Engage Case Study NHS

NHS – Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
engage case study nhs
engage case study nhs


When the CSU was formed in March 2013 it made a clear commitment to the development of its staff. Our approach was based on conversations with staff at all levels, a Staff Survey, and by the wealth of research into productivity and happiness at work.

We combined this information with the historic underinvestment in management training in within Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) (from where the majority of our staff came), and the difficult times experienced by all staff in the NHS over the last 2 years.

The conclusion was that we urgently needed a broad based management development programme for managers within the CSU. This was with the intention of helping our managers to be as productive and effective as possible.

The Challenge

Our aim was to create a structured, coherent development programme for as many managers as possible to help them to develop their management practice. We wanted it to be challenging, interactive, relevant, and stimulating. It must also support our values and behaviours as set out by the senior team and in our staff charter. The programme must also be underpinned by sound research and theory.

Rationale for using Engage

At the planning stage it was clear that for our development programme to have the desired impact, it needed to be underpinned by a reliable and credible self-assessment. We wanted delegates to have a personalised insight into their preferences, development needs and areas for improvement at the start of their learning journey.

Engage has enabled us to give delegates feedback about their strengths, areas for improvement and potential inhibitors.

Engage has also provided a clear baseline measure, upon which to build a coherent personal development plan and reflective learning log.

Dr Jodi O’Dell accompanied the delegates on their learning journey, contributing considerable coaching and OD expertise. By working collaboratively with other Associates our delegates have experienced a unique learning experience.

Using our wide range of external OD Associates we identified seven providers who shared our values and had an offering which matched the challenge set out above. We invited them to join with us to plan the programme, during which we shared our thoughts and invited their input. The outcome was a 5 day programme with a half day induction covering the following areas:

  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Communicating with Purpose
  • Leading the Team
  • Authentic Leadership
  • Resilience

Each Associate then led on a particular element in partnership with another associate to develop the material and content. The CSU then arranged dates and values across Staffordshire and Lancashire.


ENGAGE had a significant impact on the programme for a number of reasons. Not only did it provide the space for self-reflection, it provided a clear focus for delegates, increasing self-awareness and encouraging greater personal ownership for development.  

“One of the interesting things which I personally found helpful, was the introduction to the concept of derailers / inhibitors. For example, my high self-awareness score can be the reason why I can slip into rumination under pressure – just knowing this is very beneficial to me.”