Surrey Heartlands’ new system leadership development programme – Surrey 500 – launched on 23 May with the first 200 delegates attending the opening event.

Surrey 500 is aimed at 500 leaders across our health and care system, including community partners. The programme is made up of five groups of 100 each from across our Integrated Care Partnerships and our Children’s Schools and Families team. It focuses on systems leadership rather than the more traditional theories of management and leadership.

Participants will be working together on how to become catalysts for change and action, and the programme is based on a successful model stolen with pride from the Fylde Coast Integrated Care Partnership, Lancashire and NHS North West Leadership Academy which achieved demonstrable system change within five months.

The event on 23 May welcomed the first cohort from across North West Surrey in the morning, followed by 100 colleagues from our Children’s, Schools and Families team in the afternoon. They were formally welcomed onto the programme by Claire Fuller, Surrey Heartlands Senior Responsible Officer, and will now attend approximately six days of development and community-based learning over the next eight months, designed around each cohort’s learning outcomes. The remaining 300 delegates will start their own Surrey 500 journey from June onwards.

“This is the only system-wide Surrey Heartlands leadership course and is aimed at those who have a role in planning and implementing transformational change across the system,” said Sarah Parker, Surrey Heartlands’ Director of Transformation.  “It’s a really exciting opportunity for people to come together, be empowered as leaders and think across and beyond traditional organisational boundaries to achieve change.”

Karen Archer-Burton, Surrey Heartlands’ Organisational Development Network Lead, was one of the team behind the programme launch.  She said: “The aim of Surrey 500 is to help our front line workforce and those already in leadership roles overcome barriers and foster a culture of collaboration across our system.

“It is Surrey Heartlands’ first large-scale leadership programme offering the opportunity to learn with colleagues working right across the system. The launch days went very well, with a wonderful diverse group from across both cohort areas represented, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all the delegates progress through the programme.”

Surrey 500 has been funded from multiple sources including KSS Leadership Academy, Health Education England, NHS England and an in kind contribution from the organisational development and culture team at Novartis who will run some modules.