Messages of hope from #150Leaders

Joanne Bosanquet - CEO

Joanne Bosanquet, FoNS Chief Executive

Last week I was very fortunate to spend the morning with the new cohort of #150Leaders as they embark on their Council of Deans leadership programme. These young leaders have been selected through a highly competitive process, and they come from a variety of health-related academic programmes such as nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, paramedics, art therapy etc. This is the 4th year I’ve been involved and I love it! I shared my life and career journey, warts and all, and they shared their thoughts and feelings with me as they start out on theirs. We focused on what it means to be person-centred and what person-centred care and cultures look like and feel like to them. We did a little bit of group work, discussing personal experiences and all of the comments coming back were profound, and I mean all of them. Person-centredness means various things to various people but within this group, it meant understanding the emotions and values of colleagues as well as those we care for, no ‘one size fits all’, ‘making sure that you make time to make every contact count’, using meaningful language, handing control back to the person, being an active listener and a good conversationalist and finally not seeing a person as a ‘bag of symptoms’. 

These students are either in their first or second year. They are not at the end of their undergraduate journey; they have some way to go. If this is how they feel now, then I am confident that, with support, they will only grow stronger and stronger into person-centred leaders. 

I was heartened, a little surprised if I’m being honest, and overwhelmed, with a feeling of hope for the future. The 50 people in that room had only met the day before and they were already developing a community, a tribe. They were developing a shared understanding of what it means to be a professional within the health and care system. Many of them have had interesting careers, interesting lives, and tough times. The group shared tips and hints, books that they had read or are reading, key people to connect with on social media, but overall a strong sense of hope. Our undergraduates will help us to see things differently, to take advantage of digital technology, to be creative and develop collective approaches to caring for ourselves and our communities over the next few months. Nurture them and they will nurture us. 

For information on the programme, go to or follow @150Leaders and support our next generation of civil society leaders.

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