On the Shadow Board programme

This has been the single most effective training opportunity I have done as a Clinical Director aspiring to an Executive Director position. The experience has been educational, interesting, motivating, and hugely enjoyable. It is a comprehensive package that has demonstrated the complexity and challenges that accompany an appointment to a post on an NHS board and I would strongly recommend it for anyone considering an Exec Director position. 

Clinical Director, Acute Medicine

The health and care system needs to equip people to lead both organisations and systems. As the CEO of a Trust and the leader of one of the biggest Health and Care Partnerships in the country, I face this reality every day. The Shadow Board Programme is a way of ensuring people are ready to operate at this level. Participants from my own Trust and from the Partnership have engaged in the programme and brought their learning back to their teams. They also give existing Boards and governing bodies a fresh perspective on the real issues faced in the health and care system. I would recommend the Shadow Board programme to anyone who wants to develop resilient, insightful leaders.

Rob Webster, CEO South West Yorkshire Partnership Trust and Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP

At Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, we were one of the early pilots of the Shadow Board and the feedback from participants has been excellent. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the programme go from strength to strength in other parts of the NHS. It’s great to be involved in a programme that equips potential future directors with the board level skills and knowledge they will need to sustain and transform our services to the children of Sheffield and beyond. 

Steve Ned, Deputy CEO

Thank you all for your support and on running the programme with us. The feedback I’ve received has been very positive and complimentary. The challenge for us now is to keep up with this good work, which we will do. 

Michelle Moran, CEO Humber Teaching FT 

I have been fortunate enough to chair one of the System Shadow Board programmes. Having reflected on why it has been such a positive and energising experience, I believe it was because the participants were all  seriously engaged in the project at hand, they were able to put aside parochial, local and organisational “asks” to think about the greater good and, hugely importantly, they allowed difference to be in the room without needing to squash it, in fact they showed curiosity and respect to the differences that emerged. It has been a delight to be involved and I’m sure the participates will add enormous value to our shared endeavour. 

Thea Stein, CEO Leeds Community Healthcare

Completing the Shadow Board programme was one of the most useful development programmes I’ve done in my career. The whole experience was rewarding, challenging and some of it was fun! It provided some of the best and most useful insights into the role of Executive Directors, their responsibilities and the attributes required for effective Board working. It particularly demonstrated to me, and allowed me to consider within the context of my own career how joining a Board in your own professional capacity as a Director of Nursing is really only part of the requirement. I would highly recommend this experience to colleagues.

Helen Christodoulides, Director of Nursing (Corporate)

Humber Teaching Foundation Trust’s Senior Leadership Team undertook the Shadow EMT course and all the participants found it a very positive experience. The taught sessions content was very relevant and the way they were delivered was very well received by the team. This was due to the coaching style of the sessions and that there was a significant amount of participation from us. The facilitators and the group really did come together as a team. The Shadow Board facilitated a team building process as every member of the group was involved in presenting reports outside of their area of expertise which meant learning an issue from those presenting and coaching from the member who had the expert knowledge. The Shadow Board helped us to think through the big issues from a wider organisational perspective rather than in our own areas of expertise. It also made you think of how you would prepare and conduct yourself in the meetings. Feedback from the facilitators regarding the Shadow Board was very well received and gave confidence to us as individuals and as a collective team. I would totally recommend the course.

Deputy Director of Finance and IT

I didn’t quite know what to expect from the Shadow SLE both professionally or personally. In the end, it outweighed my expectations on both accounts. The Shadow Systems Leadership Executive (SLE) for West Yorkshire and Harrogate ICS gave me an opportunity to operate outside my own immediate knowledge sphere. I was able to learn more about and contribute to the wider working and decision making of the NHS on a regional level. It also gave me the opportunity to meet colleagues from across West Yorkshire from different organisations and professional backgrounds. Having such a committed, enthusiastic and inspirational chair helped, and his championing of the Shadow SLE with the SLE itself has helped us to find our voice and use it. I would recommend anyone who gets the opportunity to participate. If you do, it is well worth putting the commitment in by reading the papers, presenting the papers and being really present in the meetings as you can really make a difference and have an impact if you do.

Dr David Crampsey, Deputy Medical Director Airedale NHS FT