Impact: Senior Leadership Development Programme Members

Members’ Stories

Esther Dontoh
General Manager – Blood, Cells and Cancer Directorate, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

Esther shares her reflections of what she learnt from the Senior Leadership Development Programme, and how this has helped her to think beyond leading her service and within her hospital, and bringing her team along with her.

Watch Esther’s case study

Members’ Case Studies

Becky Carter
Head of Culture and Staff Engagement, People and Organisational Development, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Becky attended the Mid and South Essex Senior Staff Development College between January – June 2019. She found the Staff College programme probed her thinking and leadership in a way she hadn’t experienced before or since. Her learning on content and process has helped become more agile as she responds to culture change, a merger and the pandemic.

Read Becky’s full case study here.

Dr Rajnish Shah

Dr Rajnish Saha
Clinical Lead Critical Care Medicine The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

Raj shares his reflections of how his organisation’s investment in its leaders has brought about a positive improvement in patient outcomes. At a personal level, he talks about the changes he’s seen in himself and his change of focus to people, relationships and interactions following his attendance on the Senior Leadership Development Programme. He talks about how this has impacted on his team and contributed to the improvement of his service.

Watch Raj’s case study

Dr Maurice Smith
Chief Clinical Information Officer and Caldicott Guardian, NHS Liverpool CCG

Maurice attended the Staff College Senior Leadership Development Programme: Leading Systems module in December 2019. He found the module helped him develop his own thinking on how he could effect the change he hoped to see. Since attending he has taken on the role of Chief Clinical Information Officer in Liverpool and been able to positively influence the development of a number of data sharing programmes across the wider Cheshire and Merseyside system.

Read Maurice’s full case study here.

Dr Robert Sherwin Dr Robert Sherwin
Associate Medical Director and Consultant Obstetrician, Whittington Hospital

Robert talks about the impact that in depth feed-back he received from peers, faculty and his direct observations during video reviews on programmes has had in developing his awareness of his interactions with his team and confidence to lead in more senior roles. He also shares the value he found from the leadership experience, rigour and can-do attitude of military members of faculty.

Watch Robert’s case study here

Dr Gareth Smith
Consultant Clinical Scientist (Audiology), Southend University Hospital, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Gareth Smith completed the Mid and South Essex QI Leadership programme between February 2021 and February 2022. Staff College delivered the leadership development sessions of this programme. Gareth produced this video as his final presentation to depict his experiences and journey through the programme.

See Gareth’s video here.

Dr Caz Sayer
Dr Caz Sayer
Chair, Haverstock GP Federation

In Caz’s interview, she reflects on how she had drawn on her experience at Staff College in her subsequent years as a CCG Chair. She talks about how the focus on developing awareness of behaviours had enabled her to work more effectively and collaboratively with others in a new systems leadership role.

Watch Caz’s reflections here

Dr Jane Jones
Clinical Lead for Children and Adolescent’s Mental Health Services and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Whittington Hospital

Jane’s attendance on the Staff College Senior Leadership Development Programme: Leading Self, Leading Others and Leading Systems modules from October-December 2017, led to a change in how she runs the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service. With greater transparency and consistency in the way cases are triaged, patients are more likely to be referred to the right service first time, receiving appropriate care more quickly.

Read Jane’s full case study here.

Mr Ajit Abraham Mr Ajit Abraham
Staff College Principal, Consultant HPB and Trauma Surgeon and Co-Chair Inclusion Board, Barts Health, Undergraduate Dean, Barts Health Medical School

Ajit talks about the potency of the Staff College approach in providing a safe environment for leaders to test their leadership with the support and objective, triangulated feedback from expert faculty, peers, self-reflection and video reviews. He talks about how these help leaders to understand where they are now in order that they can go on to manage themselves and lead their teams better, within the service of their mission.

Hear Ajit’s reflections here

Dr Tim Hodgson
Medical Director for Specialist Services and Consultant in Oral Medicine, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Tim attended the Staff College’s Senior Leadership Course in 2010-11. The impact of the programme has led to significant changes for staff at the hospital he leads with staff satisfaction levels improving and levels of reported cases of bullying and harassment going down from being one of the highest of the Trusts’ hospitals, to being the lowest in just a few years.

Read Tim’s full case study here.

Dr Vikki Mitchell Dr Vikki Mitchell
Divisional Clinical Director for Theatres and Anaesthetics, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH)

Vikki shares her reflections of how attending Staff College helped her to overcome the learned helplessness prevalent for medical leaders and enabled her to develop her confidence and ambitions to lead and influence change in order to improve care for her patients. She talks about how the programme made her consider the importance of accountability and the role leaders have in taking responsibility for and motivating their teams so that everyone feels as though they’re an important cog in the wider machine.

Watch Vikki’s case study here

Dr Tom Butler
Clinical Lead for Haematology, Barts Health NHS Trust

In his case study, Tom shares his experience of working with Staff College through the Transforming Services Together: Outpatient Transformation Programme and through his attendance on Leading Self earlier this year. He describes how the programmes have impacted on him and how his role has changed as a result. Stepping back and providing the environment for his teams to flourish has enabled them to take forward their plans and set up new services for patients. Now up and running, these services are providing better care and access for marginalised patients with significantly better outcomes.

Read Tom’s full case study here.


Kate Petts
Deputy Director of Strategy
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH)

Kate attended Staff College’s Senior Leadership Course first modules in 2015 before coming back to complete the Senior Leadership Development Programme, Leading Others and Leading Systems modules of the new programme in 2017, whilst Deputy Divisional Manager at UCLH. In her case study she shares how her experience on the programme helped her to make progress with implementing a new way of working within her service, to meet national guidelines and provide a safer service for patients.

Read Kate’s full case study here.