An evaluation of Health Education England South West Clinical Leadership Mentors scheme

Health Education England South West has established a Clinical Leadership Mentor scheme. Through the scheme, mentors have been appointed at each of the 19 Trusts in the Region. Their role is to encourage and facilitate the engagement of trainee doctors in leadership, and in leadership development activities.

The Centre has been appointed by the NHS Leadership Academy to evaluate the scheme. The evaluation will be undertaken by Iain Snelling and Hilary Brown The objectives of the evaluation are:

  • To identify the activities undertaken by ‘leadership mentors’
  • To explore perceptions about their role by mentors, trainees and their employing organisations
  • To identify the activities of mentors that successfully mediate access to work-based leadership learning
  • To determine whether any such activities are more effective than any other
  • To determine the activities and contextual conditions that have best promoted access to leadership learning
  • To develop recommendations for enhancement of the scheme
  • To identify issues for further and/or subsequent exploration

The evaluation of the scheme is a formative evaluation which is based on the principles of co-production with the clinical leadership mentors. The evaluators have made survey instruments available to the mentors, to survey:

  • trainees regarding their understanding of leadership and their view on leadership development.
  • educational supervisors regarding the support they would value to support leadership development of their supervisees.

These surveys will provide local data to mentors to support them in the development of their roles.

In addition, again where individual clinical mentors request it, a number of interviews will be conducted in up to six case study trusts, with trainees, educational supervisors and trust managers. Most of these interviews will be conducted by co-researchers who will be recruited from among hospital doctors in the region. They will receive full guidance on their role.

Individual clinical leadership mentors will receive reports of any survey returns, and a summary of themes from interviews. No individuals will be identifiable in reports to clinical leadership mentors, or in any reports across the Region, or in subsequent publications.

Additional details of the evaluation and University of Birmingham ethical approval are available form Iain Snelling,, or 07827 982068


Snelling, I., Brown, H., Hardy, L., Cockburn, S. and Somerset, L. (2020) An evaluation of the Health Education England South West Clinical Leadership Mentors programme.