Making skills sharing a two-way street

31 August 2023

NHS Kent and Medway has partnered with WERKIN, experts in leadership development and mentoring, to launch a new reciprocal mentoring programme, specifically designed for nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, and those working in administrative and operational roles.

This new initiative is the first time a reciprocal mentoring programme has been run for this group within the NHS.

The newly launched reciprocal mentoring programme will provide workshops, support mentor and mentee relationships and deliver collaborative opportunities through an online platform. The aim is to create space for where those involved in the programme can share their knowledge, skills and experiences with other health professionals at all levels.

NHS Kent and Medway’s Chief People Officer Becca Bradd said: “This exciting new opportunity recognises the important role that peers from across the health system can play in helping to develop each other’s skills, knowledge and experience.”

“The programme pairs colleagues who are just starting their careers with those who are further along and provides them with the opportunity to share ideas and knowledge across a range of different topics - from identifying limiting beliefs to building confident communication.

“It recognises that while those who are newer to the sector can learn from those who are more established in their career, the same is true the other way round. Listening to those who are new can help give a fresh perspective and understanding to issues and problems.

Hayley Sudbury, Founder and CEO of WERKIN, said:

"By making this programme inclusive to multiple employee groups including nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and administrative support staff, we are confident this initiative will not only empower people but also have a positive ripple effect on the healthcare system. Our commitment to fostering professional development and creating opportunities for growth within the NHS remains at the forefront of our mission."

"Through years of experience working closely with NHS trusts, we understand the significant challenges they face and acknowledge the resource limitations that can hinder progress.

“Our mission is to alleviate that burden by assuming the responsibility for programme implementation and delivery, streamlining the process from start to finish, allowing the trusts to focus on delivering exceptional care to patients."

The impact that WERKIN’s mentoring programmes have, is evidenced by participants re-joining the new initiative.

Heather Lucas, Deputy Chief Pharmacist at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, applied to be part of the reciprocal mentoring program after experiencing the benefits of one of WERKIN’s previous programmes, which focused on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI):

“I mentored a colleague for the past six months through a WERKIN mentoring scheme on EDI - I found it immensely rewarding and it helped me understand how to be a better leader. The programme also helped me observe NHS challenges and issues through someone else's eyes and to support them by looking at their challenges from a different perspective. I would like to continue to offer my support, especially to younger colleagues to help them succeed in their career.”

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