Monthly Archives: April 2016

Driving Success Through Leadership

Since January 2015 CentreStage has been working with one of the UK’s largest and most successful car manufacturers, which over the last three years has invested heavily in supporting its managers to deliver inspirational leadership and ensure sustainable growth.

As part of its employee engagement strategy, the organisation conducted a survey of managers from across the business and from the results sought to create a development programme that would respond better to the needs of its workforce.

The survey showed that managers wanted the ability to personalise their learning journey with a modular programme, where they could select areas for their own development. They wanted interventions which were shorter, more focused and a better match to their specific needs.

The result was a programme encompassing over 60 courses aimed at multiple levels of management within the organisation, covering a wide spectrum of skills areas from soft skills through to harder skills like Financial Management.

The emphasis for all courses is to have innovative and engaging methods of delivery, allowing people to learn by doing. Live training events (1 or 2 day courses) are fast paced, energetic and dynamic, designed to re-create situations managers find themselves in on a daily basis, which is where CentreStage comes in.

For over a year, CentreStage has provided actors for over 30 different courses within the programme, contributing experiential interventions such acted simulations, one-to-one role-play and forum theatre sessions.

The results are pretty impressive. In 2014/15, over 15,000 delegates attended a course, with 94% saying they achieved their personal development objectives and are more effective in their role.

Employee engagement results have improved in every measure in the last 18 months, while there’s been a significant improvement (10%) in the perception of employees that there are more development opportunities available to them and that they feel that they are getting the training they need.

The programme has been recognised in two leading industry awards, including the CIPD Awards.

The programme continues to be rolled out today, and since early 2015, CentreStage has developed an ever-growing pool of experienced professional role-players to support it.

Berkshire Healthcare – Suicide Prevention

In May, CentreStage begin supporting a new strategy for Suicide Prevention training for Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The training is aimed at raising awareness across the workforce, and improving the quality of care the Trust offers for people at risk of suicide.

Recent research suggests that 70% of people contemplating suicide are not in touch with mental heath services. This can be because many of them don’t actually have mental health problems. It can also be because people don’t know how to access the service, or because rigid referral criteria results in people being bounced between different parts of the NHS.

The ongoing programme, to be delivered at three different levels, focuses on up-skilling staff across the organisation, from administration staff to ‘Crisis Teams’, and in most cases includes live actor sessions, giving delegates the chance to conduct face to face risk assessments and safety plans.

The level three training, a 9 week course delivered specifically for crisis workers, is offered at academic Level 6 and 7 with university accreditation. For this course, CentreStage actors will play service user characters in crisis: the course participants will be assessed on their crisis resolution skills used during these simulated interventions.

For a list of NHS-recommended sources of support for people contemplating suicide, visit:

For NHS support on offering support to those who are suicidal, visit:

England 2022: Yes or No?

Breaking News: Following an extraordinary meeting of FIFA’s Executive and Ethics Committees, Qatar has been stripped of the right to host the 2022 World Cup Finals.

It’s a headline that just about sounds plausible, given the controversy and criminal investigations surrounding FIFA’s top brass. But the ‘live’ news bulletin is in fact the first part of our latest team-building workshop, developed with our friends at Lane4. Suitable for groups of between 10 and 100, the fast moving simulation immerses delegates in the murky world of politics, tasked as an independent committee with deciding whether England should accept FIFA’s last-ditch offer to host the Finals in place of Qatar.

Drip-fed information in the form of government reports, memos rolling news bulletins and even tweets, participants must work together whilst considering a broad range of political ‘hot potatoes’; energy, the environment, international relations, transport links, infrastructure. And to make it even more real, participants can meet with a range of key stakeholders; Government ministers, environmental lobbyists and even a Qatari Ambassador, who may or may not be amenable, and may or may not choose to share key information.

The simulation ends with a lively TV debate in which representatives must justify decisions under the glare of the studio cameras!

CentreStage and Lane4 have run this fast-moving, engaging workshop many times to universally excellent feedback. To find out more, get in touch!

NHS England and the New Care Models

In his Five Year Forward View for the NHS, Simon Stevens noted “The traditional divide between primary care, community services and hospitals – largely unaltered since the birth of the NHS – is increasingly a barrier to the personalised and coordinated health services patients need.”

There have been many attempts over the years to break down barriers between general practice, community providers, hospitals, health and social care and mental health services, but success has been limited, with patient experience seeing little discernable difference. And that’s where the latest focus on new care models by NHS England aims to be different. Rather than closer working being a means in itself, the new care models take as a starting point the patient experience, and the associated objectives of integrated care, reduced admissions to hospitals and care closer to home.

Central to this has been the creation of a national network of Vanguard sites, each taking a lead on the development of new care models for its local population to act as the blueprints for the NHS moving forward. There are three types of model: MCPs (multi-specialty community providers), concerned with moving specialist care out of hospitals and into the community; PACs (primary and acute care system), with single organisations providing hospital, GP and community services; and enhanced health in care homes.

And with the creation of this network of Vanguards came a need for NHS England, which oversees the budget, planning, delivery and day-to-day operation of the commissioning side of the NHS in England, to recruit a new care models team, responsible for linking with and supporting Vanguards across the country.

Following the creation of a behavioural framework – both true to the values of the wider NHS constitution but also relevant to the fast paced reality faced by the New Care Models team – and the design of bespoke assessment exercises to measure both current capability and future potential of candidates, CentreStage was asked to provide support from both a role play and observation perspective.

Working alongside senior managers from the New Care Models team we helped to assess 80 posts, each with multiple vacancies, within the space of 2 months.  By any standards this was a large recruitment campaign and with high stakes given the levels of talent NHS England were looking to attract.

Needless to say the New Care Models team is now in place and has already started to see significant results both in terms of patient and staff engagement across vanguard and other sights.  You can read more about their progress at