Are you a parent working in the NHS with an ambition to progress your career?

Read our NHS Leaders Plus Foundation Fellows: Autumn 2022 Impact Evaluation

The Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship is a supportive leadership career development programme for NHS leaders with young children who are ambitious in their careers. 

Applications are now closed for 2023. Register interest for future NHS programmes here and be the first to know when applications are open.

Our award-winning Cross-Sector Fellowship has already supported hundreds of parents to progress in their careers whilst enjoying their young families.

We are delighted to offer, for the second year running, a programme specifically for NHS clinical and non-clinical staff who are passionate about career development and have young children.

The Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship Programme supports parents working in the health service to progress at work into senior leadership positions whilst also balancing commitments as a parent.

Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM) Accredited
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 NHS Fellowship is a leadership career development Programme which is split into two parts.

  • An initial 6-month Foundation Fellowship
  • An optional 3-month NHS Changemaker Fellowship Programme follow up

Hear From Dr Suhana Ahmed – Consultant Psychiatrist & Leaders Plus Fellow

By joining the Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship you are becoming part of a strong community of mums and dads working in the NHS.

Together, we are building a positive movement for change so that all new parents can thrive in leadership roles.

The Leaders Plus Fellowship helped me plan my return from maternity leave so I came back to work with an ambitious but realistic career plan, and the confidence and tools to put it in place." Dr. Hannah Bienias, Emergency Medicine Consultant - South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & Leaders Plus Fellow 2021


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

If you've got a question about the NHS Fellowship 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 Fellowship please read this blog.

What's Included in the NHS Fellowship Programme?

Both parts of the Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship are delivered via a series of high-quality workshops, roundtable events and online learning resources.

Leaders Plus NHS Foundation Fellowship: 

All Fellows will initially join a 6-month Programme which has been expertly designed to help you to progress your career whilst balancing your commitments as a parent.

Leaders Plus NHS Changemaker Fellowship:

Once you have completed the Foundation Fellowship there is the option of extending your Fellowship experience by continuing with an additional 3-month Leaders Plus Changemaker Fellowship for the NHS.

  • Fellows will be supported to lead change projects supporting parents in their department or organisation

You can either sign up for both from the start or begin with the Foundation Fellowship and opt into the Changemaker Fellowship later.

Doctor - Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship-2

Who Should Apply for the NHS Fellowship?

The Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship is open to all NHS clinical and non-clinical staff who are passionate about career development and have childcare responsibilities for young children between the ages of 0 and 11.

Applicants will need to have a role (or have previously held a role) with significant responsibility, i.e. a management or leadership role.

We are especially looking for individuals who are willing to actively engage with a group of their peers, who are keen to progress their careers and make a difference to others.

An Inclusive Fellowship

The Fellowship is fully inclusive and we particularly welcome applications from the LGBTQIA+ community, ethnic minorities and anyone who identifies as having a disability. We are actively looking for people from these underrepresented communities to apply for the Fellowship as we want to create equal career progression opportunities.

Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship - Surgeons

This NHS Fellowship is for you if you would like to:

  • Progress your career whilst enjoying your young children
  • Get fresh ideas from outside the NHS of how you can combine young children with an ambitious career
  • Be part of a supportive community of peers with other NHS leaders
  • Take time to hone your vision for career and family and get support to make that vision a reality
  • Gain practical leadership skills that help you to get the most from your team

By the end of the Fellowship, you will have developed:

  • Fresh perspective on how to balance your career aspirations with your caring responsibilities
  • A peer network of other parents in the NHS who are ambitious about their careers
  • More clarity on your hopes and purpose for career and family life
  • Practical skills in how to progress your career and manage others
  • A positive movement of change for other working parents in your department or trust

Plus if you go on to complete the optional NHS Changemaker Fellowship you will role model driving change in the NHS for your team, whilst also being present with your family.

RCEM NHS Part-Funded Fellowship Places

Access part-funded places

Got a Question About the Award Winning Leaders Plus Fellowship?

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Programme Overview

Each module on the Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship will include:
  • Workshops: a selection of highly focused career development workshops
  • Move and learn: the freshest thinking on progressing your career whilst raising children from outside and inside the NHS (listen while going for a walk, or moving in a way that suits you, at a time that suits you)
  • Action: a practical task or challenge you can use to put the learning into action
  • Online interaction: a community in your pocket giving access to support when you need it through the Ugenie app
NHS Foundation Fellowship Modules


September 2023 - February 2024

The 6-month Foundation NHS Fellowship contains everything you need to progress your career as a parent and is delivered via a series of workshops, roundtables and targeted resources. Please note: dates are subject to change depending on the number of applications.

Module 1: Your Vision and Purpose for Career & Family Life
We officially welcome you to the Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship 2023 Cohort!

  • You'll be introduced to your cross-sector peer group. Over the coming months, you'll support each other to progress your careers - with kids in tow - in the way you want.
  • We will explain our parental staircase model, giving you time to consider what you can do practically to overcome some of the challenges you may be facing.
  • There is deep thinking time allocated right there in your first session, we use aspects of the Thinking Environment Facilitation approach for this. You'll be invited to join our online peer network to get support from peers between workshops.

Part 1: (online, 2h)
Part 2: (online, 2h)

Module 2: Sharing Your Vision and Thriving in Imperfect Environments Part 1

  • You'll be introduced to the latest research on career progression, sponsorship and networking.
  • You'll have dedicated time to think about actions you can take to thrive despite the challenges presented when balancing an ambitious career and raising small children, guided by a series of helpful 'how to' podcasts.

(in person, 10am-4pm)

Module 3: Getting Support From Others to Achieve Your Vision

  • Learn the importance of strong networks in supporting you to progress your career, plus how to make your networks more meaningful and strategic even if you don't enjoy networking.
  • Gain an outside perspective - network with senior leaders outside the NHS from across sectors to discuss challenges you may face (e.g. having your flexible working request approved).

(online, 2h)

Module 4: Thriving in Imperfect Environments Part 2

  • Learn how to set boundaries, tackle imposter syndrome and approach the working parent juggle with self-compassion.

(online, 2h)

Module 5: Fresh Perspectives from outside the NHS

  • During the fresh perspectives day, you will network with senior leaders outside the NHS from across sectors to present challenges you may face in combining a demanding career with young children (e.g. flexible working requests)and get people’s experience of dealing with those.
  • Fresh perspectives help us see our own unique situations more objectively. You'll get inspiration to try different approaches to overcoming challenges and thriving progressing your career while enjoying your family life. 

(online, 2h)

Optional: Senior Leader Roundtable: What Working Parents Tell Us About How To Be A Top Employer For Working Parents

You will be asked to invite your senior leaders to a roundtable event so they can learn from Leaders Plus experts about best practice for retaining and attracting working parents.

Optional: Workshop For Solo Parents (1.5hrs, online)

Connect with other solo parents and identify how to thrive in your career while raising your children solo.

Optional: Partner Workshops

If you have a partner, join these two workshops to understand the latest research behind dual career couples and how to find a way that works for you.

Optional: How To Progress Your Career as a Working Parent from a Minoritized Background

In this closed panel discussion for individuals who identify as from minoritized backgrounds, you will hear from senior leaders who identify as from ethnic minorities about how they progressed their careers with young children in tow and how they have overcome barriers they faced due to being from an ethnic minority.

Module 6: Leading Forward

  • You'll learn key leadership skills including: effective delegation tricks, offering supportive feedback, having difficult conversations, reviewing progress and planning next steps.
  • As with all of our modules, there will be dedicated time for you to think about practical ways you can implement what you've learned.

(in person, 10am-4pm)


NHS Changemaker Fellowship Modules (Optional)


May 2023 - July 2023

The NHS Changemaker Fellowship is an optional 3-month, project-based Fellowship which will take place a year after you have completed the Foundation Fellowship.

It centres around driving positive change for working parents within your own organisation.

You will begin by attending a module on ideation to get your creative juices flowing and will ultimately develop your own project idea to benefit parents in your organisation.

During the 3 months, you will receive a number of resources that will help you approach a senior-level sponsor who will support you to drive this change and bring the project to life.

Please note, dates for modules will be shared shortly.

Module 1: Gender Equality & Supporting Working Parents 
Access the latest evidence base on effective support for working parents/gender equality within UK hospitals. Including links to materials on how the NHS works, decision-making structures and budgets.

Module 2: Project Planning & Execution
Receive guidance on planning your projects and access a range of helpful templates to support implementation.

Module 3: Project Management & Roundtable Feedback
Present your project idea to a roundtable of experienced leaders and receive support to implement it.

Module 4: Creating Engagement & Implementation
Engage in structured peer support to implement your project over the next 12 months and celebrate and share your results at the end.

Leaders Plus is a forward thinking way to engage with and support leaders and aspiring leaders of the future. Enlightened and refreshing approaches to talent management are just what we need for a future-focussed NHS." Jane Galloway, Head of Flexible Working - NHS England

What is the Time and Financial Investment?

Each month, there will be approximately one mandatory workshop plus pre-work for 1 to 2 hours. On average the time commitment will be 4 hours per month.

Over the course of the Programme you will have access to:

      • Two in-person workshops taking place in London, Manchester or Birmingham (further locations may be added depending on demand)
      • Five online workshops of 2 hours each

There is no written assessment however you will be invited to complete an action log and you will receive a certificate at the end.

Costs: The Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship costs £2390 + VAT for the initial 6-month NHS Foundation Fellowship, followed by an additional £1490 + VAT for the optional NHS Changemaker Fellowship. We have advice for securing funding from your employer here.

We aim to make the Fellowship accessible to all and have a small number of heavily subsidised places available for those ambitious parents who are facing financial hardship.

The cost of a hardship-funded place is £30 and you can find out more about the criteria here.

RCEM logoWe are delighted to have partnered with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine who are generously offering 10 part-funded places to parents working in emergency medicine.

Find out more about those part-funded places here.