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Innovative approach to medical leadership and management development: clinician secondment to a management consulting firm
  1. Francesco Papalia1,2,
  2. Kenneth Fung1,
  3. Yang Chen1,3,
  4. George D Thornton1,4,
  5. Nick Geatches1,
  6. Frances Cousins5,
  7. Karen Kirkham5,
  8. Mark Westwood1,6
  1. 1 Cardiology, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Cardiology, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK
  3. 3 Leadership and Training, Royal College of Physicians, London, UK
  4. 4 Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, London, UK
  5. 5 Healthcare, Deloitte LLP, London, UK
  6. 6 Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Francesco Papalia, Barts Health NHS Trust, London E1 1BB, UK; francesco.papalia{at}


Background and aim Opportunities to participate in leadership and management with protected time can be limited for clinical trainees. The aim of this fellowship was to gain experience of gold standard healthcare management by becoming part of multidisciplinary teams working to deliver transformational change in the National Health Service (NHS).

Methods A 6-month pilot fellowship, structured as an Out of Programme Experience was created for two registrars to be seconded to the healthcare division of Deloitte, a leading professional services firm. Competitive selection was jointly administered by the Director of Medical Education at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Deloitte.

Results The successful candidates worked on service-led and digital transformation projects, interfacing with senior NHS executives and directors. Trainees gained direct experience and understanding of high-level decision making in the NHS, tackling complex service delivery problems and the practical realities of delivering change within a constrained budget. One impact of this pilot has been completion of a business case to scale up the fellowship into an established programme that can allow other trainees to apply.

Conclusion This innovative fellowship has allowed interested trainees an opportunity to broaden the relevant skills and experience in leadership and management required in specialty training curriculum with real-life application in the NHS.

  • management
  • development
  • trainees

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  • Contributors FP and KF performed the work. MW, NG and FC provided the conception and design of the programme of work. FP drafted the manuscript. All authors revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content and gave final approval of the version to be published and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.