Live Blog: Leading as peers – humility to lead and courage to follow


Welcome to the live blog for the Leading as peers – humility to lead and courage to follow Experience Day hosted by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust on Wednesday 3rd April 2019.

We start the day with an introduction from Owen Williams, CEO of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

Chair of NHS Quest, Andrew Foster provides some context to the day about what NHS Quest is. 

The network of NHS Quest currently includes 16 trusts, working across four key areas to achieve unprecedented levels of quality and safety:

  • Leadership networks
  • Measurement
  • Improvement programmes
  • Building capability



We look back at the Theatre Safety Clinical Community series which has just come to an end. The vision for NHS Quest theatres to achieve outstanding levels of patient safety.

The next improvement programme for NHS Quest will be looking at patient flow.

The Quest network has also been looking at Technology Enabled Innovation, with a focus on:

Perfect Ward: an app to help record quality audits and inspections.

Relias: an online learning tool

Centene: population diagnostics and health management tools

Andrew Foster then moves on to discuss why we do what we do at NHS Quest.

We want to make improvements in Quality, Workforce and Innovation. Providing personal development for Chief Executives. We provide a stimulation and morale boost to all involved, whilst helping to demonstrate to Regulators and others that the Trusts involved actively seek and adopt ideas and best practice.

It’s back to Owen Williams to give a personal insight into his journey to becoming CEO of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

To show the importance of working together to deal with complexities and challenges, we now hear from Jacqui Gedman, Chief Executive of Kirklees Council.

Humility to follow, courage to lead. Strong leaders should be able to recognise when to use both.

At a time of organisational meltdown, stability is so important. However, this is not always what happens with a failing organisation.

Jacqui reflects back, that at times of crisis, the best things can happen.

“There go my people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

But what makes great followship?

Judgement, work ethic, competence, honesty, trust, courage, discretion, loyalty, humility.;

Up next is Kevin McGee, CEO of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust talking about creating a supportive staff culture. 

Stability of leadership has been key to enable East Lancashire to move forwards.

One of the key focuses has been the employee engagement strategy: ask, listen, act. This has enabled East Lancashire to create a supportive staff culture.

East Lancashire introduced full time Staff Guardians to be able to bring to the board any issues that are happening on the ground. Rather than allowing incidents to escalate, there is a very strong mediation process to help manage these issues.

To enable East Lancashire to move from Good to Outstanding they have identified the following keys to success:

  • Adapting Lean process as the Operating Model
  • Reforming the workforce
  • AI/Automation
  • Moving care out of Hospital
  • Patients at the centre of change

The next session is led by George Findlay, Chief Medical Officer at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

George begins by explaining what they recognised to be the key ingredients for improvement when they were looking at Brighton and Sussex University Hospital:

  • Leadership values
  • Culture
  • Method
  • Good people

For Brighton and Sussex it was really important to focus on the structure of the organisation. They designed and built the ‘architecture’ of the trust (Clinical divisions, E&F, Corporate functions).

They implemented a patient first method which used 4 areas:

  • standardise
  • improve
  • redesign
  • empower

We begin the afternoon by hearing from Donna Hall, Chair of Bolton Hospital. Donna joins us today to talk in her previous role as Chief Executive at Wigan Council/Wigan CCG.

Donna begins by giving an overview of the achievements achieved across Wigan, across the entire system, with the overall goal of increasing the life expectancy of their residents.

They went from a very traditional approach (individual contracts based on service line specifications, focusing on outputs not outcomes, duplication of provision and overlaps in service delivery, user effort and confusion in navigating service areas) to an asset based approach (focus on outcomes, co-production of frameworks and delivery models, development of co-ordinated care pathways, focus on easy access to services and providers).

Wigan have 7 Place Based Teams which helped them identify people who were at risk of a non-elective admission. These individuals were proactively targeted and thus unplanned admissions were reduced by 30%.

‘The Deal’ was implemented in Wigan to share an agreement between providers, residents and the systems.

After a fantastic panel Q&A we wrap up a very informative day.

Download the presentations from the day here:

Kevin McGee – NHS Quest Experience Day

Andrew Foster – Who, What, How and Why?

Jacqui Gedman – Chief Executive of Kirklees Council

Dr George Findlay – Leading as peers

Donna Hall, CBE – Transforming Health and Social Care Through the Power of People