14 September 2021

In March 2021 we announced our first three Chief Nurse Fellows (see https://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/news/announcing-appointment-our-first-chief-nurse-fellows-mental-health )

We focused the Chief Nurse Fellowship on mental health nursing with a particular emphasis on supporting ethnic minority nurses to develop their leadership skills, support career progression and the profile of mental health nursing.

We asked the three Fellows how it is going:

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Yvonne Kayiya, who works in Milton Keynes  perinatal services

The Chief Nurse Fellowship has been -

  • Learning from the career trajectory of senior management and leadership, I have identified a couple of goals worth pursuing following completion of the Fellowship.
  • I am gleaning from my mentor/sponsor - Helen Willetts and Maria O’Brien - Chief Nurse’s oversight of the Programme and the expectations. Both have been very encouraging and supportive throughout. In addition, Louise Morton (Director Nursing in Diggory) and Kim Cox have given me access to their expertise.
  • I have the Tavistock teaching and coaching sessions as a private space to discuss some challenges and demands including joys of leadership has been pivotal in building resilience and self-awareness skills.
  • I am now working alongside the Trust Clinical Leads and attend Trust Physical Health strategic meetings for my research project  in Physical Health Monitoring in Mental Health.
  • Exposure to two other Directorates, Jameson and Goodall, has me stepping out of my comfort zone, to now networking and building relationships further afield.
  • I have found that the Fellowship is essentially about being an exemplar, a voice for Mental Health nursing and motivator in this development and journey.  I am more assertive and confident in my leadership role.

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Clarence Gwashavanhu, works in London CAMHs

The fellowship has been going on exceptionally well so far. We are 5 months in and things are taking shape. The fellowship has three components of:

  1. Coaching and leadership by the Tavistock
  2. Working on a project in the trust-I am doing on workforce development in staff who work in older adults inpatients units in CNWL. I am scoping the staff mix and skills against the Health Education England competency framework.
  3. Working across and outside the CNWL. This involves working alongside and shadowing senior members across the trust.

To date we have made significant progress on the first two components. We are now getting the third component off the ground.  My favourite part to date has been working on the workforce transformation project in older adults.

My highlights were designing, formulating and operationalising the project with the help from Kim Cox (Jameson’s Divisional Director of Nursing), the two assistant directors of nursing (Guy Powell and Jim O’Donnell) and Ed Austin (Senior Transformation and Strategy Lead). I have learnt a lot from the regular support and 1:1 I am getting from Maria, the Chief Nurse and Kim Cox.

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Phanuel Mtape works in the Milton Keynes Hospital Liaison Team

My personal experience about the Chief Nurse Fellowship Program:

  1. The program has opened the doors so wide for me to meet and get to know our senior nurse leaders in the organisation, including a one-to-one session with our Chief Executive, Claire Murdoch.
  2. I have had excellent support from the Chief Nurse Maria O’Brien and my Program Sponsor Louise Morton through regular, structured supervisions. The supervision sessions have been very stimulating as they challenge me to look at the challenges that nursing profession is facing through different leadership lenses.
  3. I am experiencing the pleasure and challenges of working on a service improvement project/s in order to improve patients’ care and their experience. The project is a very good tool to contribute towards the Trust’s efforts to improve services and wellbeing for patients, carers and staff. I am expanding my professional network.
  4. The program is helping me to build upon and develop my nursing leadership and influencing skills. I am realising through the program that I am becoming more tenacious, more assertive and more resilient in my practice and how I engage with other people both in the organisation and outside the organisation.
  5. The teaching and coaching sessions from the Tavistock Group are intellectually stimulating and offer me the platform to view, assess and appraise my own leadership position in my organisation.
  6. The program has got a positive effect on how others perceive me. The title of “Chief Nurse Fellow” is a weapon I am willing to use to inspire others to make positive contribution to nursing leadership.