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Mentoring in the twenty‐first century

Christine Bamford (National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare in Wales (NLIAH), Pontyclun, UK)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 2 May 2011




This paper aims to describe NHS Wales' strategic intent to increase leadership capability through mentoring. The pressure on budgets and geography forced the adoption of a technology solution to reduce time away from the workplace and travel costs.


The design was based on the following: reflective questioning; Kolb learning design and double loop learning; mentoring competences to facilitate self‐assessment and personal development; blended use of face‐to‐face and technology devices; measurable impact on job; responsiveness to generational needs and social networking.


The evaluation studies by Strathclyde University Business School indicated the following key findings: more e‐mentoring should be available at all levels; gave opportunity for reflection despite pressures of work/life; increased skill sets; supported behavioural change and confidence; reduced time away from work and minimised travel; facilitated fluency with technology.

Practical implications

Although the model was based on traditional learning models, the use of technology in mentoring was not well researched. The author and team undertook proof of concept trials as a practical way of generating own research material.

Social implications

The paper delivers improvements to patient care.


The e‐mentoring concept has received many awards for technology innovation and originality. NHS Wales is able to put a monetary value on the reduced cost of delivering e‐mentoring versus traditional. However, the real value is the increased skill sets for health care leaders/professionals and improvements to patient care.



Bamford, C. (2011), "Mentoring in the twenty‐first century", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 150-163.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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