I conclude with my reflections of the scholarship and opportunities for sharing the learning.
My scholarship is sponsored by Health education England, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The beginning of my scholarship I had Met Sue Machell for my debrief following my online personalised assessment. My Myers Briggs assessment of ‘ENFP’ was fascinating and resonated with me as a good indicator of my personality. My 360 feedback which we sought after my meeting with Sue was very reassuring and positive. I asked 5 members of the Trust board to give me feedback alongside my direct reports.
In January 2016, I attended the LCOR course and this was my first chance to meet my fellow FNF scholars, I was delighted to see such a wide and diverse group from nursing and other disciplines and to make some important Networks in sharing experiences.
Before embarking on the Scholarship, I really enjoyed the ‘Gunfire at Sea’ & ‘SMA case studies’ considering leadership and the impact of culture on organisations helped me to think differently about how I might approach the improvement project.
In May 2016, I enjoyed attending the Westminster Experience which gave me an insight into how to influence the political agenda on a national and regional level, thinking on my feet and about political thinking behind heath care policies. I was somewhat hesitant in applying for this element of the scholarship and I wasn’t sure what to expect other than I was likely to be out of my comfort zone that day. Shortly followed by attending the RADA (communication for Leadership, Personal Impact, Presentation and Influence programme) and what an amazing experience that was for me and undoubtedly one of my highlights of the scholarship. I have booked to return to RADA in June 2017 to consolidate this experience by undertaking the RADA Executive Presence for Women programme. I gained so much from trying out new techniques in presenting and breathing well during presentations, and look forward to developing this further at RADA.
In June 2016 I flew to present my doctoral research on executive nurse leadership at the 27th International Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Research Conference in Cape and I spent 2 days during my trip visiting the inspiring nurse leaders at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. I spent time in the main trauma and A&E departments seeing at first hand the effects of a culture of gun crime and trauma gunshot wounds. I also visited the oncology, psychiatry and spinal injuries unit and I was so impressed by the nursing care and leadership in the hospital.
On Tuesday 12 July 2016, I had the great privilege of meeting Baroness Audrey Emerton at the House of Lords. She took myself and another group of scholars on a Tour and shared her experiences with us on how she has had a leading role in shaping nursing policy over the last 20 years. I also attended the debate at the Lords on the Chilcot enquiry which was fascinating on Tuesday 12 July and attended Question Time at the House of Lords.
Finally, in March 2017, I travelled to Brussels to the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit. This was a key component in my leadership scholarship as I was able to put my project falls reduction data through validation testing and hear from some inspiring international speakers about their organisations lean improvement journeys.
On my last day in Brussels I undertook a ‘gemba’ visit to the Saint Luc Hospital in Brussels. This is a large 1,000 bedded acute trust in the main city of Brussels. In many ways it is a typical large acute Trust also has some different models of care to what is more commonly seen in the NHS. The main A&E department has integral surgical, paediatric, medical and psychiatric inpatient beds, along with a point of triage to primary care at the A&E interface. These differences to the patient pathway along with the organisational diffusion of lean methodologies would appear to make for an efficient system and use of resources. There was also an emphasis on staff wellbeing and in particular working environments including special attention to the use of natural lighting and ward lighting both in the clinical and non-clinical areas.
Throughout my scholarship I have been mentored by Ray Greenwood who has been brilliant in supporting and mentoring me throughout my scholarship. It was lovely that we shared so many joint interest in nursing and Ray’s guidance has been so appreciated during this time.