The eight day course, developed and delivered by the NHS Leadership Academy, focuses on the approach and behaviours of frontline nurses and midwives who have leadership responsibilities, such as team leaders, ward sisters and supervisors, and the environment they create for their colleagues and patients.
In October 2012, the government pledged £46m toward leadership development in the NHS as part of the biggest drive to create a new generation of leaders – crucial to ensuring the safety and quality of patient care. This new drive includes the development of at least 5,000 nurses and midwives over the next three years.
The frontline course was developed following a rigorous design process involving nursing and midwifery leaders from across the country, and feedback from this first cohort will shape the layout of future programmes. Around 1,200 nurses and midwives should complete the course by March 2014.
One attendee, Sam Carman, Emergency Assessment Manager from South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust said: “If I’m being honest, over the last six months the things I have read in the media about nurses has had me quite disheartened but after the first day on this course, my faith in my colleagues was completely restored.
“Every single person I met really cared about what they do – afterall, it is our patients that bring us in to work every day. The opportunity this course has given me to reflect on my role has made me even more geared up to prove what a positive effect we can have as an individual, as a team and as an organisation as a whole.”
Dr Nicholas Bradbury, the Academy’s nursing and midwifery programme lead, said: “Part of our core programmes, the frontline leadership course focuses on those nurses and midwives who not only directly deliver patient care but are responsible for their own teams in whichever setting they work, whether it be in public health, a GP practice, hospital or community setting.
“At the NHS Leadership Academy we are absolutely committed to the view that leadership really does start on the frontline – and our frontline leadership course is designed to help our band 6 and 7 nurses and midwives understand their approach and supports them to understand the impact that they can make on patient care as an individual and as part of a team.”
The course, which follows the Senior Operational Leaders Nursing and Midwifery programme and includes elements of the NHS Top Leaders programme, includes a three day residential and consists of practical group work on understanding the culture of the NHS and each individual’s approach within that. Attendees are representative of the fourteen regions in the country to ensure a consistency of approach across all areas in the UK.
Although these courses are currently for nursing and midwives specifically, from September, the NHS Leadership Academy will be running a multi-disciplinary foundation, mid and senior level leadership core programmes.