Case Study

Bespoke Team Support - South East Mental Health Team

Service Area
System Leadership
NHS England
Bespoke and flexible support during a time of change. Enabling, empowering, and supporting the Team at various levels to assist their delivery of key programmes of work.


  • Provision of tailored intensive individual team member support: coaching and personal development
  • Work programme support – getting work programmes off the ground
  • Design and delivery of whole-team training on quality& service improvement methodologies
  • Co-design and delivery of whole team training on revised team governanceand launch of programme workbook, including highlight Report
  • To support the 18 to end of life and urgent and emergencycare domains via provision of Assistant Director role cover for the 3 months


  • Provided intensive, tailored support to staff and an enabling and empowering manner to assist with personal development leading to delivery of team objectives
  • Supported staff to develop their work plans, with real time feedback and to initiate these to support systems
  • Worked with the senior leadership team to establish areas where quality and service improvement training was required. Designed and delivered training to the whole team to assist them with system-support
  • Co-production, worked with an Assistant Director and Senior Business Manager to review team governance arrangements and to design new programme documentation using a staff reference group including user-testing. Following whole team training, provided 1-1 sessions for team members on using the new programme workbook and highlight report
  • Resulting from sickness absence, for the last 3 months of the assignment, we covered one of the 2 Assistant Director roles in the team, providing leadership, support and line management for staff working within the specific delivery domains as well as assistance with recruitment to vacancies.


  • Development of new work programme documentation and revised governance structure, including establishment of clinical delivery panels
  • Team members supported and enabled to adopt new documentation, supporting consistency, the quality of work programmes, decision making, prioritisation of resources and supporting business continuity
  • Key work programmes initiated leading to clarity of support offer to emerging Integrated Care Systems (ICSs)
  • Increased confidence and skills within theTeam, including in using quality and service improvement methodologies



Deborah Howard joined the regional mental health team in the autumn of 2021, initially with a limited scope of providing one-on-one support to four individuals who were struggling and some senior support to one of the assistant directors to project-manage complex community rehabilitation.

Her combined professional skills, expertise and experience resulted in Deborah being a fantastic and flexible asset to the whole team over a period of nine months.

In addition to individual support (soft and hard skills), she provided coaching and mentoring to a few other individuals. Through that work, she developed and strengthened the skills and confidence of some junior and middle managers who had been struggling at work through the pandemic and remote ways of working. Her work benefited the entire team, as she helped develop and embed a new standardised governance framework underpinned by structured, whole-team training days that she delivered expertly.

She also acted up in the assistant director’s post when the individual had to be off work for a protracted period of time. In summary, Deborah was a life saver in many ways throughout her assignment with us. Her utmost commitment, professionalism and agreeable manners meant that she was respected by all within and beyond the team.

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