The Darzi Fellowship in Clinical Leadership has been running in London since 2009, and expanded to Kent, Surrey and Sussex in 2017.

Since then, more than 70 Fellows across a total of three tranches have made a significant impact across the region, working on a diverse range of projects covering everything from end of life care to mental health, social prescribing and frailty.

Darzi Fellows are able to experience a two-pronged approach to develop their leadership skills. Each is matched with a project and an experienced mentor.

They also complete a leadership development programme (PG Cert) at London South Bank University, which informs their ability to lead on their project.

Des Holden, Medical Director at KSS AHSN, said that it is this approach that adds depth and rigour to the Darzi Fellowship.

“Having the passion to make a positive change in the NHS is sometimes not enough – it’s vital that you understand how to implement change, and that’s why Darzi has had such a positive impact,” he explained.

“Not only do the Fellows have the opportunity to work on a challenging, real-world project, they are also given the academic support and insight to support them on their journey.

“Combined with the support they receive from their project sponsor, it’s no surprise that the Darzi Fellowship is such a force for change.”

The KSS Darzi Fellows have led major service improvements, implemented numerous safety and quality initiatives and achieved substantial financial savings for trusts.

Alongside patient benefits, the prestigious Darzi Fellowship programme has been shown to have a huge impact on Fellows and their sponsorship organisation.

Darzi is aimed at those at the start of their leadership journey (eg. ST5-6 or Band 7/8a). Darzi Fellows come from multi-professional clinical backgrounds, including doctors, nurses and midwives, allied health professionals, paramedics, dentists, healthcare scientists and pharmacists.

The programme is a partnership involving Health Education England, Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network, the Kent Surrey Sussex Leadership Collaborative and London South Bank University.