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How training and development can help mitigate stress for NHS staff facing change
25 October 2022

If there’s one constant in the NHS it’s constant change and that can be stressful for staff delivering services which are ever evolving to meet shifting demands and priorities. 

Training and development can be a useful tool in helping to mitigate stress levels for staff facing change. In this regard, Hub member trusts have access to services from 11 different suppliers on our Training and Development Services framework.   Coaching and mentoring can be particularly beneficial in situations of organisational change.  This kind of service provision is available under Lot 1 of our framework, which offers one-to-one coaching and mentoring services. 

As examples of what can be achieved, one supplier awarded to our framework, Blend Associates Limited, has shared with us some of their previous experience of working with clients in the NHS.  In 2020, Blend Associates supplied coaching services to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH), and an online training programme in mentoring for middle and senior health and social care managers who are members of the Institute of Health and Social Care Management (IHSCM). 


After the first wave of Coronavirus (COVID-19), NNUH asked Blend Associates to provide team coaching services as well as in-house development to help a cohort of their organisational development (OD) facilitators to become more self-sufficient. 

Blend Associates co-designed bespoke workshops for OD facilitators at NNUH to upskill them in team coaching techniques. 

For team coaching, the focus was to move teams from a supportive position to a transformative, innovative one, quickly.  Blend Associates achieved this by delivering their services flexibly.  Coaching sessions were held remotely via Zoom and Teams at different times of day for varying durations.  They worked with NNUH teams from: 

  • emergency care
  • critical care
  • emergency planning
  • trust-wide matrons
  • directorate senior nurses
  • ophthalmology clinical director and consultants. 

Areas covered in sessions included: 

  • agreeing outputs as part of goal setting
  • understanding self and team inter-dependencies
  • quality improvement science and techniques
  • optimising personal/team impact
  • identifying stakeholders and communication and marketing strategies. 


Of staff surveyed in the supplier’s evaluation of the team coaching project: 

  • 92% reported coaching had reduced feelings that negatively impacted wellbeing
  • 57% said they now have a plan
  • 64% said coaching helped them to feel more in control. 

Institute of Health and Social Care Management

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and as part of the IHSCM’s suite of development opportunities for members, Blend Associates was engaged to create an introductory, online, mentoring training programme. 

The IHSCM is an independent membership organisation for managers and leaders planning, delivering and supporting health and care in the UK and around the world.  The organisation supports personal and professional development, driving change to improve health and well-being for all, through quality management. 

Following the interest generated by a webinar delivered by Blend Associates and to create a cohort of IHSCM approved mentors, the expert coaching, strategy and mediation company was hired, in 2020, to devise and deliver a comprehensive, modular, online learning programme.  One of the project’s benefits being the new IHSCM mentors would boost capacity for mentoring in the members’ trusts, providing extra support for colleagues and improving their well-being - requirements for which increased due to the pandemic.  This project is ongoing. 

On completion of the course and final assessment, members receive an IHSCM continuing professional development (CPD) certificate and are added to IHSCM’s mentor register. 

Elements of the programme include: 

  • written content (based on best practice)
  • reading recommendations
  • videos of actual mentoring sessions
  • final assessment.


  • IHSCM’s target of members to take course                   20-40 


  • IHSCM members who started the course                      150 so far
  • members passing assessment (now IHSCM mentors) 20 + so far 

Also, Blend Associates has harnessed some aspects of this training programme and repurposed them to complement their learning and development experience provision for other clients.  For example, using videos to supplement their work with on: 

  • inclusion and diversity
  • action learning sets in the NHS
  • team coaching
  • supporting individual leaders to promote mentoring in their own organisation.

Training & Development Services framework 

Hub member trusts can access a range of training and development provision, including coaching and mentoring services, through our Training & Development Services framework.  The 11 suppliers awarded to the framework are: 

  • Being Human in Healthcare Ltd
  • Blend Associates Ltd
  • Consequence UK Ltd
  • Download Learning Ltd
  • Facere Melius
  • GCS Training Ltd T/A InPractice Training
  • Iodem Ltd
  • MedLed Ltd
  • Me Learning
  • NHS Professionals Ltd
  • Systemic Factors Ltd 

All lots can be awarded via direct call-off or mini-competition. The framework consists of six lots, covering a wide range of Training and Development Services: 

Lot 1 – One to One Coaching & Mentoring Services

Lot 2 – Training Programmes

Lot 3 – Innovative Synaptic, Memory & Reality Learning

Lot 4a – Systems Approach to Learning from Patient Safety Incidents

Lot 4b – Systems Approach to Learning from Patient Safety Incidents oversight training

Lot 4c – Patient & Staff Involvement in Learning from Safety Incidents Training

Lot 5 – System Leadership

Lot 6 – Multi-Disciplinary or Unique Service 

To find out more about the Training & Development Services framework and how we can support your training and development needs, please see our website.

Or to discuss your requirements and for further information, please email us:  business.services@eoecph.nhs.uk.

Pre-market engagement and PIN

The Hub will be carrying out pre-market engagement for the reopening of the Training & Development Services framework soon.  The information provided will help us to shape the service specification in the refreshed framework.

We aim to issue a PIN to the market shortly, with the questionnaire. Ahead of this, please be advised we intend to renew the framework with an additional lot.

Recently, there has been an increase in activity against the current version of the framework.  In pursuit of excellent, patient-centric care, we strive to remain at the forefront of relevant, timely and valuable services offered to the NHS and wider network of publicly funded organisations.