Flow Coaching Academy

The Flow Coaching Academy (FCA) programme aims to develop a learning network across the UK to improve patient flow through the health care system

  • Delivered by Sheffield Teaching Hospital.
  • The Flow Coaching Academy (FCA) programme works with a number of trusts to deliver intervention across the UK.

The programme builds on learning about care pathway level improvement and training improvement coaches from two previous Health Foundation-funded programmes: Flow Cost Quality and the Sheffield Microsystems Coaching Academy.


The Sheffield team, or Central FCA, has developed a one-year action learning course to train clinicians and managers in the combination of team coaching skills and improvement science.

The action learning course teaches skills of quality improvement, engagement and social movement. It enables staff from across condition-based pathways crossing pan-organisation boundaries to come together and enables them to assess, diagnose and iteratively test changes to improve patient flow.

The training course

Coaches actively engage in experiential learning through co-coaching a care pathway team. Coaching pairs are composed of a clinical coach, who works within the pathway, and a flow coach, external to the pathway. One of the programme’s aims is to test the relationship where an emotionally-engaged clinician works alongside a coach external to the pathway to understand if this provides insights into engagement, focus, and balance in helping teams learn how to approach improvement. 

The programme intends to be sustainable through a social franchise model. The team aims to replicate the model across 10-12 centres nationally by 2020, with each local FCA being an equal partner delivering the Flow Coach training course in their local areas.

Contact details

For further information about the project, please email Nick Miller at Sheffield Teaching Hospital.

Further reading

Learning report

Improving patient flow

This learning report describes the work undertaken by two NHS trusts as part of the Health Foundation’s Flow Cost Quality pro...

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