2. Developing Collaborative Leaders

Coaching GPs to address the pressures of the Healthcare system

The Challenge

The NHS is facing the greatest challenges in its history, with increasing demand and huge pressure on public resources. GPs are at the heart of the system – and delivering high quality, safe and sustainable services in the future requires new skills and behaviours from Primary Care in general, and GPs in particular.

There is a need for GP leaders who will step into leadership roles and:

  • are equipped to address the pressures of the system and develop sustainable practices or adapt to other models of care
  • will collaborate with the wider system in health and social care


of innovative GPs attending NHS Institute training in the past year report one of their chief unmet learning needs to be how to engage and lead their colleagues in new ways of working. (The King’s Fund, 2010).

What we did

We designed a short bespoke programme to equip GPs with additional tools, capability and resilience to lead providers of care and work collaboratively across the health and social system. The programme comprised one initial introductory session, three half-day group-working sessions, and four 90-minute individual coaching sessions. These sought to enable GPs to identify areas of work they were passionate about, align these with their values, and build capability and new skills in collaborative leadership. Ultimately, it ensured that those who wanted to step forward into wider leadership roles were better equipped to do so.

The Results

The results of this programme were independently evaluated by Nottingham University (CHILL), and their findings were


of GPs changed the way they were working in their current role


improved relationships with existing partners and collaborators


took on new leadership roles (informal or formal) outside their organisation

As a result of the programme GPs expressed increased confidence in:
Chairing Meetings
Conflict Resolution
Movement into New Roles
Relationships with other GPs
Networking Skills

What the GPs said

The first of my one-on-one coaching sessions provided in the GP leadership training was the most useful, productive and rewarding 90 minutes of my clinical career to date. I only hope the other delegates are gaining as much as I am from participating in this pilot programme.

Fantastic course – would do it again and recommend strongly to other GP colleagues

Need our help?

If you would like our help in enabling your people to perform at their best through coaching and leadership development, please contact us via the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.