The programme was developed in partnership with an NHS organisation that wanted to encourage and support their Ward Managers to become 'Change Agents' in order to ensure high quality care throughout the patient pathway.
The partnership that formed to make this happen involved the Director of Nursing from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, her team and senior members of the HR and OD team together with University staff. The outcome was a contextualised Postgraduate Certificate in Organisational Change designed to empower their Ward Managers in the constantly changing NHS landscape.
The development of the programme was built around core national clinical leadership competencies, key organisational values and participant self review. The programme was delivered off site via interactive workshops facilitated predominantly by university tutors however key sessions were delivered by the NHS Trust staff on subjects such as finance and budgets. Innovative work place assessment methods were introduced and included:
- A group task to analyse the drivers for change impacting on Ward Managers
- The completion of a personal development plan linked to change, the Trust's competence framework and 360 feedback
- The production of a change management project proposal
- A reflective diary on their experience of leading others through change
- The design of an evaluation for achievement of change in a work context
- A final group presentation to design and conduct their own evaluation of learning from the programme, including an evaluation of their experience of working in action learning sets
As part of a group assessment exercise and informed by line management the students identified the outcomes that reinforce the real learning from the programme and the impact at an organisational level. These included:
- Participants have developed a very strong local network with a loud voice within the organisation
- The Ward Managers are more resilient and as a result more able to cope with and to get more involved in change as they have a much improved knowledge of a manager's role in change
- They have more confidence as leaders and are therefore better equipped to deal with difficult people
The success of the programme and the lessons learnt in developing it, have ensured that it will be transferable and can be adapted and offered more widely.