This information about our the NHSE-SW Leadership Fellows is for information only.  Unfortunately we are currently unable to offer any Leadership Fellow secondments.


NHS England working across the South West (NHSE-SW) have training secondment opportunities in partnership with the Leadership Academy South West to work with our senior staff on leadership. Leadership Fellows are supported in working towards a postgraduate qualification (PgCert) in Medical Education in Healthcare Leadership and Management. The knowledge and skills acquired through this post will provide leadership experience to a successful doctor in training.  It is anticipated that at the end of the tenure, the Leadership fellows will be equipped to allow them to both to identify themselves as Leaders and to promote and disseminate learning in leadership to others.  


Job Description

As a secondment post, Fellows spend 2 days (0.4 WTE) on Leadership, lead on a leadership project and gain a PgCert in Healthcare Leadership and Management. The remaining sessions (0.6 WTE) are spent working in their existing clinical specialty.

This fellowship offers a unique opportunity to develop the capability necessary for future roles as clinical leaders, through working with clinical directors and other leaders within your own organisation alongside the Deanery and the Leadership Academy, to lead the development of change.

Successful appointees will be mentored by the South West Leadership Academy and the Deanery Leadership Faculty.    


For any questions about these fellowships, please contact Dr Jane Thurlow, Associate Dean for Education and Faculty Development and Lead for Leadership Development in the SW:


Importance of Leadership in the NHS

The NHS, like most developed world health systems, is faced with multiple complex challenges; an aging population, the increasing burden of long term conditions and comorbidities, on-going health system redesign, and the integration and application of scientific advances - all set against a background of financial constraint and the need to improve productivity alongside quality of care.

The scope of these challenges necessitates that all doctors in training develop leadership skills, both to improve current service delivery and positively impact future health systems.

This Clinical Leadership Fellow Scheme offers emerging leaders across healthcare the opportunity to develop their skills in leadership, management, strategy, project management and health policy outside of their normal clinical practice.

During the Fellowship you will have the opportunity to acquire, develop and share knowledge and skills in leadership and will be challenged to think and behave differently in your leadership roles.


Clinical Leadership - what is it?

Clinical Leadership should be considered as a process, not a position, with its core purpose to bring about continuous improvement in healthcare. The Health Leadership Model encompasses this in its competency frameworks motivating teams and individuals alike to work effectively, provide a clear sense of purpose while focussing in improving performance.

The aim for Leadership development in Postgraduate Medical Education is to focus learning on to a longitudinal process of personal development rather than purely isolated programmes in any one set place in time. Learning is different for everyone, and a variety of learning styles should always be considered. The underlying assumption is that leadership is learnt. This requires three types of experience: challenging assignments (70%); developmental relationships (20%); coursework and training (10%). The model argues that hands-on experience (70%) is the most beneficial because it enables people to discover and refine their job-related skills, make decisions, address challenges and interact with influential colleagues within work settings. Learning from others (20%) is achieved through activities such as social learning, coaching, mentoring, collaboration and peer-group support. This provides participants with encouragement and feedback. The remaining 10% of professional development, coursework and training comes from formal and traditional instruction, which are seen as amplifiers, aiming to clarify, support and boost individuals’ learning.

As such, Leadership learning is a process of participation in increasingly complex and personally informative tasks rather than just acquisition of a pre-determined set of knowledge and skills. We want to move learning from the class room to the workplace using this 70:20:10 model of leadership development.


Leadership initiatives in the workplace

There are a variety of programmes that have been developed over the years to address leadership training opportunities, providing theoretical understanding of leadership models, assessment of personal leadership styles and awareness of leadership conundrums. We want to take this one step further with learning through hands-on experience. It is leadership, at all levels of an organisation, that makes the real difference and which transforms policy into lived cultural realities.

Current UK medical training typically involves simultaneous practical and theoretical skills development; however, leadership skills training has largely remained an academically taught subject. Learning by doing and reflecting is the most effective way of embedding knowledge, developing skills and shaping attitudes in adults. Integrated problem-based approach with real world consequences is likely to be both effective and motivating.

The Leadership Fellowship takes previous formal learning and experience into the workplace, working with senior trust leaders and managers within an organisation/Trust/LEP integrating the theoretical and practical aspects of clinical leadership.  It gives an opportunity to learn about current leadership and management of an organisation by providing insights into and real experiences of an organisation, its structures, governance and decision-making processes dealing with real problems faced by the organisation and proposed workable solutions to the Board of Directors. The Fellow will work as part of a leadership team on real problems faced by the Trust/organisation/School and proposed workable solutions.


Importance of leadership in training

NHSE-SW strongly supports Leadership training and development in postgraduate medical education. The Leadership Faculty is a specific group of individuals within the NHSE-SW Professional Development Unit, comprising primarily of clinicians from health care organisations within the South West alongside NHSE and Leadership Academy staff who have a specific interest and passion for Leadership.  Our mission is to promote leadership development by facilitating training and uptake of leadership projects amongst trainees in the South West region, with aims of providing opportunities for trainees to become involved and to actively participate in leadership and management processes within Trusts.