NHS Leadership Academy; Southwest Region (Case Study 3)

NHS Leadership Academy; Southwest Region: Improving Outcomes for Patients and Clients through Organisational Development (Case Study 3) 

We were commissioned by NHS Leadership Academy in the southwest of the UK to provide an in-depth programme to clinicians and operational managers in OD (organisational development) skills and practice. The aim was to improve the experience and outcomes of patients in all settings by upskilling and empowering a range of clinical and managerial professionals to use organisational development.  

We ran 3 x 6-month contracts over 3 years that were highly regarded. They demonstrated a positive shift in skills and knowledge of participants and those working around them. Each participant received an individual coaching session at the start of the programme followed by a 2-day group learning event every month for 6 months.  

Participants learnt a full range of organisational development skills: how to design and facilitate sessions; undertake a diagnostic within a team; develop wellbeing plans; deliver large workshops; gain coaching skills; use Appreciative Inquiry, and a great deal more. They experienced the tools and techniques first-hand and then learnt how to use them with others via practical tools, individual practice and group work. We covered the theory behind organisational development and quality improvement so that they could gain new knowledge, practical skills and a toolkit to help them at work. 

The participants reported that they saw improvements in conflict resolution, reflective practice, retention and sickness absence in their teams as a result of interventions they had provided either during or after the course. All these factors are directly linked to improved patient outcomes and experience. 

Several participants went on to build networks and provide organisational development to other teams. An example of this was a consultant surgeon who used tools and techniques from the course to help some surgery peers with their stress levels and communication style with other practitioners. The cumulative effect of this has made a real difference to the outcomes and experiences of their colleagues and patients.