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Key team members
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) manages the national voluntary donation system for blood, tissues, organs and stem cells. We supply around two million units of blood a year to hospitals in England and north Wales. In 2010, approximately 3,500 organ and 4,000 tissue transplants took place and we banked 2,200 cord blood units.
When Sue Hopgood, assistant director for organisation and workforce development, joined in September 2009, her main remit was to draw together all the development activity that was taking place into a more coherent pathway and to build in mechanisms for talent management and succession planning. She did this through the formulation of a people plan, known as Shine, which was launched at a leadership conference in March 2010 and has resulted in a number of major initiatives.
Sue had previously worked across many public-sector organisations and has drawn on her contacts to form the Cross-Sector Leadership Exchange to share knowledge, expertise and facilities with other NHS trusts and organisations. Examples include providing assessors for assessment and development centres and speakers for events, as well as sharing places on leadership programmes and masterclasses. Various coaching relationships have been set up and many visits have taken place. All of these activities are carried out on a cost-neutral basis and the learning from them is immense.
A group of six health and social care arm’s-length bodies have also collaborated to deliver a leadership programme known as The Hubbub, which has been designed in line with leadership capabilities as outlined in the NHS Leadership Framework. The over-arching objective of the programme is to identify and develop a diverse pool of talent, ready for promotion into more senior roles across the consortium. The programme is in its second year, and a third year is being planned.
We have designed our own senior leadership development programme (SLDP), in order to prepare people for assistant director and executive director posts. The programme is experiential in nature and also contains highly bespoke elements in order to help delegates achieve their own personal development objectives. One delegate, Aaron Powell, business manager for organ donation and transplantation, says of the programme: “The SLDP represents an opportunity to explore what leadership means both away from and within your day job. It will challenge you in a number of ways. As the programme develops, so will you, and you will not emerge from it the same as when you started.”Lastly, the Reach programme is one of a number of positive action initiatives that have been planned to address the under-representation of disabled staff and employees from black and minority ethnic backgrounds on the talent and leadership programmes. Since the launch of Shine, we have had significant successes, including the promotion of an internal candidate to an executive director post. Before Sue’s arrival, the language and concept of organisation development was not widely understood or used, and NHSBT was fairly immature in terms of understanding the need to plan for workforce changes in the long term or having the mechanisms in place to achieve that change. We now consider ourselves to be a learning organisation, where talent management, succession planning and the power of development at all levels are seen as key components in driving through improvements, helping us to continue the life-saving work we carry out every day and of which we are extremely proud.