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P18 How can a coaching culture contribute towards leadership development in hospital pharmacy?
  1. Poonam Lumb
  1. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London and The Henley Business School (University of Reading)


Aim To research how a coaching culture can serve as a leadership development tool for nurses in a healthcare organisation with the aim to be able to learn from these findings and assess the appropriateness of embedding a similar culture within the pharmacy establishment in a hospital trust.

Method Twelve semi-structured interviews were planned with nurses in both coach and coachee positions within the trust. The trust Leadership Development and Coaching Lead was also interviewed. Participant consent forms and information sheets were circulated prior to interview and ethical approval was met according to trust approval. Interviews were conducted, transcribed and recorded virtually on Microsoft Teams®. Data were analysed and explored through the six phases of reflexive thematic analysis and recommendations made.

Results 9/12 participants were interviewed due to winter and time pressure. The data set analysis illustrated that although there were several perceived benefits of using coaching as a leadership development tool, barriers such as time and physical space need to be overcome. It also demonstrated that coaching is not a sporadic process but should be continuous and its principles should be imbibed into everyday practice such as questioning and listening in formal and informal settings. This was seen in the data set as many participants were using aspects of coaching in their practice but prior to formal coaching course enrolment were not aware that this was the case. This study showed that at present amongst the nursing establishment, there is a perception that coaching is a tool that is only accessible for senior staff members. One of the reasons was the perception that leadership utilisation is for senior staff. When studying mentoring and coaching within the data set it became apparent that coaching is not the only leadership development tool that nurses find to be a useful tool in aiding leadership development. It was clear to see that mentoring and coaching co-existed and both were used by leaders for staff development.

Conclusion Based on findings, the following recommendations for coaching culture embedment with the pharmacy department;

  • Both a mentoring and coaching culture should be adopted.

  • Team leaders/senior managers are key drivers to embedding such a culture and thus should attend formal coaching and mentoring training courses offered at the trust to increase awareness of both formats.

  • They should also play a vital in rolling out this change within the pharmacy department, role modelling key behaviours and imbibing them in everyday practice.

  • A culture change should be inclusive to all and as such all-team members should attend coaching and mentoring training.

  • Formal coaches should not be direct line managers and preferably outside of the department or direct team.

  • Formal coaching sessions should have allocated time and space. If not available, then this may need to be addressed at an organisational level to allow for the physical space to be available for such coaching.

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