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Sharing Current Scottish Practice

Inspiring Leadership programme an investment in high quality healthcare

A new pilot project offers a safe haven for band six palliative care clinical nurse specialists to share and learn from each other.

A group of eight band six clinical nurse specialists are the first to take part in a new Inspiring Leadership programme, jointly delivered by The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice, Accord Hospice and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Education for Scotland.

Masterclasses and workshops are combined with action learning and a quality improvement project, and participants have the opportunity to have their work accredited by Glasgow Caledonian University at Masters level.

“The 12-month programme was set up after recognising a potential gap in knowledge. Band six clinical nurse specialists in palliative care are working in a time of organisational change with increasing complexity around their specialist role. Some staff have reported feeling vulnerable and anxious as they struggle to deliver high levels of care to patients and families,” explained Jane Miller, education facilitator at The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice.

“It now offers a safe space for clinical nurse specialists taking part to share and learn from each other, while embedding the values, behaviours and attitudes of leadership skills.

“This provides a foundation to support greater successional planning in palliative care and increase the knowledge of those taking part, as well as their understanding of quality improvement methodology supporting individual quality improvement action plans.”

A key goal is to provide training in leadership for this cohort of palliative care nurses alongside robust evaluation of the programme with the view to this becoming a nationally recognised palliative care leadership programme.

“Newly appointed staff, in particular, have been reporting an increase in stress levels within their teams, and with the number of band six palliative care clinical nurse specialists in acute settings increasing, it is essential to support and develop them,” added Jane.

“A move towards mentorship and succession planning paved the way for this new programme. It now provides an opportunity to continue building leadership capacity across NHSGGC palliative care teams and ensure we have leaders who are prepared for senior strategic roles in the future.

“The progamme calls for a high level of investment from those taking part, as well as the hospices involved. An investment in leadership is an investment in high quality healthcare – essential to delivering the future in NHS Scotland.”

By the end of the exercise, clinical nurse specialists taking part will have had a chance to build their self awareness, personal effectiveness and resilience. They will also be able to show leadership behaviour that is consistent with creating an enabling culture to transform services for patients and families.

Providing effective leadership and management in teams and across professional and organisational boundaries will focus on service excellence. And creating the conditions for staff to play to their strengths, think creatively and work collaboratively will overcome obstacles in the change process.

At the end of the programme, a celebratory event in February 2018 will give those taking part an opportunity to showcase their Quality Improvement Project work.

By Angela McManus, Communications manager, The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice

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