Leadership Centre Helps Prepare Leaders to Work in Integrated Care Systems

Jul 7, 2022

A group of clinicians and senior managers in Devon are benefiting from a new development programme aiming to strengthen relationships and system-working.

Participants include doctors, GPs, allied health professionals, nurses, and operational/strategic managers working at a middle/senior management level.

The Leading in the Devon NHS Healthcare System programme aims to:

  • Elevate and develop system working/collaboration and distributed leadership
  • Develop networking and nurture trusting relationships
  • Prepare leaders to work in an Integrated Care System

The course is being delivered through online and face-to-face sessions between March and October 2022 and the project was led by Dr Alex Degan, Primary Care Medical Director of the Integrated Care System for Devon.

Alex said: “I passionately believe that improving patient care is best addressed in a collaborative manner. As we become an Integrated Care System, it seemed an opportune time for leaders across the whole system to meet, build relationships and share issues and ideas.

“I’m confident that this development programme will lead to better services and outcomes for our population over the coming months and years.”

The programme is led by Debbie Sorkin, National Director of Systems Leadership at the Leadership Centre and Tim Whitworth and John Wilderspin, systems leadership enablers also from the Leadership Centre, in partnership with the South West NHS Leadership Academy.

On behalf of the team, Debbie said: “We are really pleased both the range of participants from right across the NHS healthcare system in Devon, and with the levels of enthusiasm and commitment people have shown in wanting to work across the whole system to make change and improve outcomes.

“We have a group of around 90 people who will be great ambassadors for pan-system working, and going beyond the NHS, in future.

“The programme concentrates on real-time, complex issues, such as supporting and developing the workforce; looking at mental health, particularly in relation to children and young people; and how to build prevention into the system from an early stage.

“The participants are looking to do real work to start to tackle these, through joining up with different parts of the system, building new relationships, trust and influence, and exploring new ways of working.”

Further to one of the sessions, one participant said: “I have made more connections that can lead to positive change today than in years – and am developing support and approaches that can lead to sustainable change and improvements.”

Participants gathered for their first face-to-face session at Exeter Racecourse in June when the guest speakers were Dr Nigel Acheson, Chief Medical Officer for One Devon, who talked about his vision for the integrated care system, and Emeritus Professor Veronica Hope Hailey, of the University of Bath who delivered a masterclass and workshop on trust, and trust building.

**This article was produced by NHS Devon and first appeared on the One Devon website**


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