Emirati Nurse Leader at the Ministry of Health and Prevention participates in the leadership skills programme for Great Ormond Street Hospital


Emirati Nurse Leader at the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, Shaikha Al Ali, participated in the ‘Edward Jenner Programme for Leadership Skills’ organised by Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in cooperation with the Scholarship Office at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs in Abu Dhabi, which took place in London, United Kingdom.

The programme aims to develop the leadership skills of workers in the healthcare sector in order to enhance their abilities, help to simplify their job pathway and to provide a healthcare service with positive outcomes for the patients. The programme is not only aimed for leaders, in fact it provides trainees with ways to develop, so that they can understand the challenges that the healthcare sector faces within their specialties. Additionally, the programme enables them to adjust more easily when taking on leading positions in the future.

Shaikha Al Ali was impressed with the approach of the programme and the level of organisation she witnessed by the staff of the hospital from a managerial aspect and working with patients. She expressed feeling honoured and delighted at having participated in this unique journey, which boosted her skills in managing the affairs of her patients and work colleagues. She noted the importance of the ‘Edward Jenner Leadership Skills Programme’ which has come at a key point in her career journey, especially as she has started the new position as the Nursing Director of Operations and the Policies and Planning Specialist within the Nursing Department. Moreover, she pointed out that the experience of the programme provides insight within the field of leadership in healthcare sector, and how it enabled her to recognise her own strengths and weaknesses as a leader. It inspired the spirit of commitment to help to develop her skills and to always continue to improve healthcare.  

“The programme provided knowledge and skills that has enabled me to benefit from the abilities of the nurses that I work with to improve experiences of patients under our care. It also taught me how effective it is to adopt a culture of empathy when changing our way of offering healthcare services. I was delighted to see staff preparing a child for his coming teenage years and getting to know his parents. Additionally, I learnt to appreciate delegating tasks in order to achieve unity among team members and for each one of them to feel reliable when taking on those tasks. This method was evident in the results of the improvements that we carried out and what I had witnessed on the ground,”Al Ali said.

The Head of Nursing accompanied Shaikha Al Ali during her visit and observation on the wards and with the nurses. Mrs. Shaikha spoke about her desire to convey this experience to her colleagues in the UAE; to encourage others to participate in the programme, to promote the culture of teamwork and the recruitment of health care workers in order to relieve the work pressure on nurses.

Al Ali thanked the staff that she worked with during the programme in the International and Private Patient Service at GOSH, and she stated that she would seek to include GOSH within the student volunteer programme that the UAE organises annually. The programme sends volunteers from high school to European and American institutions and universities in order to gain more understanding about their area of specialisation at university and to gain practical experience for the future.

Al Ali’s next steps are to apply her expertise outside the programme, to spread the culture of learning and discovering more leadership skills programmes. Additionally she will focus on aligning the skills she acquired with the objectives of the position that she currently holds, which are to provide support, guidance and educational opportunities suitable for her team members and colleagues, to develop the workplace environment, and to establish pillars of learning and continuous development on a personal level.

Al Ali met with her colleagues after she returned to the UAE to present her experience at GOSH. She also met with Sue Chapman, Manager of the GOSH Gulf office, to discuss her experience, the benefits she acquired, as well as ways to develop and improve the programme. She expressed her delight regarding the establishment of the Zayed Centre for Research for Research in Rare Disease in Children at GOSH in London as she met many patients suffering from rare and complex conditions that are receiving treatment during her time at GOSH.

Al Ali is currently working on an educational plan to be implemented within the health sector in the UAE. The planning involves designing a digital programme containing all patients’ information to shorten their waiting time and the response time to them.

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