Nardia Lloyd-Ashton of Manchester Local Care Organisation shines a spotlight on their different approach to leadership development. With support from the NHS NWLA grant funding to devise and deliver a tailor-made intervention, the organisation focused on integrated neighbourhood leadership teams and testing new ways of working.
In Manchester Local Care Organisation (MLCO) we set out to do leadership development differently. Formed in 2018 to bring together NHS community health and adult social care in the city, a core part of our approach was creating 12 co-located, integrated neighbourhood teams. Each of these neighbourhoods has a leadership team which includes a dedicated MLCO neighbourhood lead along with GP, social care, nursing and mental health leads. It’s a new way of working, bringing together different cultures and styles around the needs of the people in the city, not to mention the challenge of working with 12 very different and diverse areas.
I started by having many different conversations with colleagues and partners to find out their ideas about the support and development that they thought our new Neighbourhood Leadership teams would benefit from. The answers I received were surprisingly unanimous
“please do not put them in a room somewhere and talk to them about leadership, give them the opportunity to experience collaborative place-based leadership in practice.”
Following this feedback, we commissioned a programme to deliver a leadership intervention focused on a variation of the ”100 Day Challenge programme” in each of our 12 neighbourhoods. This way of working meant that each neighbourhood had permission to choose their own area of interest, to identify their own cohort, set their own goals and test different ideas. Staff were able to do their day job differently for 100 days, to develop team relationships and see if they can make a positive impact on health and care system.
We are delighted to report that the relationships and the trust which developed and deepened over the life of the challenge appear to be consolidating into regular ways of cross system working and meaningful day-to-day collaboration. Our Cheetham and Crumpsall integrated neighbourhood team created Team Cheeni as part of their challenge, focused on ways to support people with diabetes who are from a South Asian background. The longer-term outcome of their challenge is the imminent launch of a new framework to support people in the neighbourhood. This has created a meaningful partnership, which has community champions and a system of peer to peer support at the heart of our diabetes and pre-diabetes strategy. A total change from traditional ways of working in this area.
Other teams are tackling issues such as social isolation, low mood in key population groups and people with long term conditions who have disengaged from services. This programme is demonstrating the power and impact that comes from leaders stepping back and creating space and permission for others to lead. We believe in the mantra that “a true measure of leadership is how many leaders you leave behind”, be this for a day, while on holiday or when you move on to a new role. We are seeing our own staff and our partners blossom with confidence, optimism and renewed agency to make a difference to the people of Manchester. We’re also seeing the people of Manchester contributing to, and getting involved in shaping, how care is delivered in the city in new ways.