Talking Heads: Talking Health Sessions


In a bid to provide further support to our members during the pandemic, we have launched a new series of Talking Heads: Talking Health sessions. Every month, we’ll be hosting an interactive talk with a senior health leader. Sessions provide the opportunity to hear from leaders from different backgrounds and disciplines about their first-hand experience leading during the pandemic. Sessions are 45 minutes long with a 20 minute talk, followed by an interactive Q&A session. Sessions are free and open to all and will take place via Zoom. We advertise these here and through our social media channels. If you want to be the first to hear about new speakers, you can sign up to receive our updates here. If you can’t make a session, there’s no need to worry. We’re recording all of them and they’ll be available here to view after the event.


Talking Heads: Talking Health with Professor Martin Marshall
Tue 9 March 2021
18:30-19:15 via Zoom

We are delighted to announce that Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, will be delivering our first Talking Heads: Talking Health session of 2021.

Professor Martin Marshall is Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners and a GP in Newham, East London. He is also Professor of Healthcare Improvement at UCL in the Department of Primary Care and Population Health. Previously he was Programme Director for Population Health and Primary Care at UCLPartners (2014-2019), Director of Research & Development at the Health Foundation (2007-2012), Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England and Director General in the Department of Health (2006-2007), Professor of General Practice at the University of Manchester (2000-2006) and a Harkness Fellow in Healthcare Policy.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine and was a non-executive director of the Care Quality Commission until 2012. He has advised governments in Singapore, Egypt, Canada and New Zealand, has over 230 publications in the field of quality improvement and health service redesign and his primary academic interest is in maximising the impact of research on practice. In 2005 he was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for Services to Health Care.

A co-founder and driving force of the Rethinking Medicine movement, Martin has a passionate commitment to the values of the NHS, patient care and ensuring the GP voice is central in a time of great change.

You can book to attend the event here


Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture 2020

Annual Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture
“The Truth Revealed in a Crisis” with Lord Victor Adebowale
24 November, 18:30-19:15, Zoom

Lord Victor Adebowale presented a provocative and passionate call to arms in the first virtual Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture on 24 November 2020. Victor is Chair of Social Enterprise UK and the NHS Confederation and is a non-Executive Director of the Co-Operative Group, Collaborate CIC, Nuffield Health, Visionable and Leadership in Mind.

In his lecture, “The Truth Revealed in a Crisis”, he spoke about the underlying inequality within society that the global Covid-19 pandemic had exposed. He talked about the incredible advances that have been made in history, and can be made by a single individual, recognising an injustice and seeking to do something about it.

Touching on many issues close to his heart he highlighted the work to house homeless people during the first wave of Covid and what this showed us about the political and societal decisions that have led to people to be able to all-too easily fall through the cracks in the welfare state.

With questions from the audience ranging from how to ensure that the problems raised in reports and reviews are actually acted upon to how leaders can foster greater diversity within their teams and is there a risk of creating positive discrimination.

You can watch the whole event here

Find out about our previous memorial lectures and Honorary Fellows here


Missed our previous Talking Heads?

No need to worry, you can watch them all here at a time to suit you!


Talking Heads: Talking Health Session with Ajit Abraham, Staff College Principal

Our first Talking Heads: Talking Health Session took place on the 1 July 2020. With questions ranging from how Covid-19 has impacted on leadership within the health service, how mission command has been effectively used within some areas during the pandemic to the difficulties of leading when those in more senior positions don’t seem to be, Ajit shared his perspective as a front-line clinician and his unwavering belief that doing the right thing on a difficult day is key to be an effective leader.

You can watch the whole event here


Talking Heads: Talking Health Session with Professor Sam Shah

Our second Talking Heads: Talking Health Session took place on the 9 September 2020. With questions ranging from the impact on him as a leader of completing the Staff College Senior Leadership Programme, dealing with pressure, and how he leads when things go wrong. Sam shared his perspective working on a local, regional and national level and how he listens, questions and responds, to have the important conversations to allow him to lead the teams and deliver successful outcomes.

Unfortunately owing to a human glitch with technology we did not manage to record Professor Sam Shah sharing his thoughts about leadership. However we did record the Q&A session where members asked Sam about his experiences. Thank you to those who asked a question giving their consent for us to share this recording with you.

You can watch the Q&A session here


Talking Heads: Talking Health Session with Professor Sir Sam Everington

Our third Talking Heads: Talking Health Session took place on the 6 October 2020. In a wide ranging talk, Prof Sir Sam spoke about his pioneering work in social prescribing and explained how this system is expanding nationally. He also outlined the key attributes and approach that he feels are required of leaders. He urged every leader to find something they feel passionate about and then to use this to develop ideas that can improve health for everyone. He discussed the numerous challenges he has faced and concluded by explaining the central role that he feels primary care should have in reducing excesses deaths post Covid-19. In the Q&A, Prof Sir Sam responded to questions about the ability to reflect before making decisions, the role of patient power, and the challenges of leading in large, complex organisations like the NHS.

You can watch the event here


Talking Heads: Talking Health Session with Charlotte Williams

Our fourth Talking Heads: Talking Health session took place on 9 December 2020. Charlotte Williams, Director of Strategy at Mid & South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, spoke about her work on pioneering programmes including the New Care Models Vanguard Programme, the London Cancer Collaborative, and recently with the merger of three Essex hospitals. She reflected on how she has adapted and evolved as a systems leader, the impact of working with experts, and how she maintains resilience.

You can watch the event here