Leadership Programme

Our Leadership Programme

The Elizabeth Casson Trust identified in its Strategic Intentions the need to 'develop leaders in occupational therapy with the capability of taking the profession forwards within the context in which it needs to operate'.

In our work towards achieving this intention the Trust set about identifying the leadership needs of occupational therapists. This started in late 2016 with focus groups that included therapists from across the UK. Based on the themes that emerged, a programme began to take shape and the direction of this was tested at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Conference in 2017.

Since then the Elizabeth Casson Trust has continued to develop its programme and is working alongside the Royal College of Occupational Therapists so that each organisation can complement the other with the support it's offering occupational therapists: The Royal College of Occupational Therapists has developed the Career Development Framework (2017) as a vehicle for identifying capability and future learning needs while the Elizabeth Casson Trust is concentrating on the development of leadership behaviours and skills.

Our leadership definition

The Elizabeth Casson Trust considers leadership within the profession to be the ability to "envision, articulate and clearly demonstrate by example the scope and benefits of occupational therapy to individuals and society as a whole thereby positively promulgating the profession to as wide an audience as possible".

To nurture leaders, the Trust aims to support the development of the potential and actual personal leadership attributes and capabilities of qualified occupational therapists, for example creativity, signposting, influencing, leading change, respecting and supporting others.

Through this, occupational therapy professionals will have the confidence and commitment to own equal partner status within care teams and to set directions for developments to deliver quality services to current and future service users.

Published resources

There are many good resources available on the web and in journals regarding leadership - in fact sometimes it feels there are so many it will take a great amount of time to sift through them. Therefore, to get you started on your leadership journey, we have developed annotated reference lists. Take a look and find an article that addresses your needs or piques your interest to start your thinking on the topic of leadership.

If you find an article, website or other resource that you think others would find interesting and you would like to share it, please contact secretary@elizabethcasson.org.uk

Leadership Journal Articles

Leadership Web Resources

Additionally, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists has resources available to members. Please log into the website and search Practice resources / Occupational therapy topics / Leadership and Management.


There are a number of courses and post-graduate programmes available, below is a 'taster' of some of these. The list is not exhaustive and if you have a course, module or programme you would like to recommend, please contact secretary@elizabethcasson.org.uk

The King’s Fund offers a number of courses for leadership development. These are usually hosted in London and run anywhere from 3 days to 5 ‘modules’, depending on the topic. Topics include Personal impact and influence; Release your potential: a programme for new leaders; Building your authority: Influencing beyond your role; Emerging clinical leaders; Clinical leadership in the independent health care sector, etc. Full details can be found here:
https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/courses. There is a cost attached to these programmes, which are offered from £999+VAT.

Hult International Business School offers a range of short-course (usually 3 days) leadership programmes through its Ashbridge Executive Education site, for example Advanced Leadership: Influencing Strategies http://www.hult.edu/en/executive-education/open-programs/. Online courses are also available, such as Advanced Leadership: Leading on the Edge. Courses are tailored more for the established versus emergent leader and encourage application of learning to work scenarios. Fees apply.

Jo Cameron is a leadership coach who offers, among other things, workshops to develop confidence. Her belief is that leadership doesn't have to be 'big and brash' but that leadership needs a mix of people and a range of styles to be able to lead in our modern society. Jo will help you develop your style. More can be found https://jocameron.co.uk.

The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. As the second largest endowed foundation in the UK focusing on health, they spend around £30 million a year on improving health and health care. To meet their strategic aims they provide funding to test innovations and spread what works; build skills and knowledge; and, develop and share evidence on what works and why. One of their programmes is GenerationQ which is a part time, fully-funded leadership development programme for senior leaders from health and health care practice, policy and the charity sector. The programme is designed to equip Fellows with the skills and techniques to lead and deliver improvements across services and organisations. Further information can be found here: http://www.health.org.uk/programmes/generationq

Online courses

The Edward Jenner programme is offered by the NHS Leadership Academy and is designed to support anyone working in a health and care context develop their leadership skills and build confidence in your role. The programme is highly practical and patient-focused and aims to help individuals feel better equipped to care for patients, lead services and provide leadership. The programme is delivered online, is free and is open anyone wanting to develop their leadership skills, from recent graduates to those returning to the profession and those who graduated in previous years. Find out more here: https://www.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk/programmes/the-edward-jenner-programme/

The Mary Seacole programme is offered by the NHS Leadership Academy and is an extended 6-month programme offered through a blended approach of online learning and workshop participation. The programme is designed for those who already have formal leadership responsibility (minimum 2 years in post) and aims to be grounded in real-life scenarios. Find out more here: https://www.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk/programmes/mary-seacole-programme/

The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson programme is also offered by the NHS Leadership Academy and builds towards a formal award of an MSc in Healthcare Leadership and NHS Leadership Academy Award in Senior Healthcare leadership. The programme requires part-time study for up to 24months. The programme allows participants to explore the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours that are important for leading others when building a culture of patient-centred care within the healthcare system. It’s specifically designed to enable you to put your work role, tasks and experiences to practical use in your study of leadership while also providing intensive personal and professional development. Find out more here: https://www.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk/programmes/elizabeth-garrett-anderson-programme/structure/

From Idea to Health Business is offered by Imperial College Business School as a programme of 8, 4-5hr online modules, the delivery of which can be self-paced. Designed to do 'as it says on the tin', this programme will guide you in developing a business plan that will help you to professionally present your idea from a perspective that will resonate with stakeholders https://www.imperial.ac.uk/business-school/executive-education/open-programmes/idea-health-business/#day3e969-019b30a3-ebcf

The Leadership Foundation supports development of future leaders for higher education through their Aurora programme. It is a unique partnership initiative bringing together leadership experts and higher education institutions to take positive action to address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the sector. Topics addressed include Identity, Impact and Voice; Power and Politics; Core Leadership Skills, and Adaptive Leadership Skills and others. Further information can be found here: "_blank">https://www.lfhe.ac.uk/en/programmes-events/programmes/women-only/aurora/

Post-graduate courses and certificates

York St John University offers post-graduate programmes for Leadership in Health & Social Care https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/courses/professional-health--social-care/leadership-in-health--social-care-msc/. Modules include topics such the role of leadership in delivering innovation and promoting resilience in health and social care settings.

Southampton University offers an MSc Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care https://www.southampton.ac.uk/healthsciences/postgraduate/taught-courses/msc-leadership-management.page. The stated aim of the programme is to 'discover and nurture leaders of the future'. Module options allow you to develop further skills in coaching, service improvement, managing information, developing policy and governance frameworks, and using data to improve services.

Northampton University offers a Leadership for Health and Social Care MSc https://www.northampton.ac.uk/study/courses/leadership-for-health-social-care/. This course is based on the NHS Healthcare Leadership Model's nine dimensions of leadership behaviours (see Leadership Web Based Resources, above, for further information), and aims to give leaders and aspiring leaders the practical skills and knowledge to work confidently in developing safe, high-quality clinical care and support services.

University of Glasgow also offer a Leadership for Health and Social Care to PgCert level and through distance learning https://www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/leadershiphealthsocialcare/. This programme is aimed at professionals in health and social care wishing to develop skills in leadership. Students are encouraged to think critically about care provision with a key focus on leadership, management and the economic landscape.

University of Cumbria offers an MSc in Management and Leadership in Health and Social Care https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/study/courses/postgraduate/management-and-leadership-in-health-and-social-care-msc/. This programme is distance learning and provides the chance to critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge and apply a range of management and leadership theories and skill.

University College London offers discrete programmes, including Leadership Skills for the Healthcare Professional http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medical-school/study/postgraduate/taught-degrees/leadership. This module provides a range of activities and resources that aim to help participants develop an understanding of leadership in contemporary healthcare and improve their skills and competencies as leaders in a multidisciplinary environment.

Mentors & Coaches

Occupational Therapist mentors and coaches

Jen Gash
OTCoach believes in an expansive, new future for Occupational Therapy which reaches beyond traditional roles in health and social care into emerging territories such as public health, community development and consultancy in a variety of new fields. OT Coach has a desire to see occupational therapy firmly in the public domain rather than hidden behind traditional medical structures. For this to happen, creative, visionary leaders are needed and more of them. More people willing to stand up for our often little know profession, its strong philosophy and its commitment to helping people flourish in their daily lives.

Becoming a leader requires courage and creativity as it always involves stretching beyond our comfort zone. It requires us to find courage in our convictions alongside a deep willingness to collaborate and understand others. It also requires self-awareness and compassion as many challenges naturally occur. Leadership development is needed at many levels and coaching provides a natural framework for this support. At OT Coach they have been coaching occupational therapists, at all levels, since 2005. Please visit their website for further details www.otcoach.com

Lynne Goodacre PhD
Having trained as an occupational therapist, Lynne has worked in the NHS, the voluntary sector, academia and now in independent practice. Working now as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach she is passionate about supporting women in their personal growth and development. Lynne offers coaching and mentorship on a 1:1 basis and runs a range of on-line and face to face personal development workshops. Through her work she is committed to supporting women as they explore how they can live a life aligned to their values, priorities and aspirations, connecting with what really matters and turning the difference they dream to make into a reality.
Contact details:
Tel: 07734022151
Email: lgpersonaldev@gmail.com
Website: http://www.lgpersonaldevelopment.co.uk

Naomi Hankinson
Naomi Hankinson qualified as an occupational therapist in 1985, after taking a degree in philosophy at Manchester University. In the early years of her career she worked in mental health services, in professional, general and project management roles. In 2001 Naomi joined the North East London Mental Health Trust as joint Director of Therapies and was later seconded for two years to the Department of Health's National Social Inclusion Programme leading on workforce. Naomi went on to become its Assistant Director for Innovation and Development. She was made Visiting Fellow at London South Bank University during this time and then worked as a Development Consultant at the University of Central Lancashire Inclusion Institute, where she continued to focus on service and workforce development.

Naomi has contributed as a non-executive and trustee on various charities and organisations and was voted on to the British Association and College of Occupational Therapists Council as its Chairman in June 2009, serving four years in this role, and has also chaired the Audit Committee. She has been a Hospital Manager (sitting on mental health act review panels) since 2014 and was elected Vice-President of the Council of Occupational Therapists for European Countries in 2017. She continues to coach, supervise and mentor Individuals and review services. Fees: supervision/coaching from £50 per hour; mentoring through individual agreement. Naomi can be reached at naomihankinson@btinternet.com

General mentors and coaches

The NHS Leadership Academy supports Coaching and Mentoring. The Academy defines coaching as a method of deploying techniques embedded in artful questioning and appreciative inquiry to help leaders unlock their full potential to achieve personal and professional success. Mentoring is considered different to coaching in that support and guidance of a mentee is often led by more experienced and skilled professional mentors and aims to support and expand the professional leadership development of the former through the effective transference of knowledge, skill and experience.

The Academy's programme is collaborative with regional leads and further information can be found here: https://www.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk/resources/coaching-register/

Coaching and mentoring are also available from Hult International Business School http://www.hult.edu/en/executive-education/coaching-programs/executive-coaching/

For individuals wanting to develop leadership skills in a research environment, Health Education England (HEE) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme provide personal research training awards for healthcare professionals (including occupational therapists) who wish to develop careers that combine clinical research and research leadership with continued clinical practice and clinical development http://www.healthresearchmentor.org.uk/website/.

The Council for Allied Health Professional Research http://cahpr.csp.org.uk is also in the process of developing a mentoring scheme for leadership in research. Check this website for updates as further information becomes available http://cahpr.csp.org.uk/news/2018/02/08/new-cahpr-project-nihr-crn.

Elizabeth Casson Leadership Programme Bid Guidelines

The Elizabeth Casson Trust will be awarding grants to occupational therapists to support the acquisition of profession-based leadership skills. The development of these skills can be accelerated if they are translated from theory into practice through application to a project, therefore the funding offered is up to £10 000 for the implementation of a service-based project.

Further information can be found in our Elizabeth Casson Leadership Programme Funding Bid Form.

Download the application form

Download the Project Bid Guidelines

If you would like funding to access leadership development resources, not as part of a larger project, apply through our CPD funding.

Apply for funding
Case Studies

Therese Lebedis, Consultant Occupational Therapist in Stroke at NHS Grampian, has shared her Quality Improvement project report delivered as part of the Scottish Improvement Leaders Programme. Therese discusses how person-centred goal setting was implemented on the stroke rehabilitation unit where she works and addresses the areas where leadership behaviours were required to implement the project. Therese reports on the successes that were achieved - a 15% reduction in the median length of stay on the unit. Read Therese's report here

Therese Lebedis
Find out more
News & Announcements