Dear Trainees

In the year before the Covid pandemic struck we had introduced a new leadership and management programme for trainees in the East Midlands.

In the eyes of others, you become a leader when you become a doctor even if it doesn’t feel like that. Your practical experiences of leadership will start almost straight away with your interactions with colleagues in your teams. This last year will hopefully demonstrated to you the importance of effective leadership. Things will be different from this point forward and we want to encourage you to look critically at what you do day-to-day in your job, and think could this be done differently to enhance the experience of your patients. We need to instil in you, the confidence to then act on these thoughts and challenge the status quo. This requires you to have a belief and a stake in the departments and organisations that you work in. As you often move between organisations, you will have acquired priceless experience of how the same thing is being done differently in each place, as well as learning from the rapid changes that have occurred in the last year.

We understand that within these organisations there are hierarchies that appear daunting and maybe stifling of innovation. However, the NHS needs to utilise the energy and talents of junior doctors who are going to be some of the most intelligent and skilled people in your age group in our country. Successful and dynamic companies outside medicine are much better at harnessing this young talent to drive change in their organisations to help them adapt to a rapidly changing world.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on how we could deliver the programme, as it was previously largely face-to-face and highly interactive sessions. We have produced an updated brochure (attached) to show how we have modified the programme. As with the rest of your group teaching, we are having to rely on virtual meetings with MS teams with breakout rooms.

Year 1 had two whole day sessions which have been changed to four half-day sessions. We have been piloting these sessions at the end of 2020 and feedback has been excellent. We are now at a point where we can roll this out with booking of these sessions on Accent Intrepid. You should book the sessions in order, as each builds on information contained in the previous sessions. We are aware that we need to increase capacity to allow those of you that have not started the programme to catch up. Whilst we think that you will get the most by attending these sessions, we are also making available the slide packs and an edited video of the sessions on the HEE Learning hub for those of you that want to cover the content independently as adult learners. The HEE learning hub is a new repository of content that you can register to use free of charge when you first access it. Over the coming months we will be developing a system by which you can be accredited for accessing the programme in this alternative way.

Year 2 of the programme has also been adversely affected by the pandemic. As you can see from the brochure, this was to have taken place in the organisations in which you work. Unfortunately, the small group teaching and supported QIPs we envisaged have not been possible in secondary care. The content of the teaching was going to be locally generated so that it was more specific to the environment that you work in with different quality and patient safety agendas. In the absence of year 2 being provided locally, slide packs covering the year 2 content have been created and will be uploaded to the HEE “Learning Hub” so that, you can go through it in your own time.

For ST3 GPs that started the programme in early summer 2019 (at the end of their ST1 year), we plan to have the last two half day sessions available to book in early summer 2021 before your CCT in August. This will then become available to those reaching year 3 of the programme in Autumn 2021.

For those that have been to the year 1 sessions, you will be familiar with the National Leadership Academy document “Leadership conversations” (attached). If you read the brochure of the programme this is explained in more detail. It should provide a framework for your leadership development throughout your training. It has examples of experiences that you should be seeking out and provides additional sources of content to enhance your progress. It should be seen as complementary to the programme.

Finally, I’m sorry that your training has been affected in so many ways by the pandemic. I’m confident that even with the changes that have been forced on us, you still find the programme as interesting, challenging and useful as the previous feedback on it suggested. What comes next in the NHS is likely to be less fixed than it has been for many years. This provides an opportunity for you to shape it with the leadership skills that we hope you will acquire through the programme.

Kind regards

Dr Toby Delahooke

Associate Postgraduate Dean, East Midlands Leadership Lead

Queries about the Leadership Programme:

Bookings to these sessions are via Course Manager -