Dianne Graham has already recommended the NHS Leadership Academy Elizabeth Garrett Anderson programme to her managers at Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust. Dianne, who is Assistant Director of Mental Health, says the programme has so far been worthwhile and challenging.
“I think it is one of the best leadership programmes available and for me at this point in my career it has been extremely useful,” said Dianne, who started the programme in May 2014.
“I am really enjoying it. For me it’s a good mix of academia and practical application on leadership learning. I think the work-based assignments are thought-provoking – they enable you as a participant to really see the relevance of the learning in the workplace.
“As a leader I am more reflective generally. I put more effort into leadership rather than general management which I think provides more long-term impact and benefits patient care.”
Dianne says the EGA has increased her confidence and knowledge and has emphasised the importance of integrity. “The programme has been great for me. It has inspired me to provide value-based leadership, to focus on my leadership team and their potential and challenge activities that do not add value to patient care. It has helped me to collaborate with partner agencies as I am able to apply theory to practice and feel more confident in having certain conversations than previously.
“For example, since embarking on the programme I’ve challenged complex line management structures and requests for work that do not add value to patients. I’ve also had conversations with my leadership team about resilience and about maintaining a focus on improvements.”
Dianne feels she has always been committed to high quality patient care, and that has not changed. But she now has a heightened awareness of the importance of engaging patients in service development and in patient leadership. Although it is hard to combine the academic rigour and challenging schedule with a demanding full-time job, Dianne feels inspired to continue her leadership development in future, and to help others to do so too.
“My plans would be to develop my coaching ability. I would like to capitalize on my learning for the benefit of other NHS leaders. The action learning sets in particular have supported this personal view.”