Resources for Parents in the NHS

Parental Leave Checklist - NHS

Embarking on and coming back from parental leave is a critical time in any parent's life.

In partnership with the NHS London Leadership Academy and in consultation with parents, Leaders Plus has developed the toolkits below for NHS Managers and Parents to use before, during and after maternity leave, shared parental leave and adoption leave. While there are some NHS-specific issues raised, the toolkits are relevant across organisations and sectors.

Parental Leave Toolkit for Parents

Checklists and self-coaching exercises for parents before, during and after maternity leave, shared parental leave and adoption leave.

Parental Leave Toolkit for Managers

Supporting parents before, during and after maternity leave, shared parental leave and adoption leave.

Further Resources for Parents in the NHS

If you're in a dual career couple our download primes you with 10 simple questions all couples should ask themselves before returning from parental leave.

It includes a helpful responsibility matrix so you can split household chores fairly and ensures you approach the day-to-day running of the house as a team.

Setting boundaries and finding a balance between work and family life can be difficult when you are a working parent. We have put together this Setting Boundaries Workbook, which aims to help by supporting you to choose when to say "no" and how to do it, it is packed full of tips from experienced professionals who have navigated balancing a senior leadership career and home life.


The Big Careers, Small Children podcast helps ambitious parents progress careers they love whilst being present with their children. Through honest and informal conversation, senior leaders (many from the NHS) divulge what they have learnt on their own journey of combining big careers with young children to host Verena Hefti MBE. We recommend listening to the following episodes:

Big Careers, Small Children Podcast

Ep. 100 - Kate Jarman (Co-Founder, Flex NHS & Director of Corporate Affairs at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) Listen Now

Ep. 95 - Dr. Karen Squires (A&E Consultant, Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool) Listen Now

Ep. 77 - Jane Galloway (Former Head of Flexible Working, NHS England & Founder of Quiet the Hive) Listen Now

Ep. 41 - Dr. Becky Maxwell (Emergency Medicine Consultant, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust) Listen Now

Ep. 24 - Dr. Suhana Ahmed (Consultant Psychiatrist, South West London & St George's NHS) Listen Now

Ep. 12 - Dr Geraldine Strathdee OBE (former National Clinical Director of Mental Health for NHS England) Listen Now

Ep. 6 -  Professor Dame Jane Dacre (former Head of the Royal College of Physicians) Listen Now

Ep. 1 -  Dr. Susie Minson (Consultant Paediatrician, Royal London Children’s Hospital and Clinical Lecturer at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and The London Medical School) Listen Now

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

Fellows have access to expert career development support, group coaching, a supportive cross-sector network of peers and practical support to overcome work/life hurdles. It has been described by some NHS Fellows as, “life-transforming!”

The Fellowship is accessible to clinical and non-clinical colleagues from any speciality and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine is generously part funding spaces.

You can attend a mix of online and face-to-face sessions, the time commitment is about half a day a month.

Find out more about the NHS Fellowship here.