Leading Sheffield is a five-day leadership development programme to help develop system leadership approaches to adapt and apply in participants own organisations; and also give the opportunity to support colleagues from other organisations through addressing a specific challenge affecting the people they work with. The challenges help build relationships and agree ways of working in partnership across primary care, secondary care, the local authority, the voluntary sector and other relevant organisations.
The three main aims of Leading Sheffield are to:
- Disrupt leadership thinking to propagate and nurture different approaches to thinking, learning and experience
- Open up our doors and share the challenge to understand the challenges we all face and appreciate the value that everyone brings
- Empower leaders at all levels through a range of analytical skills we will further embed service improvement, staff engagement and organisational design approaches.
We are about to start our third cohort of the Leading Sheffield programme and a recent evaluation of participants from the programme has shown some really positive and impactful results.
The first cohort of the Leading
Sheffield programme ran between March and May 2019 with 35 participants from
statutory NHS organisations, the Local Authority, voluntary sectors
representatives, universities, police and educators.
“I was in quite a difficult place, not being able to see a way forward and the programme has given me a different way of looking at things, different lenses … , understanding what’s going on and the parts I can play”
“It was such an unstructured thing that became the launch block to think outside the box, do things differently, really drill down how you might do things in a different way”
Examples of the direct/indirect impact the programme had on system working are:
1. The recruitment of a person to work on social prescribing for young people with mental health issues in the Porter Valley.
2. Improvements in joined-up patient/service-user care:
a. Joint visits of health professionals
b. Increased referrals to a service
c. Reinstatement of benefits
d. Shift in mindset “asking patients what matters to them, rather than what we think”.
3. Enhancing working practices within and across organisations:
a. The improvement of working relationships between an area of the NHS and the local authority has enabled a reduction in the frequency of problem-solving meetings
b. OT, nurses and community support colleagues shadowing each other, leading to mutual understanding and breaking down the blame culture
c. Widening the scope of work in a team of nurses
d. More integrated working with district nurses
4. An appreciation of the complexity of tackling mental health.
A key outcome of this cohort on participants was the coining of the concept of ‘bristling’, as a way to confront tension between people from different organisations, address the tension and enable all parties to effectively move on. This has resulted in colleagues’ feeling more skilled and effective in addressing conflict and thorny issues across the system.
The second cohort of Leading Sheffield ran between September and November 2019 with 33 participants from statutory NHS organisations, the Local Authority, voluntary sectors representative, police and primary care.
“Refreshing to move away from traditional ‘talk & chalk’ leadership programmes & towards a more experiential approach.”
Participants all experienced an increase in confidence in changing or developing systems in their own organisation and other organisations after the Leading Sheffield programme.
Key considerations participants took away from the programme:
- When trying to impact change, invite everyone involved to be a part of discussions, across different organisations and including service users; holding meetings out in the community
- Change of mindset: “awareness when I am resisting working differently because of preconceptions and try to be open minded”.
Recruitment of a person for social prescribing: young people’s mental health:
“Our exercise, then, as a group, was to look at the younger demographic and in the Porter Valley area. Only last week, we recruited somebody to actually fulfil that social prescribing position; they commence the role in January. I spoke to the successful candidate last Wednesday and said, ‘I was on a Leading Sheffield programme in May, and you’re a result of that. We looked at what the current provision is and where the gaps are, and that’s why you’re in this chair. That was completing full circle for me, and then I actually emailed the GP, saying, ‘Our Leading Sheffield programme has just been completed because we’ve got somebody in place.”
Improvements in joined-up patient/service user care:
“after the training a colleague of one of the managers in the Stroke service was speaking about a chap who had a stroke and lost all his benefits and she didn’t know what to do. She was able to say ‘well I’ve been working with someone who may be able to help’. I passed it on to one of our CSWs who went to see the chap and not only got his benefits reinstated but got them backdated. I think, had we not been on that training, I don’t know what would have happened to him”.
Attend the Leading Sheffield Landing event on the 18th June 2020 to support participants on the next cohort of the programme where they will be showcasing there thoughts throughout the programme on how they can work more collaboratively to address a specific challenge in Sheffield.