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GIRFT Leadership Academy - Stroke Specific Programme

This new multi-professional leadership programme is being offered as a means of fulfilling the first recommendations from the GIRFT Stroke Programme National Specialty Report as follows.

“ISDNs to ensure that they lead and engage in activities to promote leadership and culture across their networks, with a particular focus on:

  • the importance of culture and leadership in successful stroke teams
  • addressing systemic biases in the current leadership of stroke teams, actively promoting both medical and non-medical leadership
  • emphasising the multidisciplinary nature of high-quality stroke care and diversity of leadership
  • promoting collaboration across the stroke pathway, including diagnostics, rehabilitation, and working with the third sector; and
  • development and implementation of a ‘Stroke Leadership Academy’”.

This recommendation is fully supported by the NHSE national stroke programme, British and Irish Association of Stroke Physicians (BIASP) and the Stroke Association. The Integrated Service Delivery Networks (ISDNs) have been created in stroke care to reduce the currently unacceptable geographical variation in processes of care and outcomes. The vision is to have a bespoke multi professional stroke specific leadership development programme for up to 30 individuals to build leadership capacity with in ISDN’s, collaborating across Integrated Delivery Boards (ICBs).

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) will be working with other stroke organisations, committed to improvements in stroke care, to develop a bespoke programme to fit their needs: GIRFT, TSA, BIASP and the Leadership Academy. We will be commissioning the King's Fund to deliver part of the programme.

Delivery model

The programme will run over 12 months and will consist of face to face 2 day sessions with paid for accommodation to encourage networking amongst the cohort. There will be an accredited assignment where learners produce a structured reflection on their role as leader.

Component 1

Four 2-day sessions with accommodation provided at RCPs state of the art facilities in the Spine Liverpool, including a 2 day session from King's Health on ‘self as leader’ and a one day in person session linked to the annual UKSF conference. 

These will cover the following areas:

Theme 1: Capability

Theme 2: Capacity and coaching

Theme 3: Credibility

Component 2

Personalised mentoring.

Virtual coaching and guidance from a mentor approximately every eight weeks.

Component 3

Action learning sets.

Ongoing peer support through an action learning sets (ALS) programme. ALS sessions find practical ways of addressing the real life challenges that are faced in the workplace. Through a structured process of insightful questioning combined with a balance of support and exploration from group members. It is expected that participants will participate in a service improvement project which aligns with the ambitions of the Long Term Plan, GIRFT national stroke recommendations and the Right Care Toolkit.

Component 4
Networking opportunities through working and learning together from the residential aspects with shared meals and socialising to promote professional relationships in a psychological safe environment. 

Who should apply?
Learners should be those earlier in their leadership journeys or those who have been leaders for some time. But have not had access to formal leadership training or believe the programme has specific elements that they would be able to contribute to and benefit from.

There will be a selection process in order to ensure geographical and multidisciplinary inclusivity, which will include a personal statement on motivation for attending the program and an understanding of what a successful programme would look like for the individual. It will require ISDN manager support as well as line manager approval and a statement of support from the applicants employing organisation. It will also require a commitment to attend every workshop and mentoring session and fully engage with the programme. 

Programme cost
The fee for the programme would normally be approximately £5,000. Although GIRFT have worked with the national stroke programme to ensure monies were made available to ISDNs to use specifically for this programme as part of their commitment to increasing leadership capability and, therefore, free places for participants are available. 

Register your interest below. The programme will be starting late Spring 2023: