Lancaster programme brings innovation to the NHS

Three women and a man sit around a table with an open laptop sitting on top having a discussion

Important figures in Lancashire and South Cumbria’s healthcare system have been inspired to bring innovative ideas to the NHS through a new Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) programme.

The first cohort of students from the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Trust completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Innovation and Improvement Science with the Centre for Executive Training and Development (CeTAD) in LUMS this week.

The bespoke programme was developed in partnership by CeTAD and the NHS Trust after Gary Sutton, Assistant Director for Continuous Improvement in the Trust was inspired by his learning experience on a CeTAD Master’s course.

The programme is designed to blend academic theory with practice through a mixture of skill and knowledge-based modules that support this unique role in the NHS. It supports Trust innovation fellows to lead change and undertake innovation and improvement projects, taking their classroom learning straight into the workplace.

The nine students in the first cohort work in varying roles across the Trust – from a Clinical Psychologist in the Fylde and Wyre Community Mental Health Team to the Head of Nursing and Professional Practice (Community Physical Health) in Preston, Consultant Psychiatrists and Forensic Consultants.

Students assembled in Lancaster to showcase their final projects, in front of an invited audience of senior figures from the NHS Trust, including the Chief Executive Officer and Chief and Deputy Chief Medical Officers.

"We have been very impressed by the participants on this first programme and how they have developed confidence, knowledge and skills to become more reflective leaders and improvement practitioners in their organisation,” said CeTAD Scheme Director Paulette Swindell.

“We believe that our work-based learning, including personal coaching, action learning, authentic assessments, and projects, brings academic theory alive, providing participants with meaningful, practical strategies and tools for the future, alongside a postgraduate qualification.”

A second cohort from the NHS Trust have already started the Postgraduate programme with CeTAD. They will all complete the certificate while continuing to carry out their work roles, allowing for immediate implementation of their ideas in the organisation.

Ursula Martin, Chief Strategy and Improvement Officer with the NHS Trust, said: "Our partnership with Lancaster University and Matthew Syed Consulting has paved a path for the successful development of our Improvement Fellowship programme.

“Together we have developed an exciting opportunity to equip our staff and others with the skills to make improvements that positively impact patients, staff and communities and I would like to congratulate all of individuals from cohort one. We look forward to continuing this partnership for further cohorts of this exciting programme.”people sit around tables having discussions about the PG Diploma in Innovation and Improvement Science

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