From education to employment

Management and leadership qualifications help boost efficiency at local NHS Trust

Management staff at a London NHS Trust have been taking advantage of a successful training and development partnership between London South East Colleges and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust where the training of staff, particularly in the area of operations and departmental management, is highly important.

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust is responsible for University Hospital Lewisham, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Greenwich, and a range of community health services in Lewisham. Its vision is ‘to work together to provide high quality care for every patient, every day’.

For over seven years, the Trust has employed the services provided by London South East Colleges for the training and development of staff from a wide spectrum of management roles including clinical and administrative.

Ranjan Pattni is the Trust’s Apprenticeship Lead and responsible for supporting staff in training and development via the apprenticeship route.

She says: “Each year we offer our staff the opportunity to apply for the Operations and Department Management CIM Level 5 Diploma which covers strategic planning, budgeting and finance, managing people and processes, leadership, managing change, decision-making, communications and building relationships with staff, patients and their families. It is a two-year course in which each candidate is required to pass six units. Needless to say, this is not easy, especially while balancing work, study and family life.

“This leadership and management training is a mix of bi-weekly lectures and assessments, distance learning and assignment-led projects – it works well for the majority of learners. A dedicated tutor from the College is always on hand to support and guide them through their studies.

“These courses help staff in their day-to-day roles, as well as enabling them to build their skill sets and progress their careers.”

Jean Firaza, 28, is a Ward Manager at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She was promoted from senior staff nurse last year to work on two new wards.

Jean says: “All of a sudden, I was operating within a network of new people and my responsibilities pretty much tripled overnight. Though a lot of these were dependent on my general aptitude and previous experience, I recognised immediately that I needed more training – particularly dealing with challenging behaviour, introducing new working patterns and resources and embracing change.

“I started this course in November 2018 and within weeks I was learning about leading and organising a team (I have a team of 25 staff members associated with my ward). I’m enabling my team to become more self-sufficient and familiar with new systems and structures, creating a calm and composed working environment and a safe, comfortable and hygienic recovery space for patients. It’s also helped having a superb manager who has supported me in this training, regularly highlighting all the positive changes he’s noticed in me since I started the course.”

Maureen Ekhuemelo, 37, is a Senior Staff Nurse at Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s endoscopy unit and is responsible for ensuring clinical excellence and close cooperation with staff specialising in various disciplines.

Maureen says: “At present I am a team leader and need to boost my confidence by learning more people-related skills. Our tutor, Badar, has such a broad knowledge of management techniques and principles that are common to all sectors. As well as learning the core fundamentals of each unit, we pick up even more with practical exercises and simulated activities that allow you to put what you have learnt into practice.

“The course has really helped me think on my feet a lot quicker, as well as learn how to solve complex problems or remove difficult obstacles by simply approaching them from different perspectives. It’s helped me to shine new light on dilemmas and complications that can arise during a typical shift in my unit and has empowered me to become more assertive and confident. It is a very good course and I’m so pleased that I decided to take it when I did.”

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