Executive Suite: supporting senior leaders in health and care

Are you an executive leader working across health and care?  

The role of the executive leader in health and care has never been more important. How we help our leadership executives to be successful ‘in role’ whether newly appointed or experienced is one of the NHS’s most important leadership challenges. As the NHS evolves and new models of care emerge, enabling executive leaders to successfully lead their organisations and ensure their local health and care system can drive the transformation is critical. The Executive Suite is a place where executive leaders can access offers on a pick and mix basis and is designed to inspire and connect them and to feed new thinking via access, support and resources, at times that suit them and their busy lives. It has been developed to support executive leaders to meet the challenges of the current leadership climate in health and care. 

It has a wide range of offers available to support you throughout your executive journey, with offers ranging from 1:1 psychological support to racial justice focused action learning sets.  

The Executive Suite: Supporting senior leaders in health and care is delivered through a newly created digital space, enabling access to new offers, existing executive leadership material and bite sized learning from across the Leadership and Lifelong Learning programmes. 

Who is the offer aimed at? 

The target is executive leaders across health and care: 

  • Trust Board executives and chairs  
  • CCG accountable officers and clinical chairs 
  • Integrated Care Systems and Sustainability and Transformation Partnership leaders 
  • Social care Executive leaders 
  • Health Arms-length bodies Executive leaders 

Offer Content? 


Racial Justice Seminar Series, resources and forum

The seminar series supports executive leaders to gain a deeper critical understanding about how to practically progress the work of inclusion through the lens of racial justice; developing courage and confidence for leadership effectiveness in this complex area of practice. Leaders will learn how to create cultures and systems where equity and justice are the foundation stones of decision making, benefitting staff and the populations that we serve.

The seminars will take place live online with internationally renowned thought leaders in this space, beginning with a Racial Justice series in response to the global movement of Black Lives Matter and the disproportionate impacts of Covid-19 on BAME communities. The focus will be on translating theory into leadership practice. There will also be themed Action Learning Sets following each seminar with continuously updated online resources including recordings available on the website.

King’s Fund: thought pieces, virtual masterclasses and workshops 

Staring this Autumn, The King’s Fund will host a series of short, themed online Masterclasses to support leaders in these very particular circumstances. The masterclasses will offer the space to consider how best to:

· Approach decision-making differently

· Support teams through ongoing cycles of change and transition

· Continue to engage with crucial issues such as diversity, inclusion and inequality

· Move forward on crucial issues such as diversity and inclusion

· Build in learning processes to enable your organisation to adjust dynamically in response to each new phase of the future

Led by two senior consultants of The King’s Fund faculty and drawing on current research and theory, the sessions will be open to groups of no more than 40 senior leaders, to ensure there is space to engage with peers, to explore challenges and dilemmas in depth.  After each masterclass The King’s Fund faculty hosts will write a short thought piece on the issues arising from the conversations, supplemented with any informing theory.

Support in difficult times

One-to-one psychological support – Delivered in partnership through the Association of Chartered Psychologists 

We recognise that some of our senior leaders may be experiencing anxiety, depression or burnout for which they would value a brief psychological intervention. The sessions offer a confidential, expert ear and informed strategies to help with a wide range of issues. Clinical psychologists have training and expertise in evidence-based psychological support for a range of difficulties. They are skilled in recognising and supporting acute stress in the context of unusual demands, such as those experienced in hospital and service management. They can also help with problems and reactions such as anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and burnout.

Respondents will be paired with a senior or consultant grade clinical psychologist from a diverse pool on a first come first served basis. Please be assured that our members are all registered clinical psychologists who are regulated and adhere to strict standards of confidentiality. We envisage offering typically between three and six 30- to 60-minute sessions by your preferred video platform or phone.

ACP are supporting an initial launch of the programme by offering to support 25 senior leaders in the first instance and NHSE/I are working with the ACP to extend this offer in the early Autumn.

Mentoring offer from the Centre for Army Leadership

The Army for Centre Leadership will match leaders with an experienced army leadership mentor who will support them in finding real-time solutions if they are a leader and:

· need to stand back and appraise decision-making ‘in the immediate moment’

· would value a mentor for support in tackling the complexities of responding to the current crisis

· wish to address and plan practically for the many dilemmas right now or anticipate in the near future

A Military mentor of a peer level will support mentees, for two hours per week over three months, to find real-time solutions to help leaders move forward, find positive ways to stay resilient and overcome immediate challenges.

Leading in systems

System leadership offers 

What is systems leadership development and who is it for?

Systems leadership development uses the principles of systems thinking to enable leaders to tackle some of the most complex challenges in 21st century health and care.

Development interventions are designed to support leaders – individually, collectively and at every level in the system – to practice and embody the following behaviors:

· Focusing on processes as well as outcomes and impacts

· Basing the work on strong, trusting and honest relationships

· Leading confidently in uncertain, ambiguous and volatile contexts

· Seeking out diverse views from people who use services and local communities and maximising the potential that different perspectives can bring

· Allowing for experimentation and risk taking

· Being able to adapt to, listen to and see others’ perspectives including those of people with lived experience.

· Connecting, networking and building communities of learning and practice

· Collaboratively designing a vision, purpose and strategy

· Influencing, collaborating and building partnerships

· Mediating existing power relations and hierarchy

· Fostering ethical and sustainable change across the system

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance and effectiveness of systems thinking in order to improve services and population health. In addition to this, the focus on building relationships across systems is more crucial than ever as we move towards a space of digital and virtual working.


Useful tools, resources and thought leadership to encourage and develop systems thinking.

Our offer

Whilst we offer system leadership support at all levels, we have significant experience and understanding of the unique challenges that senior system leaders face.

We offer bespoke consultancy and a wide range of locally co-created development interventions and programmes, all aimed at helping senior leaders in systems work more confidently and collectively to deliver shared goals. Our offers can also include working closely with the Primary Care and System Transformation team to identify the most relevant support available, including the Integrated Care Learning Network and System Leaders Days.

Through our tailored offers, we work with teams in organisations, communities and place-based systems to deliver whole-system transformational change.

Our process is one of working in partnership to:

· Determine the right intervention

· Identify the ambition and the measures of success

· Talk through the possibilities

· Implement and deliver

· Evaluate against the objectives set at the outset

This work isn’t formulaic. It can take a degree of experimentation to find the intervention that works best, but the Academy will work with you throughout the process, and beyond that, for as long as our support is needed. We’ll help you to identify future needs and support you as your systems leadership work evolves and progresses.

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 to 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.

You can choose to join a virtual action learning set through three 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.

·       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.

Connecting and Developing

Digital safe spaces for seminars, forums and conversations 

The Executive Suite has a digital safe space facility for forums and seminar follow up groups.

Chief Executive Development Network 

This free facilitated programme creates powerful partnerships between Executive Boards and staff from underrepresented/marginalised groups working in mentoring pairs that are reciprocal in nature; learning from each other, enabling allies and equal partnerships designed to create systemic transformational change. Includes onboarding, expert training and ongoing support throughout an 18-month period to enable sustained change. Open to 24 organisations this year, generating mentoring for up to 1000 staff.

CEs, quarterly themed virtual facilitated sessions as a network and with guest speakers/panels, fortnightly shorter facilitated Common Rooms and access to the virtual campus with updated content and signposting. Themes for all sessions to be jointly derived by LLL and the network itself.

Career development and Support 

An online space bringing together written tutorials, videos and tools to support career development. Accessible all in one place in a way that is convenient, the resources are specifically written for senior leaders in health and care and cover areas such as career management and planning, navigating the appointment process, searching for a new senior role and preparation for interview processes.

Reciprocal Mentoring for Inclusion 

This free facilitated programme creates powerful partnerships between Executive Boards and staff from underrepresented/marginalised groups working in mentoring pairs that are reciprocal in nature; learning from each other, enabling allies and equal partnerships designed to create systemic transformational change. Includes onboarding, expert training and ongoing support throughout an 18-month period to enable sustained change. Open to 24 organisations this year, generating mentoring for up to 1000 staff.

Senior leaders onboarding resources

The resources and signposting on this website are designed to support executive leaders to get into their stride in their new leadership role. The resources are designed to complement local organisation onboarding and are grouped around five themes and linked to the core elements of the competency frameworks.

Senior leaders onboarding resources

Bitesize learning from across Leadership Programmes 

The Executive Suite: Support and development for senior leaders in health features appropriate curated content from across the programmes of the Leadership and Lifelong learning function.

How to Access

The entire offer is completely free and can be accessed remotely through the Executive Suite pages on the People website

If you would like further support in relation to this offer please contact the team [email protected]