Mary Seacole Programme

NHSEI is offering emerging and first time OH leaders a fully funded bursary to participate in the well-established NHS Leadership Academy, Mary Seacole programme as part of multi-professional cohorts. It is an innovative and inspirational leadership development programme, designed specifically for those in emerging and first-time leadership roles. It takes six months to complete and has been exclusively designed and developed for people working in health and care.

The Mary Seacole programme provides the balance between learning the theory of leadership, and putting it into practice, empowering students to turn individual success into consistent team success and to champion compassionate care and support.

Taking part in the programme will help emerging and first time OH leaders to consider their role in advancing OH services, and develop their expertise, skills, and confidence as leaders and improvers of the service. Successful completion will lead to an NHS Leadership Academy Award in Healthcare Leadership.

Who is the Mary Seacole Programme for?

The programme is for emerging and first-time OH leaders or people working very closely with OH services. It’s for those in a position of leadership with responsibilities for OH people and OH services, and able to relate learning to the workplace. As an NHS employed OH practitioner or working in a closely related role to OH, applicants will spend the majority of your time in their OH role.

Benefits of the Mary Seacole programme

  • Greater self-awareness and emotional intelligence as a leader, enabling you to work with, and lead others more effectively
  • Gain the confidence, authority, capacity, and motivation to lead and implement change Space to ‘look within’ yourself for your right leadership style, rather than comparing yourself to others
  • Increased awareness of yourself and your abilities, enabling you to more clearly identify, which styles fit your strengths, emotional intelligence, how best to use it, and how your behaviours impact on others
  • Learning together as a multi-professional community of healthcare leaders

Structure of the Mary Seacole programme

The Mary Seacole programme is six months long with approximately 100 hours study, plus three virtual ‘face-to-face’ workshops. The programme is delivered in 12 units, each taking between 5-10 hours of personal online study time:

  • Units 1-8 covers leadership fundamentals and build on each other as the programme progresses
  • Units 9-12 are flexible and can be taken at any point in the programme.
  • These relate to the core management skills of Fundamentals of Finance, Recruitment and selection, Fundamentals of HR – Appraisals and annual review
  • Assessment is based on online activity, attendance to all three face to face workshops, contributing to the online discussion forums throughout and submission of a 2,000- word assignment demonstrating how the course has led to personal development and how the learning has been applied to leadership.
  • Successful completion will lead to an NHS Leadership Academy Award in Healthcare Leadership.

Programme cost

NHS England and Improvement is fully subsidising the cost of this programme for NHS employed OH leaders. The Mary Seacole programme would normally cost £995 per person.

In return, NHS England and Improvement are seeking OH leaders to rise to the challenge and support the ambitions within the Growing OH programme. This includes fully completing the development programme, participating in impact evaluation to help make the case for future funding to benefit other OH leaders, as well as participating in the wider Growing OH programme co-design and development opportunities.

Work-based application of learning

As the programme centres on work-based application of learning, it’s essential that managers and organisations are aware of and support the commitments involved. Given the nature of individuals’ roles and tasks, it’s important to jointly consider the feasibility of creating the time to apply studies to the workplace. We also recommend agreeing with managers from the outset what support they’ll provide to help protect this time.

More information and applications

More information about the application process, drafting personal statements and course dates can be found in the Prospectus For the Growing OH programme, a unique application form for applicants can be accessed via: