Coaching and leadership development in the NHS

Consulting, Leadership Development, Mental Fitness

NHS commissions Cognomie to provide 1:1 coaching support to Primary Care leaders

Our strategic role with the NHS

There is a national focus on supporting Primary Care leaders with personal development/ personal leadership within the NHS. Many Primary Care leaders are clinical specialists (GPs/ Nurses) and, as such, their training has focussed on developing technical clinical skills and they have not received personal development or leadership development to enable them to be at their best in leadership roles or to build personal effectiveness.

Cognomie has been commissioned by a numerous Clinical Commissioning Groups and Primary Care Trusts/ Regional Leadership Academies to provide 1:1 coaching support to Primary Care leaders at various stages of their career.

Our approach

Cognomie has provided holistic self-service and on-demand virtual 1:1 coaching across numerous cohorts of Primary Care leaders.

In each case the leader is expertly matched with a coach who meets their requirements, having completed a profile on the Cognomie platform and a questionnaire which identifies their Mental Fitness strengths and areas for development.

The matching process, which is supported fully by the Cognomie technology platform, takes into account demographic preferences (age, gender, ethnicity) as well as preferences for specific coach qualities and experience. Our pool of accredited coaches and practitioners provides diversity and opportunity for accurate matching first time every time (99.7% success rate).

Coaching was offered as either standalone or as an adjunct to a training programme that the leader was following. For example, one programme (case study below) was as an adjunct to a Nurse/ GP Fellowship Programme run by the Primary Care Training Hub, through which the leaders were also offered workshops on topics such as ‘Taming your imposter’, ‘Identifying your strengths’ and ‘The Joyful Doctor’.

Using our proprietary Cognosis Mental Fitness Questionnaire we are able to provide insight on each attendee to establish unique goals for the coaching sessions with their allocated coach.

All coaching sessions were scheduled and co-ordinated via the Cognomie platform and feedback captured on the experience and impact of the coaching.


GP and Nurse Practice Fellowship Programme

A coaching programme specifically designed to complement the GP and Nurse Practice Fellowship Programme.

40 new to practice GPs and Nurses received coaching sessions (4-6 sessions initially) alongside their taught modules. These included topics such as ‘Working with your imposter’, ‘Playing to your strengths’, and ‘The joyful doctor’.

In addition to these complementary coaching sessions, each clinician was offered the opportunity to take our Cognosis benchmarking service to support and provide greater insight to their coaching conversations and to aid embedding other aspects of their study. This service helps match their needs and interests to the most appropriate coach.

Every clinician who took up the coaching, also opted to complete the Cognosis benchmarking service. Following the completion of Cognosis every clinician asked for a focus of Mental Fitness to run through their coaching conversations.

“I have gained from the space the sessions have provided to unwind and off load and from the very wise words, support and encouragement everyone has provided. I have felt refreshed and re energised afterwards going back into the work environment with some useful hints and tips to try.”
NHS Leadership Coaching Attendee

The programme was deployed within days, utilising our broad reaching pool of coaches and practitioners that have extensive experience within the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. Using our online platform, we were able facilitate the coaching to commence rapidly.

With the programme commencing mid-September, demand was strong, and the vast majority of clinicians had already booked their initial 4 sessions by early October. Many of these had also scheduled their extended 6 sessions.

Following the initial data gathered during the first of Cognosis benchmarking, our impact tracking focussed on the following 4 areas of Mental Fitness that were identified as key to improving the outcome of the coaching delivery:

  • Confidence
  • Resilience
  • Proactivity
  • Courage



Target 90%



Target 80% +



Target 90% +

Integrated Care System Programme

A team coaching programme within an Integrated Care System providing social and health care to patients. With the nature of ICS’s being service delivery across a broad range of disciplines at a single point of access to the patient team working is critical.

The programme broke participants into 4 teams, each with 10 members to deliver 2-3 hour virtual coaching sessions focussing on:

  • Effective cross-system working
  • Individual leadership and team collaboration

The coaching sessions have been protected as other training has been cancelled, recognising the benefits they’ve brought to collaborative working practices. The leaders attending the courses have reported on the greater benefit of the space provided to pause and reflect on their own leadership, during this time of supporting their teams into “recovery”.

To support this programme, we utilised both the individual Mental Fitness Cognosis benchmarking as well as the Team Fitness Pulse. The Team Fitness Pulse captures data across the team, group or system

to provide insight back into the group as to where they are now and where they aspire to be in 12 aspects of effective team and system working.


South West Leadership Academy

A smaller deployment of our services, providing a bite-sized access to coaching for front-line leaders across the South West Leadership Academy.

Leaders applied to receive 1 or 2 sessions to provide them with space to pause, reflect and work through an immediate challenge they are facing.

In all 57 leaders have taken up the offer and using our online platform have been matched to a Cognomie coach within 3 days of receiving the contract. The sessions have largely been delivered within 3 weeks of the programme’s commencement.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly excellent, with many of the leaders expressing an interest to access further sessions with their coach.

Want to find out more about how coaching can help healthcare organisations?

Do you want to have a better understanding of wellbeing and the role it can play in personal and organisational performance in healthcare organisations? Do you want to learn how your own Mental Fitness can be the framework for understanding how you can develop greater self-awareness and grow in your own capability and resilience?

Or, if you play a role in your organisation’s wellbeing development and that of those who work with you and their Mental Fitness, we’d love to talk.


by | 7 Jul 2022

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