Following a very comprehensive process of centralized ethnical clearance, we began our time with the first Chief Executive (CE) in our sample this June, with both Davide Nicolini (PI) and Maja Korica spending time with individual CEs. As we write, the Research Fellow on the project, Maja Korica, who is conducting most of the research with individual Chief Executives, is in her second week observing the third NHS Chief Executive (CE) in our sample. In other words, we are still in the important data-gathering stage of the project, which we anticipate will last until March/April 2012. We currently have five confirmed participants in our study, who are all NHS trust Chief Executives, and are working to recruit a further two. As access to CEs was identified early on as a critical issue, we feel very positive about our success with recruitment so far. All trusts participating in our study are geographically diverse, and include both sizeable teaching trusts and general district hospitals. Stringent anonymity and confidentiality arrangements are in place with each due to the sensitive nature of CEs daily work.
Reflecting the early stage of our project, the majority of our dissemination events over the last eight-month period were centred on raising awareness of the project. They include the following (more information available via the side panel to the right of the home screen):
- Project announcement via the NHS Confederation website, April 2011
- Poster presentation, Health Research at Warwick day, April 2011
- Presentation to NHS SDO Network CEO Forum London, May 2011
We are also attending an informal workshop of SDO-funded projects centred on knowledge mobilization and managerial work in Manchester on November 14, where we will present an update on the project and some reflections on key methodological challenges so far. Finally, we are working with the SDO Network to organize a follow-up presentation to one of its CEO Forum dinners early next year, with a view to presenting some very early stage findings from the project. We also plan to use this event as an opportunity to raise awareness for the two focus groups (n=15-20 CEOs each), which we plan to hold in early autumn 2012 and where we will present emerging analytical findings for input and feedback.
As part of the project, we are planning to organize individual feedback sessions with each CEO, with the aim of providing in-depth, contextualized, but also comparative insights. While also giving the CEs an opportunity to give us input into emerging findings, these sessions will equally serve as a chance for CEs to subsequently work with a coach of their choosing and use our findings as a basis for a personal development session. To allow for this, we have obtained a list of quality-assured coaches familiar with the NHS, which we will be sharing with our Chief Executives in the coming weeks. We will also work with one of the coaches on our own preparation for the sessions, as we want to make sure that any feedback we give is presented in the most constructive manner.
Finally, we convened our first Advisory Panel in September this year, which was a very lively and engaged session. Our Panel members gave us a considerable amount of feedback on issues such as balancing the knowledge mobilization and managerial work research foci, and how best the focus groups might be employed as part of the project. We are working on incorporating these into the study as we speak.