“Leadership is the most influential factor in shaping organisational culture.”

Collaborative Newcastle partners recognised that a single, joint leadership development programme for staff across health and care organisations in the City would help to build stronger working relationships and embed trust, understanding and closer cooperation and collaboration

A brand new programme was developed which now provides multi-agency leadership development at scale across the whole Newcastle system. Following its launch in 2019, over 125 graduates have completed the course, representing a diverse mix of organisations, roles and responsibilities – including GPs, pharmacists, finance directors, clinicians and health and care managers,

“Senior leaders are increasingly required to work and influence across organisational boundaries, identifying and removing obstacles and enabling an environment that supports multi-professional collaboration and innovative problem solving. As a result leadership programmes should focus on the knowledge, skills and behaviours that contribute to the development of effective system leaders.” Jill Cordes, Programme Lead.

The programme is unique in that a critical mass of leaders from the same system are working and learning together and contributing to the priorities for improving health and care in the city of Newcastle. The seven day interactive programme is led by experts with experience in, and knowledge of, the challenges leaders face and provides an opportunity to convert learning into practice. Participants complete pre-programme activities which are designed to develop self-awareness and include psychometric profiling and a role conversation with a senior manager. Self-directed study, experiential learning, collaboration and coaching underpin the interactive sessions.



A work based assignment / project, tackling a ‘live’ challenge or issue, is also undertaken in small multi-agency teams and key findings are presented back to senior leaders, peers and line managers – ensuring that learning is shared across organisations and can drive tangible change and improvements moving forward. Early evidence is already highlighting the contribution this work is making to the Newcastle system.

We asked some recent graduates about their experience of the Programme:

“I have learned that there is a huge amount of knowledge, passion and expertise across Newcastle and if we come together to tackle an issue as a system, far more is achievable.”

“It gave me a real chance to understand the different perspectives on what is often the same issue. The course also allowed me to establish long lasting relationships with colleagues across the patch; making future collaboration and problem solving much more likely.”

“Only by placing patients and patient care – not organisations as we always have done – at the centre, will we ever be able to improve health and health outcomes, mortality and morbidity, life expectancy and most important of all, quality of life. This requires though, cooperation between and within numerous organisations and services, as well as collaboration between clinicians and supporting staff.”

“I was able to extend my professional network further into other organisations and I anticipate this integration will improve the range and quality of things we are able to do together. By working together across the system we can solve some of the problems that patients experience; the problems often arise when organisations have conflicting goals or pathways that don’t meet seamlessly around the patient.”

“There are a lot of talented people out there! Whatever we worked on together through the Programme was made all the better because of the breadth of perspective.”

For more information about the Newcastle System Stewardship Programme, please contact: jill.cordes@nhs.net

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