MBA students support local healthcare Trust to develop new organisational strategy

6 July 2016

MBA students have been working in partnership with Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (DHCFT)to support the development of a new Trust-wide strategy.

Eight University of Derby students have worked collaboratively with the Trust to devise a new five-year strategy that sets out the future direction within the context of the wider health and care agenda, nationally and locally.

DHCFT is a provider of community, children’s and mental health services across Derby and Derbyshire. The Trust also provides a range of children’s physical and mental health services in Derby and specialist services across the county, including substance misuse, eating disorders and learning disabilities.

The Trust and University students came together to work on a new partnership approach to test the Trust’s initial strategic thinking as part of a strategy module being undertaken by the MBA students. Following a number of visits and discussions, the students were given the opportunity to attend a meeting at DHCFT and also present strategic options to Mark Powell, Director of Strategic Development.

Kedleston campus looking towards the library

Polina Baranova, Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management at the University of Derby said: “Our MBA students conducted research and worked with the DHCFT employees to develop strategic options for them going forward. Some of these options were adopted as part of the new strategy to strengthen primary care provision in the county and create specialist regional networks.”

Mark said: “This new collaboration was a very positive experience for us. While supporting the University’s MBA students in their strategy module, it also provided us with a unique opportunity to test our initial strategic thinking and gain external reflection on the development of the new strategy.

The thoughts and reflections received from the students underpinned the strategic thinking of the organisation and provided wider input into the strategy, which was developed through a participative approach.”

Scott Walker, MBA student who project managed the team, said: “The work allowed me to experience a live project, meet with the DHCFT leadership team and even attend one of their board meetings.

“It brought the subject matter to life and it was rewarding to hear that our ideas were of value to the Trust in their strategy preparation when we presented our proposals to them.”

Polina added: “It’s great to hear that our students’ work with DHCFT will help to shape its strategy. As the module leader, I am very proud of my student’s achievements and the quality of work they have produced.”