Thinking Space (TS) aims to facilitate a safe thinking space where individuals, teams and organisations can better understand themselves and work through any emerging issues in order to enable them to function in ways that best fulfil their desired purpose.

In GP practices, our work complements that of EQUIPs QI coaches by surfacing and helping practices to address cultural challenges that often inadvertently get in the way of embedding quality improvement and shared leadership We believe that in partnership, QI Coaches and TS Consultants can make any change journey more holistic, inclusive, and sustainable.

TS can work with any NHS organisation seeking to improve their ability to fulfil their purpose.

TS also seeks to promote the practice of ‘thinking spaces’ as a regular feature in the process of growth and development of any organisation. This may include work on diversity, unconscious biases, hierarchies, and other ‘hidden’ cultural issues.

Who are we?

Part of the wider EQUIP Team, TS is a diverse team of professionals drawn from different disciplines, all working within NHS settings. As a team, we have received training in organisational consultancy, and our own reflective practice is actively supported by an independent senior organisational consultant.

Naomi Beer
Virginia Patania
Obi James
Fahmida Khanum
Leon Clark
Valentina Bettozzi
Shahzad Firoz
Ruth Vickers

What principles do we work by?

TS consultants help organisations examine features which either strengthen or weaken their ability to keep on task. We start this process off by offering an initial Diagnostic Event. This event aims to capture members’ current experiences, establishing the “What? Why? Who? And How?” of the organisation and identify what best supports its members in their daily work.

Using the Healthy Organisation model, TS looks at four main areas relating to the work:

  1. The Primary task: what does the organisation exist to do?
  2. The operational principles of the organisation: values, principles underpinning the work
  3. The structure, roles and responsibilities within the organisation: who does what and how?
  4. The support that exists for the organisation and its members.

Our process

Requests for our work come either directly from an organisation to our e mail, or through the EQUIP Core Team following a Needs Analysis and Entry Process to GP practices, where they determine which EQUIP offer would be most suitable to a practice’s needs.  All requests are reviewed by the TS team who then assign one or two consultants to the requesting organisation.

The TS offer

A typical programme of engagement with an organisation is as follows (although this can be adapted, based on the needs and availability of the organisation):

  1. An initial exploratory meeting (either individual interviews with stakeholders or a group session)with the TS consultants.
  2. 1-2 comprehensive sessions including a half-day Diagnostic event and a follow-up session, if needed. At this stage, the consultant(s) will bring the work to the whole TS team for reflection and further thoughtPlease note that the TS process is entirely confidential and will not be shared beyond the TS team.
  3. A final session for progress review, further evaluation and agreement on next steps/sustainability.

The outcome

We are not here to ‘fix’ organisations but to assist the process of discovery. We will have succeeded if you gain a greater awareness of your organisation and identify ways to better fulfil your desired purpose.

If you think your team or organisation would benefit from help from the Thinking Space team please contact us by email:

thinking.space@nhs.net