In 2019 we completed our first two cohorts of the Leading Sheffield, a leadership development experience that offers some tools and techniques for adapting to and applying system leadership. Leading Sheffield gives the opportunity for participants to work with colleagues from other organisations through addressing a specific challenge affecting the people in their community. These challenges develop relationships and agree ways of working across the partners of the ACP and other relevant organisations.
You can read more about the aims and structure of Leading Sheffield here.
Here we present some evaluation collected from Cohort 1 and 2 of Leading Sheffield participants to display the impact of their experience.
The first cohort of Leading Sheffield ran between March and May 2019, with 35 participants from statutory NHS organisations, the Local Authority, voluntary sectors representatives, universities, police and educators.
“I was in quite a difficult place, not being able to see a way forward and the programme has given me a different way of looking at things, different lenses … , understanding what’s going on and the parts I can play”
“It was such an unstructured thing that became the launch block to think outside the box, do things differently, really drill down how you might do things in a different way”Reflections from Cohort 1 Leading Sheffield participants
Examples of the direct/indirect impact participation on Leading Sheffield had on system working:
- The recruitment of a person to work on social prescribing for young people with mental health issues in the Porter Valley area.
- Improvements in joined-up patient/service-user care including:
- joint visits of health professionals
- increased referrals to a service
- reinstatement of benefits
- shift in mindset “asking patients what matters to them, rather than what we think”
- Enhancing working practices within and across organisations:
- The improvement of working relationships between an area of the NHS and the local authority has enabled a reduction in the frequency of problem-solving meetings
- occupational therapists, nurses, community support colleagues shadowing each other leading to mutual understanding and breaking down the blame culture
- widening the scope of work in a team of nurses
- more integrated working with district nurses
- An appreciation of the complexity of tackling mental health.
A key outcome from Leading Sheffield Cohort 1 was the coining of the concept ‘bristling’, as a way to confront tension between people from different organisations, addressing the tension in a way that enables all parties to effectively move on. This has resulted in colleagues’ feeling more skilled and being more effective in addressing conflict and thorny issues across organisations.
The second cohort of Leading Sheffield ran between September and November 2019, with 33 participants from statutory NHS organisations, the Local Authority, voluntary sectors representatives, police and primary care.
“Refreshing to move away from traditional ‘talk & chalk’ leadership programmes & towards a more experiential approach.”
“it’s about the process, not about the outcome, it’s about how we get people from different areas together to look at a problem and come up with-, not necessarily a solution, but work together in a different way and find the ways round that. Once you understand it’s about the process, which is giving up a lot of time to do that, but actually is incredibly valuable, you then begin to see what it’s all about”.Reflections from Leading Sheffield Cohort 2 participants
All participants experienced an increase in confidence in changing or developing systems in their own organisations and other organisations after completing Leading Sheffield.
Key considerations from participants after completing Leading Sheffield:
- When trying to impact change, invite everyone to be a part of discussions, across different organisations, including service users, holding these meetings out in the community.
- Change in mindset “awareness when I am resisting working differently because of preconceptions, and try to be more open minded”
Impact stories: Six months on
Six months after completing Leading Sheffield, participants were interviewed and asked about the results/impact arising from their experience on Leading Sheffield.
“Our exercise, then, as a group, was to look at the younger demographic and in the Porter Valley area. Only last week, we recruited somebody to actually fulfil that social prescribing position; they commence the role in January. I spoke to the successful last Wednesday and said, ‘I was on a Leading Sheffield programme in May, and you’re a result of that. We looked at what the current provision is and where the gaps are, and that’s why you’re in this chair’. That was completing full circle for me, and then I actually emailed the GP, saying, ‘Our Leading Sheffield programme has just been completed because we’ve got somebody in place’.”Recruitment of a person for social prescribing: young people’s mental health
“after the training a colleague of one of the managers in the Stroke service was speaking about a chap who had a stroke and lost all his benefits and she didn’t know what to do. She was able to say ‘well I’ve been working with someone who may be able to help’. I passed it on to one of our community support workers who went to see the chap and not only got his benefits reinstated but got them backdated. I think, had we not been on that training, I don’t know what would have happened to him.”Improvements in joined-up patient/service user care
If you would like to be a participant on Leading Sheffield, and think you would be able to:
- Influence practice and behaviours in your usual place of work
- Prepared to open your mind and think differently about how organisations work together (including challenging their own and others’ preconceptions)
- Committed to taking a person-centred approach
- Passionate about making a difference to the wider health and social care system
- Committed to investing time to contribute, share and learn
Please do get in contact with us.