Are you a Leaders Plus NHS Foundation Fellow looking to take the next step in driving positive change?

NHS Change Makers Programme

This innovative pilot programme is open only to graduates of the NHS Leaders Plus Fellowship Programme and will enable you to initiate a change project in your organisation around supporting parents. You will develop change management and leadership skills.

During this 4 month changemaker Fellowship, a small group of 7- 12 Fellows (parents in the NHS) will be supported to learn how to drive positive change for other working parents or the future of work by leading a change project. You don’t need to know what that change project is, you will be supported to identify it with the programme. 

With the Fellowship you will:

  • Get support to initiate and lead a change project internally
  • Have a 1-2-1 senior leader change management mentor
  • Gain exposure to senior leaders at your organisation
  • Develop your skills for leading change internally.
Leaders Plus NHS FELLOWSHIP - A career development programme for working parents in the NHS who want to lead positive change - Apply now

The Leaders Plus Change Makers Programme is a follow up to the the initial 6-month Foundation Fellowship. 

All Change Makers must have completed the Foundation Fellowship as a prerequisite.


What is the time requirement?

3h per week on average, depending on how you do it.

How much does it cost?

£1390 plus VAT, this will increase to at least £1490 plus VAT for 2024.

How many places are available?

We are planning for a maximum of 12 spaces for this initial group.

When does the Programme run?

The Programme runs from mid September 2023 to end of January 2024.

How do I apply?

Speak to a leader at your organisation to say  they’d support you (possibly as a sponsor) to explore how to address a key challenge (see draft email below).

Attend the ‘What If’ pre application workshop on 7 June 9.30am – 11.30am to get started to think about the problem you want to solve and gather early ideas. Email to sign up.

Complete a short application form by 27 June. You don’t need to attend an interview as you have already been through the selection process for the Fellowship.

What is the application deadline?

Apply by 27 June 2023.

How will we evaluate the impact of the programme?


Have you developed change leadership characteristics?

Have you developed skills to communicate change ideas?

Are you able to look after yourselves whilst leading change?

Have you expanded your network to increase the change you can lead change in the future?


How is this different to the NHS Foundation Fellowship?

This programme is focused on you leading a change project, which means you will do more work outside the sessions (depending on the change project you choose). You will receive a mentor who is focused on supporting you with the change management process. 

Do I need to know what problem I am going to solve or what the project is before applying? 

No, you will be supported to identify this during the programme.


We have put together some additional information and resources below, as well as answers to our most frequently asked questions on our FAQ page.

If you've got a question about the NHS Change Makers Programme that hasn't been answered here, or you're wondering if it's right for you, please get in touch with our team.

For advice on securing employer funding for the NHS Change Makers Programme please read this blog.



What's Included in the NHS Change Makers Programme?

Below is a sample overview of the Programme modules, which may be subject to minor changes.

Individuals on the Programme will have a chance to feed into the Programme and we can add extra content depending on need. 


Key timeline and module overview 

Before the programme start:

  • Start to complete a template


Module 1: second week of September - 10am - 4pm, London

  • Panel with people inside and outside the NHS who have led change – what have they learnt? 
  • The science of change management
  • Start to identify the need and the problem
  • What data do you need to collect to get to the root cause (e.g. a focus group) to understand need - understand different people have change journeys. How to collect data simply
  • Influencing styles: starting to understand your influencing style and approach and develop your ability to flex it, considering emotional intelligence. 

Task ahead of next session: Quick survey or meetings with stakeholders and formulate the problem in a sentence. Try to understand root causes and also quick wins. 

First mentor meeting 1-2-1 in the third week of September. Focus: contracting and discussing how to define your project


Module 2 - 3h online, first week of October

  • Present your definition of the problem in one sentence, define the change you want to see and identify the possible quick wins. 
  • Ideation: come up with ideas in small groups to identify how to realise this change within the sphere of influence of the individual. 

Task ahead of the next session: 

  • share the definition of the problem with your senior leader sponsor and get feedback
  • Start boxing in the idea you will work on. 
  • Get feedback from colleagues. 

Second meeting with your mentor: define what the aims of your projects are (box in the project, template provided)


Module 3 - 2h online, third week of October - start your project

  • Consider the needs of your network and stakeholders & preferred influencing styles
  • Effective project management

Task ahead of the next meeting: 

  • Complete a project plan canvas (1 page project plan) and get their feedback
  • Meet with a senior stakeholder and get a sponsor to confirm that they will support this work at your workplace and start implementing it. Get key informal decision makers/influencers onboard. 

Third mentor meeting: discuss project plan


Module 4 - 2h online, first week of November 

  • Share project management plans, revise ideas, discuss actions
  • Content input: overcoming hurdles in change management
  • Mentoring and problem solving session with virtual advisory board (3-4 senior leader mentors)


Module 5 - 2h online, first week of December - virtual advisory board

  • Project update, trouble shooting
  • Peer mentoring
  • Change management expert round table (1h) with virtual advisory board (4 senior leader mentors who have panel Q&A)


Module 6 - 2h online, first week back in January - preparing to evaluate

  • How to evaluate effectively

Meet with senior leader mentor to evaluate the learning and celebrate the successes


Module 7 - 4h in person, last week of January

  • End of January: create poster, present to senior leaders about lessons learnt 
  • If I can get funding, chance to win funding to scale/implement this


Your senior leader mentor

  • Each Fellow to have a senior leader mentor to meet with four times as part of the programme
  • Mentors invited join one group mentoring session 
Doctor - Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship-2
Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship - Surgeons

Email template to request line manager support or funding

Use the template below as it is, or as a starting point, to communicate to your line manager why the Change Makers Programme is important for your professional development, and how it can impact your trust more broadly.


Dear [senior leader],

Thank you for supporting me to access the Leaders Plus NHS Foundation Fellowship which has helped me feel empowered to continue to progress my career at this trust as a working parent. 

[possibly insert something about the difference it has made to you personally, ideally linked to engagement and retention].

I would like to apply to join the NHS Change Maker Programme to develop a change project that addresses challenges around retention or progression of working parents.

 In this 4 month programme, I will be supported to lead an improvement project to help working parents thrive at work here, in close consultation with senior leaders here. 

Would you support me to apply for this programme? The cost for this year’s cohort is £1390 plus VAT. 

Also, would you consider being my sponsor for this programme? Commitment as a sponsor: meet with me 3 times over the course of the four months and offer me your insights and feedback to ensure the project addresses the key needs. 

I will receive an external mentor, expert change management support focused on ensuring that the initiative benefits the organisation and work with a network of NHS colleagues across the country to create improvements to improve the retention and career progression of working parents in the NHS. 

It would be great if you could let me know by X date, the application deadline is on 27 June.

The programme has four phases:

  • Identification of need and  problem (identifying what the root causes are and which parts I could meaningfully lead an improvement project on within 4 months, identifying what senior leaders see as key challenges to overcome)
  • Developing change management, influencing and project management skills
  • Identifying a solution that can be tested within the short time frame 
  • Implementation
  • Presentation of results and learning at the final event

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Verena Hefti at Leaders Plus (

Best wishes,