Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin High Potential Scheme Update

With the help of a Career Coach, Mentor and Action Learning, each High Potential Scheme (HPS) participant undertakes a two-year programme of experience, focusing on gaining practical leadership experience in a range of roles and settings, and strategic experience through stretch assignments, projects and shadowing.

The scheme aims to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to become an outstanding and compassionate senior leader across health and care. It also aims to contribute to inclusive leadership, positive cultures and actions by building an understanding of inclusion and the impact of privilege and power within the dynamics of all relationships.

On Tuesday 18 July, the Steering Group for the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin High Potential Scheme met face-to-face for the first time since it was formed over 12 months ago. The meeting was generously hosted by our HPS Steering Group Chair, Stacey Keegan, in the Board Room at Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

This month the group was primarily discussing the results of our recent HPS Placement Panels. These panels involved a host of senior leaders - across both STW and our HPS buddy system Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent (SSoT) – acting as panellists for each of our 29 HPS participants and their Sponsors.

The panels were held to match our participants to their first experiential learning stretch placement opportunities, which comprise 70% of this leadership programme. Our HPS participants are now embarking on these placements in the two ICBs and in our partner organisations right across STW and SSoT.

After the meeting, the HPS Steering Group was joined by STW ICB Chief Executive, Simon Whitehouse, and a number of our STW HPS participants for a cream tea. After that, it was a privilege to be guided around the site by two of our resident RJAH HPS participants Radhesh Lalam and Dr Sujay Dheerendra.

The High Potential Scheme is an inclusive career development programme to help middle level leaders who have the ambition, aspiration and motivation to accelerate their careers to senior executive roles at a faster pace. After the success of cohort 1 (2020-22), which was developed by the NHS Leadership Academy in partnership with Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent ICS, the second cohort launched across two systems last November, with STW ICS piloting a buddy model alongside SSoT.

The HPS programme holds at its core the concepts of inclusive, compassionate leadership and, during this tour, it was very evident - listening to Alice Amyes (Simulation Technician), Annie Owen and Gordon Williams (Veteran Hub volunteers) - that CEO Stacey Keegan actively role-models this kind of leadership. They told the visiting group that RJAH is a Trust “where everyone enjoys what they do and are proud of how they do it”.

Thank you to all those who helped make the afternoon a most enjoyable and memorable event and good luck to all our HPS cohort 2 participants as they take on their new placement challenges!

The current HPS cohort will complete their programme in December 2024, and we are hoping to advertise the launch a 2025 cohort next year. As diversity and inclusion are at the heart of HPS - reflecting the richness and diversity of the local workforce - applications from ethnic minority groups, LGBT+, female, and staff with disabilities would be particularly welcome.

Page last updated 26 September 2023