NHS England and Improvement

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Inclusive Leadership Project

***This project has now started. Further updates will be posted here when the project is completed*** 


The NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI) Leadership and Lifelong learning team are conducting a review to understand the needs (taking particular note of COVID) of our Leadership and Lifelong Learning (LLL) and Talent functions. In order to do that well, we are collecting information and data from lots of different sources and people.  

There are lots of different ways to feed into that review and the team are really keen to hear from people who are outside the usual circles of influence in the NHS, particularly those from communities who might not ordinarily engage in our information collecting exercises.

We’ve therefore asked Deeds and Words to work with 45 NHS leaders from a range of backgrounds to articulate what it is like to be a leader in the NHS, what barriers exist to inclusion, and what leadership interventions might help change the picture.

Deeds and Words have therefore developed an Inclusive Leadership Project – to be delivered between Mid-August and late September - and we are looking for 45 people who are leaders in the NHS to join them to explore those ideas. You will work with Deeds and Words to co-create an evidence base and will also be able to hear and learn about inclusive leadership culture and practice. Deeds and Words have extensive experience in the areas of co-creation and inclusive leadership. 

The project

The Inclusive Leadership Project will be delivered via five two-hour webinars and we’ll ask you to talk to other people who aren’t able to be in the room in between the webinars.  The webinars will cover a range of topics which will be of use in your day-to-day work as well as providing Deeds and Words with information that will shape a response to the strategic review.

The webinar series are being held every Wednesday from 3pm-5pm for six weeks via Microsoft Teams (you don’t require a log-in and you can access from your phone) and are taking place on the following dates:

  1. Introduction to the Inclusive Leadership Project – 19th August 3pm-5pm
  2. A shared understanding of Inclusive and Collective Leadership – 26th August 3pm-5pm
  3. What is inclusive and collective leadership in the NHS? – 2nd September 3pm-5pm
  4. Existing leadership and learning support – 9th September 3pm-5pm

Please note there is no webinar on 16th September but we will ask you to write to us with your thoughts, and the things that have come up in your conversations.

5.  Our shared findings for the strategic review– 23rd September 3pm-5pm

If you want to be part of the Inclusive Leadership project you will need to attend all webinars.

How to join the Inclusive Leadership Project:

We are looking to involve a diverse cohort of people who hold leadership positions in the NHS. We are particularly looking for people who:

  • Have insight and expertise about working in the NHS and belonging to an under-represented community in the NHS. This is likely to include women, trans and non-binary people, people of colour, LGBT+ people, disabled people, people whose first language isn’t English, part-time staff, people of faith, older or younger people, or people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. You might also bring insight from a particular geographical area, a particular specialism or particular organisational set up from within the NHS.
  • Have good networks with others where you work and are able to talk to people who wouldn’t normally respond to email invitations or meeting requests.

To be considered as a member of the Inclusive Leadership Project please email nhs@deedsandwords.co.uk by 7th August 2020 with the following information:

  1. Name, contact number, email address:
  2. Role in the NHS:
  3. What insight and experiences do you have of leadership in the NHS?
  4. What insight and experience will you be bringing from your life and work that might inform leadership development in the NHS? We’re particularly keen to hear about your experiences as someone from an under-represented community.
  5. How would you bring other voices and insights into this programme?
  6. Do you have access to a computer, laptop or tablet?
  7. Please confirm you can attend all six webinars.
  8. Is there anything you’d like us to be aware of that would help you participate fully in the webinars?

Places on the programme are limited and we will select individuals to ensure we create a diverse group reflecting the range of insights and expertise across the NHS.

About Deeds and Words

Deeds and Words work with a range of organisations to help create and sustain inclusive cultures and is run by Caroline Ellis and Ruth Hunt.  Deeds and Words work collaboratively with groups of staff to develop and deliver leadership interventions and programmes that help shift attitudes and cultures. Caroline Ellis has worked with organisations for over 30 years and started work with the NHS during the HIV crisis in the early 1990s. Since then, she has been involved in a range of public health programmes and interventions and developed and delivered leadership programmes for the NHS and other public bodies. Ruth Hunt is the former CEO of Stonewall, the LGBT charity in the UK, and has worked closely with the NHS for many years. You can find out more about Deeds and Words at www.deedsandwords.co.uk

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