Case Study

NHS Accelerate Programme 2020-2021

As most of us know, researchers have established the link between gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity with organisational performance. According to Mckinsey, the business case keeps getting stronger. We work with an increasing number of organisations that acknowledge that the make-up of their leadership teams needs a change and recognise that they need to do more to retain and promote greater numbers of their women, including those who are ethnically and culturally diverse.

Organisations like the NHS are serious about providing meaningful support for their talent. The NHS Epsom & St Helier Trust partnered with ECC to deliver the Accelerate programme at different organisational levels and over multiple years. The impact of the programmes outstripped the NHS’s targets for return on investment.

ECC’s approach is not about ‘fixing the women’ but working together to increase accessibility and inclusion. We worked with The NHS to deliver our approach, ‘Accelerate’. We helped the NHS reach their goals to enable their women to take control of their careers and have the tools to be proactive and effect real change in their organisation.

To prepare the Black women in the NHS for their next steps to more senior positions, we ran the Accelerate Programme. We offered the Accelerate Advanced programme to all senior women in the trust.


  1. Why Accelerate?

  2. What did the NHS receive?

  3. Programme Outcome

  4. Participant Interviews

# 01

Why Accelerate?

We have designed Accelerate to engage, develop, and enable participants as future women leaders. Our coaching approach has women’s complex challenges and career journeys at its heart, allowing us to tailor each programme specifically to the organisation’s needs. In this way, we worked with the NHS so they could understand the current positioning of their women in their talent journey and reflect this in the workshops, peer and 1-1 coaching they received. This style process guarantees that participants constantly feel stretched in a programme relevant to their career journey.

Watch Our interview with Debbie Eyitayo

Director of People (Outgoing)
Epsom & St Helier University Hospital NHS Trust

Watch Video
# 02

What did the NHS recieve

There are three critical attributes to women’s leadership programmes:

  1. Empowering & Leading change for other women
  2. Establishing a Leadership Identity
  3. Navigating the Leadership Labyrinth.

Accelerate opens with a discussion surrounding the landscape of a woman’s career and the ‘unseen barriers’, and the NHS programme kickstarted the potential for organisational change. We provided new insights and helped participants develop their perceptions of their behaviour drivers and those of others around them.

Participants were provided with a sense of empowerment and focus on what will come next. Between sessions participants were able to view their careers through a new perspective, and on return could discuss their opinions, and receive further coaching to help them think further afield and more profoundly about their role in change. We provided participants with a 1-1 coach to develop their ability to self-reflection, identify their strengths, and supply them with the tools to make progress.

Watch our Interview with Marion Louki

Deputy Cheif Nurse
NHS Accelerate Participant 2020-2021

Watch Video
# 03

Programme Outcome

The NHS programme achieved remarkable improvements across a wide range of areas. Below are some of our key findings from the impact evaluation.

# 04

Participant Interviews

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