Surgical Leadership Programme

In 2018, Health Education England West Midlands commissioned a Surgical Leadership programme from the University of Birmingham. The programme which has faculty input from the School of Surgery, had 24 places for surgeons in postgraduate training who were, in the main, 1-2 years away from completion of training. 

An evaluation of the programme showed significant improvement on a number of dimensions of leadership. The second cohort ran in 2019, and a third cohort is planned for 2020, subject to contract. It is also planned that the third cohort, in 2020, will have a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Leadership available for those who wish to undertake additional study and assessment to complement the course. An openly recruited multi-disciplinary programme is also planned for 2020, also with an option of a Postgraduate Certificate.

The format of the programme is one day per month over six months, with an additional day for participants to present the results of their learning back to the cohort and guests.  The subjects covered in the programme include: The NHS system, clinical leadership in healthcare organisations (including the Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons: NOTSS), self awareness and personal development, improving patient safety, improving quality, leading in teams, and leading in systems. All participants undertake a project during the programme which is the subject of the presentation at the final day.

The programme consisted of different educational activities, including:

  • Sessions by HSMC staff.
  • Group discussions, contributed to by School of Surgery faculty.
  • Classroom based experiential activities.
  • Self awareness activities, including 360 degree feedback using the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management standards, the Myers-Briggs type Indicator, and the Thomas Killman Conflict Mode Instrument.
  • Guest speakers.
  • Action learning.
  • Work-based learning through projects.

General details about the programmes are available from the Programme Director, Iain Snelling, co-lead for Clinician Leadership on