This page requires JavaScript for better user experience.

Central and North West London NHS Foundation


Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust  CNWL) is a large and  diverse NHS provider organisation. Its 7000 staff provide Mental Health and Community Health Services to a number of Boroughs in North and West London and in Milton Keynes. It also provides a number of specialist services for Mothers and Babies, Sexual Health, Addictions and Prisons. It is one of the largest organisations of its type in the NHS.

The NHS is facing enormous challenges at the moment: money is very tight, finding and keeping an appropriately qualified workforce is difficult as there are shortages of doctors, nurses and many allied health professionals so turnover is high (and compounded in London by the high cost of housing), and demand for healthcare is rising.

Collaborative Programme Design

Faced with these challenges CNWL recognised that its senior Clinical staff have, historically, received little support from within the Trust to develop a portfolio of management -as opposed to clinical- skills. So this Programme is designed to provide them with a set of carefully selected skills and tools together with space for reflection about themselves as leaders and managers. The Trust chose Imperial College Business School partly to build on it pre-existing links with the College (based on teaching Imperial medical students and research links with Imperial academics) and partly because of the knowledge and expertise about Health Management in the Business School.

Imperial has been a good choice and CNWL expects all of its senior clinicians to attend the Programme. It is now on the third iteration.

The Programme is run annually: four classroom blocks of 2 days each over 4 months and 2 half days over the next 5 months whilst participants complete a project. The Programme was designed jointly by the Trust and Imperial and a number of sessions are delivered by Trust staff. This joint ownership of the Programme means that it has become deeply embedded in the Trust and deeply relevant to the Trust.

The company

Business Impact

The Project is an important part of the programme as it is the opportunity for participants to apply the material from the Programme to issues of significance to their Services. In this way the Trust receives immediate benefit from its investment in the Programme. Past examples of projects have included huge savings from changes to pathology requirements; the development of dementia screening within prisons; reworking service user pathways, and exploring commercial opportunities for some types of training. The other significant impact has been the number of participants who have moved on to take management roles within the Trust in addition to their clinical duties.


It is probably the best management course that I have attended. The fact that there are senior people from the trust who talk about their work and the problems makes it very live and interesting. It gives us a chance to understand further about the constraints that have been placed on the trust externally. The location, the catering facilities, the breadth of people who spoke about management was impressive.

This was an invaluable experience - an opportunity to learn skills and approaches vital now as part of the skillset of senior NHS clinicians, and to do so in an inspiring and dynamic peer group. A well led programme which I would recommend without hesitation.

This was the most inspiring and interesting course I have done in many years. It re-energised my thirst for knowledge, filled my brain with a multitude of exciting ideas and delivered essential business skills for leaders in the modern day NHS.

This has been one of the best learning opportunities I've had in my consultant career. Thank you!