Our NHS People

Connecting and networks

Connecting and networks

Discussion and development

There are many options to support your leadership challenges through specialist networks, communities and resources. Please select an option below to find out more.

Virtual action learning sets

Virtual action learning sets provide a safe, secure and confidential space, through which individuals and collectives can explore the complexities of current leadership challenges and determine new and innovative ways forward.  Action learning is a form of action research.

Virtual action learning sets operate within a framework of ‘high challenge’ and ‘high support’, setting the context and conditions for sustained improvements in the experiences of both staff and the populations that we serve. 

What to expect? 

The VALS will enable you to focus on real-world challenges with peers, either from a shared ICS/STP footprint or from around the country, and they are supported by an expert facilitator. Unlike brief virtual common rooms, they offer time out from the fast-moving challenges of leadership to focus on complex issues in depth, challenging ourselves to think differently and find better solutions.  

You would come together in half day sessions 4 times over an 8 month period, at times defined and agreed within your Action Learning Set.  

What happens next? 

Once there is adequate interest to make up an Action Learning Set, your facilitator will be in touch to arrange the first session. This will be dependent on take up so please allow up to 4 weeks.  

You can choose to join a virtual action learning set through four routes:

Regional and system focus

A specific ‘local leadership system’ – where you will be challenged to work within the context of both your ‘real-work’ and your ‘real-time working relationships’.

National level

A general ‘national leadership network’ from across the entirety of the NHS system – where you will be challenged to work within the context of their ‘real work’ by connecting through broader, less-localised leadership networks.

Strategic Focus on Recovery for Chairs

Specifically designed for Chairs, these action learning sets will bring together 6- 8 Chairs from around the country to

  • Meet with Chair peers from across all kinds of organisations and systems
  • Explore common problems
  • Learn from peer experience

Feed your strategic thinking and reasoning through working through the challenge of recovery in a reflective environment with people who understand the operational challenges.

Equality diversity and inclusion focus

A group of colleagues across health and care specifically interested in exploring and deepening learning around equality, diversity and inclusion and racial justice.

Chief executive development network

Our Chief Executive Development Network has been designed to support you with your development and ensure you are the best you can be in your challenging roles, both for yourself and for patient care. Free membership to this established network for accountable officers and CEOs across health and care includes:   

  • Themed sessions with expert speakers leading to facilitated communities of practice ( more information can be found under Action for Change)Facilitated conversations with senior colleagues to inform policy development (Dialogues for Change) 
  • Access to online resources –  
  • Drop-in CEO common rooms  
  • Transitions coaching (for newly appointed CEOs)  

To register your interest to join the CEDN please click the link below

Common Rooms for CEOs and Chairs

We have now run eight Common Room style meetings for Chief Executives and Accountable officers. Further dates for CEOs will be announced soon. We are now also offering these informal sessions for Chairs.

Further dates will be announced soon.

The Common Rooms are short (90 minute) online network meetings for a maximum of 15 participants. Each confidential meeting provides an opportunity to connect with colleagues, to make sense of and compare experience, to refresh and focus on whatever feels important in a context of mutual support.

To register your interest to be contacted about one of the upcoming common room sessions please click the link below

Dedicated transition coach 

First time, newly appointed CEOs and accountable officers in Healthcare organisations can have access to a dedicated transition coach who will initially welcome individuals into the network and then to help progress their individual personal learning agenda and shape network events. If you are interested, please e-mail us on [email protected] 

Action for Change for executive directors

If you are an executive director you are invited to join one of our chief executive development network offers, Action for Change. You may be working with catalytic speakers on an important theme for senior leaders in health and care to form facilitated community of practice meetings regularly, to act and learn together.

Mentoring from the Centre for Army Leadership

Navigating leadership challenges in times of crisis can often benefit from reflecting with an experienced mentor. The Army for Centre Leadership mentoring offer will support you in finding real-time solutions to you move forward and find positive ways to maintain your resilience and overcome immediate challenges and crisis situations.

You will be matched with an experienced army leadership mentor who will support you in finding real-time solutions by:

  • Standing back to appraise decision-making ‘in the immediate moment’
  • Tackling the complexities of responding to the current crisis and recovery
  • Thinking forward to address and plan practically for the many dilemmas right now or anticipate in the near future
  • Maintaining your resilience in difficult times

Non-urgent advice: We’d like your feedback

This collection of materials is under development. When you have visited appropriate sections for you from the suite above we would be grateful if you would use the feedback form.