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NHS Director of Operations


 Fiona is Director of Operations, Women's & Children's Services and Clinical Neurosciences,  NHS Edinburgh & Lothians. Her remit is complex, covering many areas, and she is operating under the pressure of continual change within the NHS, stiff targets and significant budget cuts

 Fiona had been driving change and performance for several years. Her focus had been on process, operations and targets, all required within the climate she is working within. But she had been feeling that her creativity had been slipping away. She was lower in energy than she wanted, and wishes to reconnect with the whole of herself.

 The remit, or commission from the organization was threefold. In Fiona’s words this was :


  • To assess what my value is
  • To find ways to tap into the      creativity I think I have and enjoy using
  • To reflect on how best to      revitalise and challenge myself over the next few years of my career

Coaching Approach

The coaching contract lasted a year, including early shaping of goals, plus shadowing and feedback. Fiona then sought direct feedback from a varied set of individuals within and outwith the organization, to understand how she was perceived. This data fueled the main work of the coaching. Much of this concentrated on values and drivers which were contributing to her current results. The coaching focus was to enable Fiona to learn about herself more clearly, and in doing so, understand how to unlock her creativity to build on the value she was offering to the organisation.


Jenny encouraged me to reflect on things I perhaps wanted to avoid thinking about, challenged me out of my comfort zone, and as a result of her coaching, I did things that I would not have done a year ago. The coaching sessions were demanding, in the best possible way - Jenny was very intuitive in picking up where the issues lay, what you were avoiding etc and gently but firmly made me look in the mirror and consider whether I was satisfied with what I saw and what I was achieving. I particularly liked the way she illustrated things using models and other visual pictures - that stayed with me.

I felt very safe discussing things openly with her- but it was never too cosy.

I am hugely grateful for the opportunity this has given me to take time, stand back, reflect and then challenge myself. For the first time in years, I have stopped to think about what I do, how I do it and where my interests and strengths lie. I have found this revitalising and it has given me a renewed sense of purpose.


Fiona Mitchell Case Study Back to list