5th January 2020

Students attend Healthcare Leadership Academy conference

A group of #150Leaders attended the Healthcare Leadership Academy Conference in December. Some of the students reflect on the opportunity to attend:

I am a yes woman. I try and say yes to every opportunity that comes my way that I know I will benefit from. Learning comes in so many forms, not just in the way of a lecture hall or clinical placement. So, when an invitation to the Healthcare Leadership Academy dropped in my inbox, I said yes! Yes to the conference and yes to spending some quality time with some of the #150Leaders and as it was in London, it was a win win for me!

When the conference agenda came through with the list of speakers, I had a quick glance and saw only one name that was familiar to me, previous conferences I’ve been to I’ve recognised most of the names. This conference was different to most that I have been to in the past couple of years, I’ve attended mainly conferences with nurses at the forefront, this conference was different in that it was medic heavy and it showed in the list of speakers. How fortunate to be able to attend a conference that was different to my norm. To hear about leadership and resilience from medics, to see the similarities that are discussed at other events discussed at the Healthcare Leadership Academy. In my mind, it cemented the importance of us all working together.

#150Leaders has the right idea, pairing students with coaches who are not from their direct field. There are huge benefits of inter-linking between different healthcare professionals to share ideas, give different views and build each other up. I can see a future potential with the Healthcare Leadership Academy, which appears to already have a strong foundation, in including more nurses and AHPs into the fold and this will enable more mentoring/coaching to happen across the different fields.

Zoe Carciente

A takeaway for me was that I recognised the importance of leadership in collaboration between healthcare professions, and that this collaboration can reach beyond direct health. Directions within our professions are looking for more innovative, globalised pathways that will unite and broaden our delivery of care. For example embracing new technologies, AI and centralised digital systems. We as future leaders need to embrace our ideas or our colleagues, through keeping momentum in our passion to delivery quality care.

Becky Crisp

The Healthcare Leadership Conference was a great opportunity to further develop my leadership skills. The day covered many interesting topics and I particularly enjoyed the workshops. The workshops allowed us to connect with medics, whilst comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences of our roles. In the future, it would be beneficial to see more student nurses at the conference to enable more shared learning and understanding of our role in practice.

Ricky Baker

One keynote speaker discussed equality, social injustice and overcoming barriers as women in leadership or ethnic minorities, while one keynote speaker highlighted that currently there is “snowy white peaks in healthcare leadership”, suggesting toxic masculinity and poor attitudes towards women in leadership, covering some really important topics which I feel passionate about and were important topics to present on within this conference.

Georgina Henry

19th October 2018

Congratulations to our #150Leaders Award Nominees

Winners will be announced at our joint publication launch and awards ceremony on 6 December in London.


Best Contribution to Social Media: This category celebrates the student who has made the best contribution to social media (including blogging).

  • Alison Booker, dietitian, Leeds Beckett University
  • Gino D’Andrea, nurse, University of Brighton
  • Hannah Smith, nurse, University of Salford and Leanne Patrick, nurse, University of Stirling
  • Sarah Bradder, radiographer (therapeutic), Sheffield Hallam University and Julie Bolter, dietitian, University of Plymouth

Top #150Leaders Mentoring Partnership: This category celebrates positive and successful mentoring partnership from the programme.

  • Angharad Colinese, midwife, Swansea University and mentor Linda Burke, Executive Director of Education and Quality, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Felicity Allman, nurse, University of Plymouth and mentor Brendan McCormack, Head of Nursing Division, Queen Margaret University
  • Jaspreet Singh, occupational therapist, University of Derby and mentor Jeanette Williams, Staff Engagement & Wellbeing Manager, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Jo Whiting, occupational therapist, University of Essex and mentor Robin Lansman, Osteopath and Clinical Director at Body Back-Up
  • Megan Cam, midwife, University of Worcester and mentor Sheena Byrom, midwifery consultant and author

Outstanding Commitment to Student Affairs: This category is to recognise leaders in the university environment by acknowledging those who have been committed to supporting their peers in some way.

  • Emma Coleman, physiotherapist, University of Southampton
  • Leanne Patrick, nurse, University of Stirling
  • Nichole Yam, occupational therapist, Leeds Beckett University
  • Stephanie Mott, midwife, University of Brighton
  • Steven Cox, radiographer (diagnostic), University of Exeter

Top #150Leaders Social or Digital Innovation: This category celebrates an individual who has demonstrated leadership skills and driven innovation and transformation in their communities and/or beyond.

  • Ian Unitt, nurse, University of Wolverhampton
  • Jaspreet Singh, occupational therapist, University of Derby
  • Roch McLean, nurse, University of Brighton
  • Raluca Vagner, nurse, Oxford Brookes University

Outstanding Contribution to Shared Learning: This category is for students who have taken learning from the Student Leadership Programme and has shared with their peers and colleagues, whether at university, contributing to research/media articles, or in clinical practice.

  • Felicity Allman, nurse, University of Plymouth
  • Heidi Williams, nurse, University of Central Lancashire
  • Rachael Palmer,  nurse, University of Plymouth and Dawne Jones, nurse, University of Plymouth
  • Pippa Chillman, nurse, University of Derby

Top #150Leaders Nurse: This category celebrates the student nurse who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills to positively contribute to their profession.

  • Dawne Jones, University of Plymouth
  • Jess Rees, University of Birmingham
  • Katie Dutton, De Montfort University
  • Rachael Palmer, University of Plymouth
  • Sam Richards, Swansea University

Top #150Leaders Midwife: This category celebrates the student midwife who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills to positively contribute to their profession.

  • Fatimah Mohamied, University of West London
  • Lucy Horne, University of York
  • Megan Cam, University of Worcester
  • Mhairi McLellan, Robert Gordon University

Top #150Leaders Allied Health Professional: This category celebrates the student allied health professional who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills to positively contribute to their profession.

  • Alison Booker, dietitian, Leeds Beckett University
  • Julie Bolter, dietitian, University of Plymouth
  • Nick Flanagan, physiotherapist, Teesside University
  • Rob Molloy, occupational therapist, Brunel University
  • Sarah Bradder, radiographer (therapeutic), Sheffield Hallam University
24th July 2018

AHPs Into Action: future strategy

This week, over 20 of the #150Leaders reunited in London to meet with Suzanne Rastrick, the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer (CAHPO) for NHS England and Beverley Harden, the AHP Lead at Health Education England. Students represented 10 different courses in total and contributed to discussions on future AHP strategy, interprofessional working and visibility and promotion of the professions.

Suzanne Rastrick started the event with a review of NHS England’s AHP strategy, including how AHPs have engaged in the past and the vision for the future. Students were invited to share their own ideas of what AHPs and AHP leadership will look like by 2020.

Students also met with Beverley Harden, who outlined the work of Health Education England (HEE) for the Allied Health Professions. Laura Rogers and Gill Rawlinson, AHP Clinical Fellows at HEE, led discussions on awareness of the professions and the future of careers in the allied health professions.

#150Leaders consulted on future of healthcare leadership education

Students were invited to a focus group led by Health Education England on the Maximising Leadership Project. Vicky, Jess and Jaspreet share their experiences.

Pippa Chillman (Student Mental Health Nurse), Ella Smith (Student Occupational Therapist), Vicky Reynolds (Student Children’s Nurse), Janine Dobson (trainee Nurse Associate), Jess Rees (Student Adult Nurse) and Jaspreet Singh (Student


We met Dr Patricia Owen (Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, Keele University and Academic Lead: Maximising Leadership Project), Adam Turner (Health Education England, Leadership OD and Talent Programme Lead) and Sue Baknak (Project Lead: Maximising Leadership Project) to share our views about learning about leadership in pre-registration courses and how important having the opportunity for prior learning is for when we graduate and practice as a qualified healthcare professionals.

We were introduced to the Maximising Leadership research aims, which included moving forward from leadership being a bolt-on subject, working towards a future where leadership is embedded in the curricula and graduates are prepared leaders. The projects intended outcome is to produce the set of guidelines that will be integrate leadership and development right the way through university curricular. Dr Patricia Owen discussed the various phases of research that had been incorporated to develop an inclusive model for the maximising leadership project, she was generous with her time and explained how these steps were utilised to capture common themes and to help to identify what makes a valuable and beneficial leadership programme.

The research stages include:

  • Original research
  • Mapping of standards
  • Scoping and case studies
  • Literature-what has already been said and done
  • Practice- what is already being done in various settings

During a working lunch (which was very gratefully received thank you!) we were able to contribute to the shaping of this research by sharing our experiences of leadership learning, based upon our university and practice experience and significantly through the opportunities and experiences granted to us through the #150leaders programme.

For me this was a fantastic opportunity to dig-deep and really consider my encounters with leadership coaching and development; which surprisingly originated during induction training for a post as waitress at a popular ,end-of the-week named American-themed restaurant: here theory-based practice was fused into absolutely every situation and scenario- I recall it was a fabulous introduction to working with purpose which I feel I have been able to bring forward to the present day; I was genuinely interested to learn from the Maximising Leadership team that my own place of study the University of Worcester was one of the pilot locations incorporated into the research through integrating leadership into the pre-registration nursing curriculum, I was able to share my thoughts and experiences of how this ran and I was able to recognise how the findings from research had been put into action and delivered to us as students, including: looking at various scenarios and identifying different leadership roles, working in groups to develop strategies and demonstrate leadership skills; it is however without a doubt the opportunities gifted through the #150 Leaders programme that have enhanced and brought to life my education, understanding and implementation of leadership; through the meeting of like-minded individuals all thirsty to learn and grow, sharing experiences and listening to, and learning from, exceptional speakers during the conferences, getting connected and using online opportunities to widen our knowledge and contribute to discussion, constantly enhancing our understanding of leadership, and widening our networks for the future; additionally there have been opportunities that have been offered as a result of the programme including LCAV #lead2add and this Maximising Leadership Project.

As a group there was a resounding agreement in the room that a national framework that delivered a programme of leadership was an absolute essential and we were very proud, as delegates of the Council of Deans of Health Student Leadership Programme, to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the shaping of it.

“I just wanted to thank you again for your great contributions to our draft work on maximising learning about …We were really impressed with your interest and thoughtful comments and reflections. They will be utilised in our plans going forward…I am very certain that the professions you represent are safe in your hands going forward” Dr Patricia Owen


We had a working lunch during their presentation of their draft framework and then a group discussion. We introduced the Student Leadership Programme in terms of its’ structure, the cohorts and our individual experiences. Then we used Mentimeter to feedback on the draft framework so far, discussing the concepts we felt to be most important and which teaching methods are best suited for leadership learning.

We had all been at the #150Leaders London event two days previously and so leadership was already at the forefront of our minds. As a group we realised that we hadn’t met each other in London and so it was a perfect opportunity for networking. I felt that the meeting was a great way to reflect on my journey so far. I’ve realised how I have changed as a student and leader due to my time on the programme. Adam and Pat encouraged us to think of it in an educational way and my favoured learning style is the workshops we did in Reading. The opportunity for group discussion, teamwork and active listening skills really founded the content in memory.

The message I wanted to get across was inclusivity. We all agreed how lucky we were to be #150Leaders but I want every healthcare student to be equipped with the same skills. I am excited by the draft framework and the professional development it will lead to for the future practitioners in our NHS. Pat’s opening statement was ‘What would our healthcare services be like in 20 years time if everyone qualifying as a healthcare professional felt empowered to lead and improve all aspects of our NHS?’. I would encourage all #150Leaders to engage with this document when it is published in September and be a part of the drive to change our curricula to improve our students for the benefit of everyone.

“Thank you for all of your energy, enthusiasm and fantastic contributions to help us shape this work,… how amazing are you to say you have helped shape a national framework – this is something that demonstrates true leadership qualities and absolutely to share on your CVs!” Adam J. Turner, Health Education England


I found the maximising leadership meeting to be hugely beneficial in not only expressing how the student leadership programme has benefited me individually and professionally, but also by allowing me to reflect on how leadership within healthcare education can be improved.  This was particularly important for me as excellent leadership skills are not streamlined and applied in all practice areas and healthcare organisations, which can be disheartening for students who learn about leadership but do not see this reflected in practice. Subsequently, I was able to discuss this perspective within the meeting, which will influence future healthcare education policy through allowing programme leaders and universities to re-examine how leadership is taught. This in turn, will influence the potential of leadership to be realised from an early stage in ones career in order to attain effective and high quality healthcare services in the future. I once again thank you to the Council of Deans of Health for this amazing opportunity, as it truly enabled me to apply what I have been learning about leadership into practice through reflection.

19th July 2018

#150Leaders: London Takeover

Wednesday 11 July saw all four cohorts of our #150Leaders together for the first time. With a busy itinerary of prestigious speakers and reuniting with colleagues and friends, there was excitement for the day ahead.

The opening welcome from Dr Katerina Kolyva and Professor Nigel Harrison was a time to recognise the achievements of all the leaders, from Student Nurse and Midwife of the Year to presenting on an international stage.

We were very pleased to have Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Chair of the Council of Deans of Health, present on political astuteness and the key competencies required:

The next session was led by Professor Peter Shaw, a leadership coach and author of 100 Great Leading Well Ideas. Each student was given a copy of his book, and Peter highlighted key take home points from the book:

After lunch, Professor Aisha Holloway opened with an unconventional task: make your heart sing. To boost energy, Aisha asked students (and staff) to listen to the song that really makes your heart sing – listen, sing, dance. Aisha continued her presentation the theme of networking and leadership, including how to best use your network and how to make networking meaningful:

Unfortunately, consultant midwife Sheena Byrom OBE was unable to join us on the day but luckily had sent a video for students with some advice for the future:

The formal conference ended with a time to reflect on the future and the contributions each leader will make in healthcare. The day ended with a time to put theory into practice with an informal networking drinks reception. The Reception was joined by the Royal College of Nursing’s Janet Davis and Chief Allied Health Professions Officer Suzanne Rastrick.

More photos and buzz from the day can be found on twitter using the hashtag #150Leaders.

25th June 2018

Chief Allied Health Professions Officer’s (CAHPO) Conference 2018

Julie Bolter (University of Plymouth, Dietetics) and Sarah Bradder (Sheffield Hallam University, Radiotherapy and Oncology) attended the CAHPO conference as eager and excited newbies as part of the @WeAHPs Twitter team and representing the #150leaders. It was going to be a jam-packed day full of networking, live-tweeting, periscoping, cake cutting, badges and stickers.


How were you feeling prior to the event?

Sarah: I was just so happy to be attending! The @WeAHPs team had arranged for me to attend and I was just so grateful and excited to be part of such a wonderful event. I was really looking forward to meeting/catching up with such prominent people within the world of AHPs and hoping that I could really help the @WeAHPs team out.

Julie: I was super excited to be attending to help with @WeAHPs team and meet my #150 mentor in person. I was keen to learn more about AHPintoAction and meet Twitter friends and idols in person!


Suzanne Rastrick (Chief Allied Health Professions Officer), who is now probably better known as ‘the mother of dragons’, was ready and waiting to welcome the 500+ delegates. Sarah and Julie were personally acknowledged by Suzanne in her welcoming address as being attendance which they both agree was pretty amazing. Suzanne was also the first speaker – ‘AHP Imagineering: Reflections from #NHS70 for the future’ where the inspirational past and present AHP innovators and entrepreneurs led the way in encouraging AHPs to lead change through leadership and being digitally ready, aware and enabled.

What was the most prominent message from this address for you personally?

J: The need for AHPs to drive change that will ensure the NHS keeps up-to-date with patient requirements and demand, to allow more efficient care. AHPs will need to embrace technology as the NHS becomes digital and champion person-centred technology that advance and improve services.

S: It was so great to see two incredible advocates (Ethel Armstrong and Nick Woznitza) for the radiography profession, both such inspirations. It was also highlighted how important leadership is at every level, even as students. This really made me realise how important the Council of Deans of Health Student Leadership Programme is and how it has enabled myself, Julie and the other 148 healthcare students to develop such vital skills.


Andy Rhodes (Chief Constable, Lancashire Constabulary, National Lead for Wellbeing and Engagement, The College of Policing) then gave a moving and motivational speech about leading change – ‘We asked for workers and they sent us humans’, putting emphasis on caring for people who care.

What stood out most for you from this presentation?

S: In order to effectively care for the public and retain compassion, which is ever so important, we need to thrive in the work environment not just survive. So there has to be a real investment in the wellbeing of staff because it has been proven that it really does affect how services are delivered, especially when it comes to discretionary effort because where would the NHS be without this?

J: He reminded us the growth of ISIS and the ‘ice-bucket challenge’ have been powered by the crowd. Therefore, leaders need to realise the power of the crowd and be close to the people who are doing the work, allowing them to make networks with multi-agencies and organisations. This requires ‘new power’ which involves openness, peer drive, surges and participatory not held by few, closed and jealously guarded. I have seen this new power first hand in my fellow #150leaders and how we all raise one another up to achieve our best, share our victories and contacts, rather than keeping the power to ourselves.


Professor Caroline MacEwen (Chair, Academy of Royal Medical Colleges) next discussed effective change through vision, education and training that is patient-focused – ‘Team Healthcare – Leading the Way’. It was highlighted, by using a case study example, the number of AHPs involved in the care of a single patient throughout their healthcare journey.

What were the take home messages from this?

J: The importance of local and regional leaders was stressed and the AHPs into Action report is an example of these leaders being showcased. For AHP leadership and teams to grow and meet future demands on the health service joint commitment across professions is required, AHPs need to work to their full potential and employers, educators and governments need to work together to train the future workforce to be work ready.

S: Joint professional work requires flexibility in everyone’s attitudes and behaviours for professionals to value the unique contribution that each profession can make because the best outcomes are achieved when people work together. Advances in care are not necessarily about doing better things but about doing things better.


The final speaker of the morning was Juliet Bauer (Chief Digital Officer, NHS England) who shared how technology needs to be embraced in order to empower patients to take control of their health – ‘Empowering people through digital tools and services’.

What would you identify as the main theme from this presentation?

S: That technology isn’t going to replace anything but can only expand the humanity that is at the very heart of the NHS. It can create an environment where individuals are equal partners in their own healthcare journey where we move away from a ‘I’m telling you what to do’ approach to a more coaching type relationship which is far more person-centrered.

J: The main theme was that digital healthcare must be person focused and allow patients to be equal partners in their care. The process of moving between departments should use technology to reduce repetition of work and enable better patient care.


Lunch time was filled with great food, gathering information from the 18 stalls in the ‘Market Place’ and networking. Either side of the lunch break were ‘breakout sessions’ which delegates could choose to attend:

  1. Commitment to the individual
  2. Commitment to care close to home: Making care closer to home a reality
  3. Commitment to the health and wellbeing of populations: Tools to support implementation
  4. Commitment to care for those who care: Inspiring careers
  5. Digital futures: Empowering the clinician and the citizen
  6. Sustainability and transformation plans: Opportunities for AHP leadership in integrated care

Which sessions did you attend and why? What did you find most useful about them?

J: I attended 2 and 3. I chose session 2 as I am passionate about improving community care to improve patients outcomes and make a more sustainable and empowering health service. I chose session 3 because prevention is better than cure and overcoming health inequalities is a key driver of mine.

S: I attended sessions 3 and 4. I chose session 3 because I am really interested in public health awareness and feel that as a future therapeutic radiographer I am ideally placed to start conversations with service users about bettering their health and taking control. And I chose session 4 because I am actively and increasingly involved in recruitment. They were both very informative and signposted many additional tools/websites/apps etc that can be utilised for both areas.


After lunch it was the ‘Keynote Address’ given by Simon Stevens (Chief Executive, NHS England) whose opening statement of ‘the country loves you!’ was met with a huge round of applause.

What was the most important message to take from this address?

S: I think that it’s so important that we see how new epidemics are replacing old ones (i.e. dementia replacing tuberculosis) and so changing needs and fragmentation between social and health care, primary and secondary care and mental and physical health are the drivers for the next part of the NHS journey and AHPs are front and centre of that change as we are in a prime position being that we are involved all the way throughout the healthcare system.

J: It was clear that all healthcare professionals will need to work differently and more collaboratively, but AHPs are part of the solution. The decompartmentalise pathways and referral systems require an overhaul to meet patient and modern-day life which draws into the importance of interprofessional working.


Sir David Nicholson (Chair, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and former NHS England CEO) then put the emphasis on how the NHS is a beacon for healthcare across the globe despite the negative portrayal of it in the media, it’s all a matter of ‘Perspective’.

What conclusions did you draw from this speech?

J: The overall emphasis of this speech was that despite the negative portrayal of the NHS we stand tall across the world as a top universal health care system. This doesn’t mean we don’t need to change and improve. He encouraged us that advancements are possible and reminded us the NHS was built in a financially challenging time and has grown to the world-renowned service it is today. Sustainability is achievable and AHPs are and will be playing a key role in the process.

S: It was interesting to hear that the NHS is clearly very hard on itself, it raised the question of whether the whole of the NHS is suffering from imposter syndrome because as a collective we don’t appear to see how amazing it is. As Julie said, it doesn’t mean that improvements aren’t necessary but we all need to see how possible it is to implement changes despite the current economic climate.


After this presentation was the #NHS70 tea party in association with the BDA (The Association of UK Dieticians). This was quite a special time for us both as we were asked by Suzanne Rastrick personally to join her in cutting the ‘Carb/Sugar smart’ cake as representatives of AHP #150leaders!

S: It was such an honour to be asked, I was so excited when Suzanne got in touch. It means a lot to be representing such amazing students at such a prominent event.

J: It was Sarah who instigated me sharing this moment, a true example of the ‘new power’. It was a privilege to be involved and made me really feel like a valued delegate at the conference despite being a student.


The final speaker of the day was Justin Varney (Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Public Health England) who gave an engaging presentation about technological acceleration, lifestyle cohorts and life expansion – ‘Spaceships, Zumba and Rewilding designers – the future of the world and the future of healthcare’. It was put forward that too often we look back and hold onto how things have always been done, but in order to change and progress we need to let go.

What would you say were the most important messages from this presentation?

J: He used advancements in technology and industry to demonstrate the digital potential for the whole health system. He also touched on how data is the new oil, highly valuable but leaks can have devastating consequences. The advice was collect with caution but share and use in meaningful ways.

S: It was picked up on that prevention is key in maintaining independence and dignity in later years and the theme of prevention was pulled out throughout the day. In order to achieve this, we need to move from patient-centred care to patient-controlled care with 24/7 access and so services need to be designed from as service user’s perspective to meet future need. It no longer matters who is a doctor and who is a nurse and who is an AHP, the bottom line is that we are all healthcare professionals so we all have to work together.


Final thoughts on the day?

S: It was so motivational! The atmosphere was just amazing, a room full of eager and friendly AHPs all geared up to make real changes for the better of services. To be a part of that in some small way was just incredible and it was amazing to get the opportunity to meet and network with inspiring AHPs. I have been encouraged to continue my leadership journey with a new found understanding of how small changes can have a big impact and I have met some amazing professionals that I know will support me in along my journey.

J: The day was inspirational, motivating, thought provoking and has increased my excitement for the future of AHPs. I will continue my leadership journey with new insight and understanding on how my behaviours and drive to improve service can be best adapted to enable the best possible patient outcomes.

We, as AHPs, are the future – “The future depends on what we do in the present” (Mahatma Gandhi) so go out there and do today.

18th May 2018

Student leaders at Summit 2018

This month, 7 of our #150Leaders attended the Council of Deans of Health Summit 2018 at Crewe Hall. 3 students from our 2017 cohort along with 4 students from our 2018 cohort joined Council members at the Leadership themed two-day event.

Student nurses Raluca Vagner and Hannah Smith and student physiotherapist Darragh McGee were invited to reflect on their leadership journey in a session dedicated to the successes and future of the Student Leadership Programme. The session was facilitated by the Council’s Education Impact Lead Professor Nigel Harrison. All three students shared the impact the programme had had on them and their hopes for the continuation of the programme in years to come. You can see a short clip of Raluca’s presentation here.

Students were also actively engaged in a twitter chat live from the Summit on the NMC’s new standards of proficiency. Areas for discussion included how the changes in standards would impact curricula design and which forms of innovative learning would be best to lead the new standards. The chat was led by Professor Alison Twycross, and you can follow the discussion using the hashtag #ebnjc.

The second day of the conference saw second year student nurse and #150Leaders 2018 student Gino D’Andrea present his experience on encouraging student retention in nursing. Following a career as a police constable, Gino signed up for a nursing degree and shared some of his own personal difficulties with the course. Gino is committed to supporting his peers in a number of ways, including through the invention of his website “Keep Going, Student Nurse!” – a quote generator that offers messages of support to student nurses written by peers, registered nurses and other professionals.

The Council would like to thank all students who joined the Summit and for their insightful contributions throughout the two days. (Below from left to right, Raluca Vagner, Ella Smith, Nick Flanagan, Gino D’Andrea, Darragh McGee, Jennie Cook, Hannah Smith)

8th May 2018

Award-winning students on the Student Leadership Programme

Our #150Leaders have been busy winning awards last month at the Student Nursing Times Awards (SNTA), with many others receiving nominations in various categories.

A special congratulations go to two of the #150Leaders who came away with awards on the night. Laura Thomas won Student Midwife of the Year Award, which was presented by the Council’s very own Dr Katerina Kolyva, and Kelly-Hellen Hitchcock won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs. Kelly-Hellen Hitchcock and Laura Thomas were both on the Student Leadership Programme in 2017.

Two of the #150Leaders have also been nominated for RCNi awards in the Andrew Parker Student Nurse category. Katie Dutton has actively been raising awareness of sepsis after recovering from the life-threatening condition herself. Raluca Vagner has co-created an online platform bringing together information on all phases of the non-trauma amputation pathway for patients and clinicians. Winners will be announced on 4 July.

A full list of all the #150Leaders SNTA nominees are below:

Most Inspirational Student Nurse of the Year

  • Felicity Allman, Plymouth Univeristy
  • Katie Dutton, De Montfort University
  • Leanne Patrick, University of Stirling

Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs

  • Kelly-Hellen Hitchcock and Laura MacPherson, University of Derby
  • Leanne Patrick, University of Stirling

Student Innovation in Practice

  • Raluca Vagner, Oxford Brookes University

Student Midwife of the Year

  • Laura Thomas, Bangor University

Student Nurse of the Year: Mental Health

  • Kelly-Hellen Hitchcock, University of Derby
  • Megan Smith, Bangor University

Congratulations to all the #150Leaders winners and nominees. We expect to see lots more next year!

16th March 2018

Meeting our new leaders

Last week, the team at the Council of Deans welcomed new students to the programme at a residential conference in Reading. Each cohort saw 45 students arrive from 44 different universities across the UK to the Penta Hotel for a thought-provoking two days.

Upon arrival, students were greeted by the Council’s Executive Director Dr Katerina Kolyva or Head of Policy Fleur Nielsen. They set the scene for the upcoming sessions covering everything from authentic leadership to confidence to integrity. With the help with Adele Nightingale’s session on emotional intelligence, students were able to make and take home their own “Bounceback Billy”:

The first day was rounded off with a three-course dinner and insightful talks from clinical nurse specialist Ismalia de Sousa and Head of Programmes for the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer Naomi McVey.

Both cohorts also had the opportunity to hear from students on the programme in 2017. Felicity Allman, Layla Parsons, Abigail Spragg, Ruth Rodgers and (remotely) Leanne Patrick joined cohorts 3 and 4 and spoke about their experiences of the programme, what they’ve been up to since and shared their top tips.

In addition to a busy itinerary and networking with other people, students were encouraged to take to social media to share their experience of the programme using the hashtag #150Leaders. Students have now been introduced to their mentors and we look forward to seeing our #150Leaders again for our July event in London.

1st March 2018

Advice for New Students

Jessica Sinclair, an adult nursing student at the University of Dundee and 2017 SLP student, shares her advice for the new cohort going in to the first conference next week.


Top 10 tips and tricks for the first Student Leadership Programme conference

  1. Familiarize yourself with the list of speakers before you go! I wish I had paid more attention to this and had a better idea of people’s backgrounds so I could make the connection between who they were and when they got up to speak. Don’t sit and memorize it or anything – it’s more just for your own reference afterwards. You might also find that you want to get chatting to them during the coffee breaks/dinner so it’s a great way to have a conversation starter.
  2. Similarly, if you are taking notes – write down who was speaking next to those notes! This might seem really obvious but I forgot a couple of times and when I went to look over them, I got confused as to who had taken which workshop. You don’t have to take proper notes (better to listen and engage in any conversations!) but a wee heading with the topic that you’re discussing and the ‘main ideas’, plus the person that was speaking, will definitely help with any reflections you want to do.
  3. Remember that nobody knows each other, and everybody is looking to make friends – so everybody will be really friendly if you strike up a conversation.
  4. If there is a particular person that makes an impression on you, get their name and contact details! You might not have anything to say right at that moment, but if they are involved in any work/areas that you are interested in, you might find that you wished you could get in touch with them later down the line (and can’t remember who they are!). It can be intimidating, but just say something along the lines of ‘I found that really interesting, and something I might want to follow up in the future.. would you mind jotting down your email address/social media details?’. The people taking these workshops are a dab hand at networking – they will understand what you are trying to do, even if it seems a bit weird. They all signed up because they are passionate about promoting students and leadership! You’ll have all the students on the Facebook group already, but if there’s somebody you really get on with/like what they’re doing, then try to remember their name (or ask them to write it down for you!).
  5. Write up a reflection ASAP afterwards. It doesn’t have to be a proper one – just bullet point the things that stood out to you and how it made you feel. It will be a great starting point for discussions with your mentor when you get assigned one, and people at your university might want to know what you got up to. Much better to have a simple list of bullet points to refer to, than have to try and think back afterwards and remember. You’ll be writing a short reflection at the very end of the programme anyway (which is a good few months after the initial meeting) so it will be a great tool to make comparisons if any of your opinions/attitudes have changed since you started.
  6. Leadership is about supporting those around you. If you notice somebody not joining in as much or struggling to get a word into the conversation, then be the person that makes a conscious effort to include them. I’m sure you would be the kind of person that does this anyway, but it’s really easy to get caught up in the excitement of the conversations and forget about the group dynamics.
  7. Don’t confuse passion with intelligence! This seems like a weird point, but when I first got there, I felt like everyone seemed wayyy smarter than me, and felt bit out of my depth joining in conversations. After getting to know everybody a bit, I realized that everybody was just really passionate and excited to be there (like I was!) and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are ‘the best of the best’ – they’re all just normal students.
  8. Arrange to meet people in the ‘in-between’ times (if you want). Obviously, don’t feel the need to do this. If you want to spend the ‘free time’ by yourself to relax, or get ready (or nap!) then absolutely just use the time to do that. But if you do fancy meeting people for coffee/beer/getting ready, then put a wee post in the Facebook group and there will definitely be someone else who wants to as well.
  9. Think about joining Twitter, if you aren’t on it already. I was genuinely super against it, and spent a lot of time explaining to people why I don’t like social media. This is totally fine, stick to your guns if that’s how you feel! However, I had no idea what the nursing/health Twitter communities were like (as I had never actually looked) – and it’s totally different than I had initially thought. I use it purely as a professional platform, and have gained so many educational/networking opportunities since joining.
  10. Finally, remember it’s supposed to be fun!! The whole programme is set up so that you can enjoy yourself too. There’s loads of key messages and learning to take away, but it is a really social event and you can definitely have a bit of laugh while you’re there too.