Home » Courses » GIRFT Stroke Leadership Academy - stroke specific programme

GIRFT Stroke Leadership Academy - stroke specific programme

This 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 within 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. Funding for selected learners from England will be paid for by NHS England directly. 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’, one one-day  and one half-day online workshop, and briefing workshops, in person, linked to the annual UKSF conference.

These will cover the following overarching themes:

  • Understanding the system
  • Self as leader
  • Leading and influencing change-Exploring organisational leadership.
  • Making an impact
  • Delivering improvement- How to ensure successful sustainable change
  • Celebrating success- Overcoming barriers and looking to the future.

Component 2

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

Component 3

QI projects and Action learning sets.

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. Participants will work in teams to develop and deliver a QI project and will be supported by expert faculty throughout.

Ongoing peer support will also be developed 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.

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.

Programme dates

The programme will be delivered at the RCPs state of the art facilities in the Spine, Liverpool. Dinner and overnight accommodation will be provided during the 2-day blocks. Before applying, please make sure you can attend all days of the programme:

  • Block 1: 8 - 9 May 2024 - Delivered face-to-face at the RCP Spine building, Liverpool
  • Block 2: 12-13 June 2024 - Delivered face-to-face at the RCP Spine building, Liverpool
  • Half day online: 26 September 2024
  • Block 3: 24 – 25 October 2024 - Delivered face-to-face at the RCP Spine building, Liverpool
  • Block 4: 2 December 2024 pm and 5 December 2024 pm – Delivered face-to-face linked to the UKSF conference being delivered in Liverpool. You will also need to be available to attend at the UKSF conference, which is funded through the programme
  • Block 5: 5 February 2025 - Online
  • Block 6: 23/24 April - Delivered face-to-face at the RCP Spine building, Liverpool.

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 programme 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.

Application timeframe

Applications for the 2024/25 cohort of the GIRFT Stroke Leadership Academy – stroke specific programme must be submitted by 18 March 2024.

There will be a selection process with application outcome being released late March/early April. Please make sure you can attend all days of the programme before applying.