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Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust – being there for their people

A year on from the beginning of this pandemic, like so many, I have been inspired by the generosity and support people have offered in this unprecedented time of COVID-19.

It has been a positive experience to see that question ‘what can I do to help?’ asked and be answered and I’m pleased to work with people who, like others, have done just that.

In March 2020 there was a ‘shout out’ from the NHS for informal support for their staff, who were dealing with the emotional and psychological consequences of responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Within WDI it was recognised that we could play our part by offering pro bono coaching to those in the NHS who were working tirelessly to care for others.

First we asked our coaches if they would be interested in giving some of their time (if there was a demand for it) and their swift responses were universally; they were happy, ready and willing to be involved.

We then reached out directly to Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, a former WDI client and offered the support of our coaches.

In our work over several months, with 12 senior leaders from Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, we experienced an overwhelming feeling of professionalism, and a strong sense of purpose and meaning in the work they do to look after the health of the residents of Buckinghamshire.

As the work progressed, the Trust confirmed that our virtual coaching offered an additional layer of support to their staff at such an overwhelming time, on top of the work they were already doing and the measures they had in place.

As the coaching came to a close, as part of our review, we asked those we coached if they were happy to provide feedback.  Their words below clearly express how these leaders took away something substantial and practical and the value they placed on having space to share and be listened to. It is only right to acknowledge all the honesty and commitment that they took into their sessions.

It has been a huge privilege to work with leaders who display such empathy, commitment and support for their patients and their people; each one is extraordinary.

As a bystander along this journey I have been impressed not only by the instant positive reaction to this offering of coaching – by our wonderful coaches, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the NHS cohort of leaders we approached.

WDI feel proud to have been able to support the skills of these leaders at this time and thank you for giving us permission to share and attribute the feedback we received.

These words provide a great snapshot of the dedication of staff who work at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.  We wish you all the best going forward.

“Alison, what can I say thank you doesn’t really express enough how supported I have felt in our short time working together, I have learned a huge amount. It was serendipity that connected us at exactly the right time for me to be able to take on board and implement what I learned in our sessions. If anyone was hesitant about coaching beforehand it was me and I am now fully converted – would recommend you to anyone!!”  

Ali Williams, Commercial Director

“I have really benefitted from (Richard’s) time, expertise and encouragement in helping me to think through complex situations with understanding, empathy & humour.”  

Angela Brooke, Head of Allied Health Professions

“Coaching with Caroline has been invaluable. It has given me protected time and headspace in a safe non-judgmental environment to reflect on my leadership of self and my team. It has enabled me to think deeply about both my professional and personal attributes as well as areas for development and prioritisation. It has enabled me to consider issues from the perspective of others; improving my communication as a result.  It has been emotional and thought provoking; I have been enabled to understand myself better and see myself more holistically – all of which is having a positive influence on my leadership, self-determination and well-being.”  

Heidi Beddall, Head of Midwifery & Gynae Outpatient Lead

“Coaching (with Linda) helped me identify how energy arising from my passion and values can be used to bring about better outcomes by more effective communication. How opening up and letting people come to me and I am perceived at the Board can bring out the best from the team. Ability to stand back, slowing down and flitting between learning and performance mode has made things so much more constructive and pleasurable for me.”  

Syed Hasan, Divisional Chair, Integrated and Elderly Community Care

“I have found the coaching sessions very helpful in terms of a safe space to reflect and a good level of challenge, helping me to deeply understand why I am thinking what I am thinking. Thank you, Pam you have been with me throughout this difficult time and have helped me to find a way through.”  

Dr Tina Kenny, Former Medical Director

Author: Sally Hargrave – WDI Consulting Limited

WDI’s passion is to help our clients create the conditions where both women and men thrive and then reap the business and social benefits inclusion can deliver.   Our core offerings include performance coaching, women’s leadership coaching, culture change and inclusive leadership.
In 2020, we launched our modular Women’s Leadership Online Programme which can be delivered through our online class-room or through a series of webinars tailored to our clients unique business needs.
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