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Oakridge supports Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in developing leaders of the future


This case study looks at how Oakridge worked with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to help develop their leaders of the future.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (BFNHS) invests in finding the ‘leaders of tomorrow’ to ensure it continues to deliver in all areas in these ever-challenging times. Oakridge was tasked to deliver a Senior Leader Capability programme to help develop collaborative leadership in this ever changing NHS landscape.

The Trust has always had a senior leadership programme in place, to support and develop its leaders to deliver services and look after staff, but in 2016 it launched a five-year organisational strategy, which required it to develop future leaders with the competencies to play a key role in delivering it.


Since the launch of this strategy, the Trust has used a more targeted approach to finding the talent pool of employees who would become part of its succession plan, and to carefully identifying those employees who would become part of its succession plan, and to carefully identifying those employees who would become part of its Trust Talent Management and Succession Planning Framework.


Using this Framework, the Trust’s ultimate objective is to be a clinically led organisation with leaders that live its values and one that is truly collaborative, where engagement, participation, and involvement become its core leadership approach.


Having attended several of Oakridge’s Talent Management Think Tanks and Leadership Forums and having been impressed with their informative and interactive content, Jane Meek and Sharon Adams from BFWH asked the Oakridge team to join a competitive tender to provide its next stage Senior Collaborative Leadership Programme.


The Trust’s brief was to provide the ‘leaders of tomorrow’ with the opportunity to develop their strategic leadership knowledge and skills and to strengthen their capacity to lead with care and compassion, while engaging teams and delivering results in challenging times.


Oakridge won the three-year contract to provide leadership training because it was able to provide a bespoke and interactive programme for the Trust, with every part of it focusing on it organisational strategy.


This case study looks at how Oakridge worked with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals to help develop their leaders of the future.

Oakridge’s Anna White developed a bespoke Senior Collaborative Leadership Programme to meet the specific needs of BFWH.


It involves one programme per year for three years, with the first cohort of 12 senior clinical and non-clinical leaders given the opportunity to develop their leadership potential with Oakridge starting in April 2017, with monthly sessions thereafter.


The learning modules included:
• A launch session to explain the programme’s aims and objectives, design, and content. A further nine sessions, each with their own objectives, covered the Trust’s vision, strategy, and objectives; understanding the evolving landscape of the NHS; being at my best as leader; quality improvement; taking people with you through change; stakeholder management and engagement; the manager as coach; strategic human resource management and developing and maintaining business acumen.
• Other elements built into the programme included three applied learning sessions involving peer coaching and 360-degree feedback, with additional coaching made available to selected delegates.
• Each delegate also worked on a change project during the duration of the programme, enabling them to put their learning into practice whilst bringing benefit to their area.
• A final ‘celebration event’ session included presentations to the Board, which allowed delegates to share and feedback the outcomes of their change projects and the overall programme.

Positive feedback has been received from delegates on the programme who are looking forward to using their learnings. Such was the success of the programme, that the Trust chose to include delegates from the Blackpool and Flyde and Wyre Critical Commissioning Groups in the next cohort which is now underway. This supports the partnership approach which is essential for delivering successful integrated care on the Flyde Coast.


Over the next two years, the Trust will be able to assess the success of the programme based on measures such as the percentage of leaders promoted in senior leadership positions, quarterly improvements in harm free care; an increase in recommendations of service, reduction of sickness absence, substantive staff and agency spend; mandatory training compliance in a department or team over 90 per cent and improvement in employee engagement levels.


Jane Meek, Deputy Director of Workforce Education and Organisational Development at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“Oakridge has provided a fantastic, bespoke programme that integrates clinical and non-clinical leaders and where all the modules tie-in with our five-year strategy…..”

Dawn Goodall, Trust Solicitor said:

“The whole programme was interesting and worth the time and effort that everyone put into it. It has opened my eyes to the additional complexities of the NHS – I’m just glad it was Anna who took us through it. Excellent.”

Sharon Mawdsley, Lead Infection Prevention Nurse at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“It has given me confidence to work at a strategic level. I am a more confident leader and this will instill confidence in my team.”

Anna White, Oakridge Senior Consultant said:

It has been a real privilege to work with such talented individuals who are so passionate about their role in the Trust and about the NHS. Everyone on the programme put so much into it and, I think, got a lot out of it in return….”

Dr. Andrea Whitefield, Associate Medical Director Leadership and Engagement and Consultant Palliative Medicine at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“I’m delighted to work with Anna and the Oakridge team on our Senior Collaborative Leadership Programme. Some years ago, we decided that we wanted to give the most senior people in our organisation the opportunity to develop their leadership skills together in a safe and supportive environment, recognising that we wanted our Trust to be clinically led…..Anna has supported us over the past two years to further develop this….we continue to receive fantastic feedback from colleagues who have attended the programme and great examples of quality improvement activities that have really made a difference.”

For full testimonial quotes please download a PDF of the case study here:



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