Hear what our clients say about working with us
At Ararna, we are proud of hard work, integrity and listening to our customers. Over the last 20 years we have taken on board so much knowledge and experiences from our delegates and customers, which means, we have never stopped learning. This means that the secret of our success has been created through walking in the shoes of our delegates, clients and their customers. If we can provide clarity when others cannot, then we are helping.
If we can provide confidence when our delegates do not believe or doubt their ability then we are inspiring. If we can challenge the customer to knock down the next barrier then we must be pushing boundaries. This is why we exist, we exist to fundamentally transform the way others do what they do every day. It has been a great honour to have had the opportunity to do this for the last two decades and we want to say thank you to everyone that has worked with us so far.
Our commitment to everyone in the future is that we will hold nothing back in making ourselves even better over the next 20 years. Hear what some of our previous clients/delegates have said about us and we hope you enjoy listening to their experiences.
Read some of our excellent client testimonials below
Read what Mark Polin OBE QPM (Chairman of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board NHS Wales) has to say about Ararna’s facilitating style to achieve consensus.
“Arana were jointly engaged by the Chief Executive and I to undertake a development session focused on understanding the strengths and preferred styles of the executive team and independent members of the Board and building a common view on how to improve the effectiveness of the Board moving forward. The Board was in a period of transition with number of new members, including a relatively new chair, and adjusting to emerging new expectations as to priorities, governance and working practices.
The session was delivered according to a plan which had been prepared by and agreed with Sukie and Harry and proved highly effective in highlighting differing and common perspectives, matters of concern and of common agreement, and future areas or focus. This was achieved in no small part due to the excellent facilitation by Sukie and Harry, whose styles were conducive to drawing our issues in a non-threatening manner and building consensus. They used their obvious experience of working with other executive level teams and in a variety of different organisational contexts to good effect, contributing to shaping discussions appropriately.
The outcome from the session was agreement on a number of actions to be pursued by the Board to build on our strengths in the search of further improvement. We would have no hesitation in engaging with Arana again.”
Mark Polin OBE QPM (Chairman of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board NHS Wales
Hear from Kelly Thomas from Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council about our quality training programme for health trainers
Health Trainers Course - Ararna delivered a one-week pre-employment course designed for Health Trainers vacancies.
Feedback from clients and Sandwell PCT on a previous training course for Health Trainers delivered by another provider had been poor; therefore it was essential for this course to be high quality and to be well received by learners and the employer.
The course was a huge success, with both the learners and employer happy with the content, delivery and outcome of the course. Ararna were flexible in their course design, taking feedback positively and adapting the course to suit the needs of the commissioner (Routeways), learners and the employer.
Kelly Thomas - External Projects co-ordinator
Economic Regeneration & Skills Division
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Read what our client in Tower Hamlets has stated about Ararna’s project management skills
Ocean New Deal for Communities (Tower Hamlets)
Ararna have provided continued support and commitment in assisting Ocean NDC through various projects. Their knowledge and expertise have been invaluable over the last two years.
Ararna are willing to go ‘the extra mile’ in getting the job done and provide well written reports with appropriate action plans. They have also helped in training and coaching our staff and volunteers to help minimise skills gaps internally. They have demonstrated an understanding and appreciation of a ‘bottom up’ approach in this process, ensuring their involvement has a legacy beyond the scope of their work.
Overall Ararna provide a comprehensive package of consultancy, training and a great attitude to match. I would recommend their fresh and innovative approach to any organisation.
Nassar Miah, Employment and Enterprise Manager
Read what Bassetlaw District Council have said about Ararna’s value around analysing surveys
We engaged Ararna after a competitive process to undertake a business survey to help inform our future support programme. Ararna were extremely professional, added considerable value to the dialogue shaping for the survey, and delivered it on time, on budget with an incredibly high success rate.
I can only offer my sincerest endorsement to Ararna and their skills, and will (and have) work with them again in the future.
I must also add, on a personal note, they were a pleasure to work with.
Economic Development Manager
Bassetlaw District Council
Read what Kelly Thomas has to say about our flexible approach to conducting evaluations.
Routeways to NHS, Health and Social Care careers project:
Ararna conducted the initial evaluation of the Routeways project and will complete the final evaluation in June. Ararna were the successful application for the tender as the plan for the evaluation provided was clear, concise, well planned and it was obvious they had understood the tender specification.
The standard of service received by Ararna is always high, with good communication and flexibility provided by the team. The initial report I received from Ararna was high quality and was a true reflection of the objectives we wanted to achieve in the specification.
External Projects co-ordinator
Economic Regeneration & Skills Division
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Read a view from a Chief Executive about Ararna’s ability in delivering board effectiveness sessions
As part of our Corporate Governance review the board agreed that an evaluation was needed to measure board effectiveness. Sukie and Harry from Ararna Limited designed and developed a workshop that gave the board an opportunity to examine corporate governance processes aligned to Audit Commission requirements.
We were able to identify current enablers that demonstrated good corporate governance and highlight areas for improvement. Sukie and Harry’s facilitation provoked a really interesting and lively debate and the workshop received excellent feedback from participants. Overall I was extremely impressed with the outcomes.
Patrick Boyle - Chief Executive
The Rent Service
Hear from Gambling Commission about Ararna’s approach in creating training as part of a management development programme.
Sukie Banga of Ararna Ltd delivered a Change and Improvement Management workshop to some 50 managers as part of the Gambling Commission’s Management Development Programme. The topics covered included :
- Understanding the change cycle and impact
- Selling the benefits of change
- Understanding and managing peoples’ concerns about change
- Resolving resistance and conflict
- Encouraging innovation to make improvements
- Monitoring and reviewing the change process
Feedback from the workshop was good with managers indicating a better level of understanding of change generally and action required by them to manage the impact for themselves and their teams.
Jackie Ripley Head of Learning and Development Gambling Commission
HR Director provides an insight into Ararna’s loyalty and commitment for 2 years
ACF have worked with Ararna on a number of projects over the past two years. On all occasions they have helped us to gain clarity on what we were trying to achieve and the most effective way of achieving it.
They gained a thorough background of the company as a whole, the employees taking part in the development as well as an open and honest relationship in order for the Company to gain maximum benefit from its investment. Their professionalism and straightforward approach is exemplary. Ararna have helped ACF review and implement their appraisal system.
Their support has involved:
- Review of current system
- Fact finding exercise to establish current understanding of the system and it’s benefits
- Established what managers would like to gain from the system
- Analysed the findings and worked with us to plan the introduction of the revised system
- Helped us to devise evaluation methods to establish it’s success
Although the main function of this exercise was obviously to gain more from the process as a whole, what we achieved at the same time was to raise management awareness and understanding of the process and the benefits attached to a solid system.
This was solely down to Ararna’s assertive and straightforward approach and it is no longer viewed as a paper pushing exercise, but a valuable tool to the business.
Kate Wood - Director of HR ACF Office Seating Limited
HR Director highlights Ararna’s expertise around Shared Services in the NHS
Providing a HR Shared Services model across a single economy worked effectively because both cultural alignment and trust factors were understood and built early on in the business relationship with the PCTs. The Culture/Trust matrix helped the Shared Service to examine which relationships needed to change to become more effective to increase staff morale working within the Shared Services function. The model highlighted the need to develop a core set of competencies for Shared Services organisations and was useful in recruitment, retention and performance management.
Jo-Anne Wass - Chief of Staff Office of the NHS Chief Executive
(Formerly Director of HR Shared Services Calderdale and Kirklees PCTs)
Chief Executive praises Ararna’s Culture/Trust matrix in the NHS
Cultural alignment and establishing trust within a NHS Shared Service business model is imperative in building an effective working relationship. The Culture/Trust matrix enabled PCTs and Shared Services to understand how and where productivity and efficiencies could improve when considering these two key factors both at strategic and operational level.
Patrick Boyle - Chief Executive
South East London Shared Services Partnership
Skills for Health commend Ararna on their professional approach to a complex project
Ararna have worked with Skills for Health on 2 projects linked to education strategies – one as a UK wide project and one limited to a Welsh initiative. Ararna were professional in their approach, able to collate key information and worked to tight timescales and deadlines. Their desk-based research was thorough and their final reports were well presented. They were a good team to work with.
Anne Eaton - Associate Director Skills For Health29.6.07
Another Council happy to recommend Ararna on conducting evaluations
North Shropshire commissioned Ararna in September 2006 to conduct a business needs assessment of local companies in order to improve and enhance the services it offered to businesses throughout the district. From our initial contact with Ararna through to project completion, they fulfilled the requirements of our brief on time, efficiently and effectively.
Their experience in this field helped the Council to identify areas to improve the current service provided. We intend to build on the recommendations suggested by Ararna to further improve our relationship with local businesses.
Frank Lauriello – Senior Promotions Officer, North Shropshire District Council
Jenny Cooper – Principal Economic Development Officer, North Shropshire District Council
Top 10 pharmaceutical company praise Ararna on expertise on change management
Pfizer – Change Readiness Assessment
Ararna have deployed people with excellent expertise, both in terms of business background and analytical capability to develop an excellent piece of work for Pfizer Ltd. The issues raised by this assessment have been well recognised by Sales Leaders in Pfizer Ltd and the findings are now being utilised to support the development of a detailed framework and practical methodology for Change Management for the Field Force.
Keith Brockbank - Field Force Effectiveness Manager UK
Hear from the Department of Health about how Ararna created a practical access guide for GP practices.
During 2009 Ararna provided invaluable support to the Department of Health and NHS Practice Management Network in developing a practical guide to help GP practices respond to the different needs of their patients.
The work spanned many different topics and relied upon Ararna building strong links and relationships with a range of different stakeholders, including primary care trusts, GP providers and suppliers of various supportive systems, which they succeeded in doing quickly and efficiently, and is reflected in the wealth of information within the guide.
The project was undertaken and delivered in incredibly short timescales and the passion and drive from Ararna was a much needed injection. The resource has proved very popular with GPs and Practice Managers and looks set to support real improvements for patients and the public.
National Director for Dental and GP Access
Department of Health
Read a testimonial from the Head of Learning & Development at the Gambling Commission about a customised IT Train the Trainer programme
The Gambling Commission
Gambling Commission – Train the Trainer Course
The Gambling Commission is in the process of implementing a new IT system the training for which will be provide by our own staff, on a voluntary basis. The staff who volunteered are not trainers and some have no previous training experience at all. We needed to develop a short in house training the trainer course which would help build their confidence and equip them will the skills to deliver the IT training in a classroom environment. Harry and I worked together to devise the outline course content and from that initial discussion, Harry designed the training course and the accompanying course material. He delivered the course over 2 separate days and the feedback from staff was so very positive. The course did achieve our aims and the IT training for all staff is being rolled out by a confident and skilled team of volunteers.
Jackie Ripley - Head of Learning & Development
Read what an Associate Director from Primary Care has to say about Ararna’s ability to manage stakeholders
Ararna have worked with NHS Primary Care Contracting on several successful projects over the years. They are highly professional and work delivered is consistently of a very high standard. Their assurance in terms of sustainability and project timescale delivery has always been realised. They have a strong ability to network with a number of high stakeholders manage politics and people very well.
Projects they have worked on recently with us include the development of a Provider Guide for contractors which enabled service providers to navigate contractual routes and develop business cases for delivering primary health care services and working with senior civil servants within the Department of Health to realise a world class commissioning and provider guide for responsive access to primary medical care. The presentations, solutions and narrative they have produced for this latter project have been praised by a number of senior stakeholders.
I have no hesitation in recommending them to you for future work.
Rebecca Thornley - Primary Care Contracting Advisor
Read about Ararna’s support on service redesign for a NHS community service
This programme was aimed at the theory of service redesign , but more importantly on the practical application. It was great to actually use the tools such as the stakeholder mapping, labour market intelligence etc. I found the Value chain analysis & Ararna cost ratio extremely useful. The folder now lives on my book shelf and have found it a valuable point of reference. I now use the tools all the time and as a result of the course have been able to progress my project with presentations to the board. The course help me focus the time needed to think the process through and undertake my project. This course was a light bulb moment & would recommend it to anyone.
Podiatry & Orthotics Service Manager & Decontamination Lead (Community)
South Warwickshire Foundation Trust
Hear from a lead nurse on service redesign training from Ararna
I have recently completed the Service Redesign programme delivered most comprehensively by Harry Banga. It has proved invaluable in my daily work as I negotiate my way through the ever-changing NHS. As a nurse, I have had very little business training if any, and have sometimes felt overwhelmed at the demands put upon us to manage, deliver and develop our services. Many NHS services will be commissioned through general practitioners and we are faced with threats and opportunities. The skills I have learned on the course have provided me with confidence to understand the process required and ensure we are fit for purpose and can provide quality, effective patient centred care, within the given budget available.
Debbie Crisp - Lead TB Nurse Specialist
Arden Community TB Service
Ararna helps workforce redesign by using service redesign skills – hear from an NHS workforce lead to see how Ararna helped
The Ararna Service Redesign Programme provided to members of the Coventry and Warwickshire Locality Board has been expertly delivered to help members of operational teams within CWPT achieve a good level of understanding of service redesign and enabled a high level and support and buy-in to the process. This has been enhanced by a robust toolkit, which supports delivery of practical workforce planning based on the six-step workforce planning methodology. This course has proved supportive to the needs of the Trust and I would recommend that both corporate and clinical teams access this to support service change in challenging times.
Fiona Grove - Workforce LeadCoventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust
Read what Paul Mills – Chief Pharmacist in a NHS Trust has to say about Ararna’s service redesign programme.
I am currently the Chief Pharmacist at a medium sized district general hospital in the Midlands. I am an experience pharmacy manager, having over 30 years pharmacy experience in the NHS and a collection of post graduate clinical and management qualifications.
I was the first delegate to undertake this programme from my organisation so I did not know what to expect. However, with the current pressure to do “more with less” from the national QIPP agenda, I thought increasing my knowledge around service re-design would be worth the investment of time. I was initially surprised by the extent of pre-course work requested but subsequently found this useful preparation for the learning materials in the course.
The course, from my perspective, comprised three integrated elements – face-to-face facilitated sessions, a work-based project and a workbook. All form part of the formal assessment process, accredited by the University of Wales. All three elements provided useful learning opportunities in complementary ways.
The face-to-face sessions provided a good mix of “taught” elements (based around the content of the workbook) and interactive workshops. Despite being the only delegate from my hospital (all the remaining delegates being from the same organisation), the sessions were facilitated such that I felt included and able to contribute to each session as an active member of the group.
The workbook provided a useful opportunity to reflect on the subject areas covered in the face-to-face sessions and relate them to my own practice, which I found helpful in consolidating the information in my mind, particularly regards concepts I had not previously encountered, such as value chain analysis and National Occupational Standards. I found completing the workbook between face-to-face sessions (albeit in my own time) kept the course “alive” between the sessions.
Perhaps the most useful element of the course was the work-based project. I used the tools and techniques from the taught materials, alongside my previous knowledge, to review the systems for completing pre-dispensing checks on discharge prescriptions. Process mapping highlighted “delays” in the system which the re-design process sought to reduce.
Engagement with stakeholders, effective communication and securing ownership of the changes by all involved were key success factors. The project encouraged me to prioritise data manipulation from the (newly implemented) electronic discharge summary (EDS) system, to demonstrate the impact of the changes made. The results of the project were presented widely within my Trust and well received, resulting in capital funding being secured to enable the purchasing of “dispensing carts” to allow last-minute changes to discharge prescriptions to be dispensed on the ward.
Overall, the course provided a useful catalyst for change, through interaction with other healthcare professionals from outside my organisation (hence providing an outsider’s perspective), personal reflection and the requirement to complete a project.
I would recommend the course to other managers who want (or need) to redesign their service.
Paul Mills - Chief Pharmacist
George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
Read about Ararna’s successful Service Redesign Training Programme from a NHS Wales Workforce Lead
From a personal perspective, the SCTWR course has been truly beneficial for me as I moved from a role that had previously focused on workforce planning from a process perspective, to a new role where as a Senior Manager I am responsible for supporting lead managers in significant workforce redesign and creating capacity and capability within the workforce in workforce redesign skills and Workforce modernisation. The course helped and supported me to step away from the process and look at the wider strategic approach to workforce modernisation. As a result I have led on a number of initiatives such as the W&OD conference, introduced bi monthly ‘spot light on’ workforce modernisation enabling tools sessions and have led on a number of workshops to facilitate change such as the Children & young people Clinical programme group ‘working together’ approach.
By Angela Johnson (BCUHB - Workforce & Organisational Development)
From an organisations perspective we now have over 125 individual trained and who champion the approach endorsed by Nliah and Arana We have seen, a shift of thinking and approach and more managers now connect and integrate the workforce redesign function to service and financial planning.
A workforce configuration fit for purpose with a 5-year delivery plan taking into account:
- New service clinical and management structure
- Support delivery from fewer clinical sites
- Activity linked to clinical need
- Changed clinical case mix
- Single administrative centre
- Single IM&T system
Tools being used across the organisation are
- Deployment map
- Age profiles
- Cost: work ratio
- Skill mix and competency analysis
- Work analysis and the value chain
- SWOT /PESTLE
Next steps for us is to create further resource and capability within the workforce to deliver service change through workforce redesign and we do hope that Arana will continue to support our organisation with this.
Angela Johnson (BCUHB - Workforce & Organisational Development)
Read what Christine Belcher – Head of HR says about Ararna’s ongoing training support on redesign and transformation.
As a Board member of the Coventry & Warwickshire Stakeholder Board I took on the role of project lead to manage the process of commissioning an appropriate provider of Service Redesign programmes for staff across the locality. After a rigorous tendering process Ararna was selected as our preferred provider.
From the initial meetings to discuss the programme provision I was impressed with the professionalism of the Ararna team and their ability and willingness to adapt the programme to meet our needs whilst retaining the academic rigour we required. The Service Redesign programmes were delivered over a five day period as classroom based teaching along with four half days of action learning sets. The duration of the entire programme lasted approximately eight months.
After further discussion Ararna were able to develop and deliver a highly successful follow up programme (Embedding Business Transformation) to our specifications which has meant Trusts are able to embed the learning ‘back at the ranch’ and cascade the service re-design tools within their own organisations, increasing the understanding and use of service re-design beyond the original programmes.
Although it is too soon to measure long term sustainability return on investment in the programmes is already being seen both qualitatively and quantitively for example: the learning has been applied in one Trust to support improvements in Pharmacy services to support more timely discharges as well as reducing medical outliers improving patient experience and patient safety.
Hear from a leader in the pharmaceutical industry about Ararna’s depth of knowledge and expertise.
Ararna Limited combine their knowledge of organisational development, managing change and the NHS reforms to create programmes and training for clients that are fit for purpose and affordable.
Their breadth of knowledge & experience means that there are very few situations that they have not been able to develop a solution for in consultation with their customers; Private, Public or Voluntary sector. That is the reason why I consult Ararna every time I face a new challenge; whatever role I have had within the pharmaceutical industry”.
Hear from Sanofi about Ararna’s partnership approach to complex projects in Market Access
Ararna have supported my activities for about 6 years. They are able to rapidly absorb complex briefs on different disease areas impacting secondary or primary case scenarios. The accept tight deadlines and deliver against them.
They unlike many agencies submit very regular interim pieces of work for comment and take any changes on board and rapidly incorporate them to any company that needs complex pieces of work related to pharmacy, medicines management or commissioning delivered in a timely, accurate and implementable manner.
Head of Pharmacy Partnerships UK Sanofi
Hear from Melanie Craig – Director of Primary Care around Ararna’s experience in highlighting GP access for marginalised groups.
NHS Suffolk - Improving Access for Marginalised Communities
It was an inspirational experience to work with such a dynamic, vibrant organisation such as Ararna. This work has moved us forward enormously in our strategy to improve primary care services and ensure that they are inclusive for all in NHS Suffolk.
Melanie Craig Director of Primary Care NHS Suffolk
Hear from Tim Johnson – Senior Director from Pfizer about Ararna’s team working across Europe and Canada.
Pfizer Limited - Account Management and Planning across Europe and Canada
Ararna Limited worked with the EUCAN (Europe and Canada) Field Force Effectiveness (FFE) division to devise an Account Planning process to enable Regional Account Directors (RADs) to work more effectively with senior stakeholders across all European countries and Canada. The project involved working closely with the RADs to identify metrics in order to build individual country account plans. These plans needed to align with operational and strategic plans with overall alignment to FFE sales processes across EUCAN. The Ararna team devised a prioritisation tool with weighted metrics so that RADs could plan and focus tasks accordingly and a framework for RAD account plans was produced.
The Ararna team were proactive and responsive throughout the project and were able to drive the process from concept to implementation delivering the project to all set deadlines. The project was a complex and challenging piece of work and Ararna provided high levels of energy and enthusiasm to ensure that we reached all our objectives. I would have no hesitation in recommending them for future work with any client.
'The (GP access) project was undertaken and delivered in incredibly short time scales, and the passion and drive was a much needed injection.'
Dr Mike Warburton, National Director for Dental and GP Access
Department of Health