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.