Dr Sarah Russell, Hospice UK’s Head of Research, writes about the importance for hospice leaders to enrich their leadership and managerial skills.
Hospice leadership, management skills and practice have never been more important. Hospice UK recognises that the demands on hospice leaders are constantly increasing, and that the ability to identify new ways of doing things and working with others to bring about meaningful change is crucial if hospices are to extend their reach, scale and influence to enable significantly more people to benefit from hospice care in future.
We offer a number of events to support hospice leadership and management including the Strategic Leadership Programme in conjunction with The Westcott Group and the MSc in Voluntary Sector Management with Hospice Leadership and Management module led by Atul Patel, Programme Lead and Senior Lecturer at Cass Business School in London.
Applications for the MSc in Voluntary Sector Management close on Friday 24 August (for details, see the Cass website or contact Ute Spittler, Charities Programme Co-ordinator). Hospice UK offers bursaries of up to £1,000 towards course fees for students who start their programme in October 2018. To apply, you must already have been offered a place by Cass Business School and be employed by a member hospice. Read our bursaries factsheet and if you have further bursary questions contact Karl Benn, Head of Grants at Hospice UK.
Sarah Thompson, CEO at St Clare’s Hospice, Hastingwood, Essex graduated in 2013 with an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management. Reflecting on her experience Sarah says that it was the best thing she ever did to boost her confidence and her career:
“I learned so much that helped broaden as well as deepen my knowledge. It has certainly helped me lead a hospice from the front with a greater understanding of the potential challenges facing us and how to spot opportunities that will benefit the people we are here to serve.
“I really recommend the MSc due to the reputation of Cass and the course. It is meant to be completed whilst working; your assignments will be based on real issues, so you will quickly start to make a real difference to your hospice, often those thorny issues that no one is quite brave enough to sort out! It is immensely satisfying and will build the future leaders of the hospice sector needed to cope with a fluid and uncertain world.”
Who should apply?
The programme is designed to be undertaken whilst working and is suitable for people already in senior hospice leadership roles as well as those aspiring to such roles. In the first-year students will learn alongside others from across the charity sector, and in the second year will come together with others from the hospice sector for the new in-depth hospice module.
Why should people apply?
The unique challenges and opportunities facing people leading organisations providing hospice care is focussed upon in the Hospice Leadership and Management module. It enables students to apply evidence and disciplined thinking to real world practice as well as obtain an academic qualification. It encourages students to draw upon prior experiences and learning and consider how to maximise the contribution of hospice care in the present, and how to position and develop their organisation in anticipation of future demands.
What does the programme include?
There are two parts to the programme.
In the first year, students are part of the Voluntary Sector Management course. This includes Learning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector, Strategy, Diversity and Governance, Marketing and Fundraising, Resource Management, Organisation, Leadership and Change, Managing People and Quality.
In the second year, the Hospice Leadership and Management module, students consider the history of hospice care and how it contributes to current aspects of organisational life, as well as the voluntary and independent nature of hospices and their part in a major and historically significant social movement. Hospices’ size and involvement with statutory services and their relationship with local communities is considered, and analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of hospices today and how these relate to the strategic opportunities and threats that they face.
Students are encouraged to consider the actions required of hospice leaders to ensure that their organisation is delivering care of the highest quality, and discuss current challenges related to workforce recruitment and retention, generating income, responding to and managing significant expectations within finite resources, continuous quality improvement and effective team work across the whole organisation. The future challenges and opportunities for hospices and how to best prepare for them is reviewed as well as the value of population based needs assessment, the potential contribution of new models of care supported by innovation, ethical issues including those related to equality and equity of provision, opportunities for system-wide improvement and new strategic partnership
How is the programme delivered?
In two days of teaching sessions spread out during the second year, the learning is derived from a mix of theory, case studies, reflections on students’ experience and the insights and experience of others in the group.
How is it assessed and what is the final qualification?
The testing of the programme outcomes will be principally sought through a work-based portfolio of learning and one piece of coursework. The final qualification is an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management with Hospice Leadership and Management.