Case study - NHS Trusts

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Gloucestershire Care Services both needed a programme to equip staff to meet organisational changes within the NHS.


South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust provides care and transport services. It employs more than 1,700 staff and covers an area of 3,000 square miles with a population of almost 2.4 million people.

Gloucestershire Care Services serves approximately 602,000 people and provides a range of services including community nursing and speech and language therapy.


Both organisations are going through substantial transition as the NHS experiences significant change, and needed a programme to equip staff for what lies ahead.

Managers wanted staff to feel more confident about big organisational changes by linking their development with the Learning Qualities Framework (LQF) and to also offer them increased career visibility through a nationally recognised qualification.

Our solution:

We tailored a Postgraduate Certificate to the needs of the client that took account of the organisation rate of change. The tailored Postgraduate Certificate was delivered on site to an initial cohort of 20 managers. The success of the programme led to the client commissioning a second cohort.

The programme ran over a 12-month period, and all modules included a focus on practical work issues as a core part of the learning process.
Three taught modules ran from January to October, with work-based learning running alongside to help the students apply learning to real situations at work. They developed strong reflective skills to create a positive learning environment within their teams and departments.

We know that in order to succeed in times of change, the rate of learning in an organisation must match or exceed the rate of change. The role therefore of each manager as a learner is critical to their behaviour and influence on their organisations.

Because of this, we included a 360 degree diagnostic tool to encourage the students to raise self-awareness of not only their strengths but also of their development issues via feedback from a wide range of managers, clients, staff and peers.

Managers were encouraged to create a more open approach to learning and exploration where possible, in line with the ‘bold and thoughtful leadership’ required by the challenge of change in the NHS.


  • Real organisational tasks and problems were studied using the knowledge and theory gained in the modules.
  • Managers gained greater understanding of how to contribute to achieving the organisation’s vision and strategy.
  • Team leaders learned how to cope with change and developed the skills to take people with them.
  • Participants developed skills of lifelong learning and have built good networks of support, knowledge and expertise.

Want to find out more?

For further information on our services and programmes, or to arrange an initial meeting to discuss your needs, please contact the Bristol Business Engagement Centre (BBEC) and speak with a member of our team.

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