At the tme of his fellowship, Nigel was Consultant Physician in Diabetes and Endocrinology and Clinical Director for the Directorates of Digestive Disease and Thoracics and Musculoskeletal and Neurosciences at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

He qualified as a doctor from Dundee University in 1988, having also obtained a degree in medical sciences in 1985. Nigel was appointed consultant physician at Nottingham City Hospitals NHS Trust in 1997 and became a clinical director there in 2001.

The two hospitals in Nottingham merged in 2006 to form Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. From 2007 Nigel was clinical director for acute medicine at the new trust and, in 2011, he took on responsibility for the two directorates that cover all surgical specialities.

Since completing Generation Q, Nigel has been appointed as the Executive Medical Director at Royal Derby Hospitals NHS Trust. He is actively using the skills and experience he learned on the course in his new leadership role.

Nigel completed The King’s Fund’s Top Manager Programme in 2009.

Understanding leadership theory

Nigel felt that GenerationQ offered a valuable opportunity to develop his understanding of leadership theories and how they might be applied to his day to day role. He was particularly attracted by the academic angle of the programme and the chance to work towards a master’s.

'Throughout the fellowship I was encouraged to reflect on my own practices and apply what I was learning about the theoretical background to different approaches to leadership. Working closely with my coach, taking part in action learning sets and keeping a reflective diary all helped me with the process of trying out new ways of doing things.

'One of the most powerful things I learnt is about relational leadership, which emphasises the importance of inclusive and collaborative relationships. This really struck a chord with me and it’s something I now try to apply to all of the work I do.'

Rethinking emergency surgery pathways

Nigel used his time on the fellowship to explore new approaches to managing emergency surgery pathways at the hospital trust, with the goal of improving patient experience and outcomes: 'I wanted to improve the quality of care that we provide by looking at the merits of patients being seen by consultants at an earlier point in the pathway and, when surgery is needed, how that could happen more quickly too.'

This work led to two trials of new ways of working and rota systems, which will be completed and evaluated by autumn 2013: 'Surgeons and physicians have different perspectives on many issues. So as a physician leading a group of surgeons, I’ve had to give a lot of thought to how to influence and inspire changes in culture and working practices.'