Creating cultures that deliver great care, involve everyone, work to continuously improve, recognise and value staff, and grow connectivity…


I’ve been reflecting on cultures this week, thinking about the depth and feel of a team, or system of care. The cultures we create make such a great difference to patients, staff and the ability to progress agendas.

I went searching online for a great short animation by the Foundation of Nursing Studies @FoNScharity, its a few years old now yet it sums up that culture is ‘how things get done around here’ its worth a watch

With ever greater complexity in our day to day lives it’s hardly surprising that cultures are complex, get a great one and its magic, an awful one by comparison means stress levels rise, people are anxious coming to work, keep their heads down when they are there and ultimately don’t stay, walking away.

The ‘Culture of Care Barometer Report’ published in 2015 provides a strong evidence base to reflect on cultures in organisations its a helpful tool that we can use to ‘check the climate’ of our teams. The tool addresses 4 key elements that influence cultures:

Having the resources to do a good job and deliver quality care is challenging when finances are stretched nationally, but there is certainly significant support from senior leaders for us all to do a good job. And of course something that the NHS wins outright with is an opportunity to do a worthwhile job that really makes a difference to people’s lives. Having this ‘shared purpose’ to make a difference in society is a key motivator. The NHS also offers the opportunity to always be learning and developing our knowledge and skills, whether via mandatory training, annual updates, continuous professional development, academic study or research.

What’s essential clearly is our personal drive for improvement, creating the time to step back, reflect on our behaviours and actions and the part they play in the culture we function in. West et al. (2014) indicates that culture is co-created through the interactions, communications, influences and collaborations among members of an organisation or systems.

Bob Klaber this week talked about the power of ‘connectivity’ and the impact that this can have in building trust in the system in progressing a more ‘joined up’ approach to delivering healthcare, shifting us from a traditional medical model of healthcare to a more holistic approach that’s much more person centred, focusing on ‘what matters to you’ ie the person being cared for. Bob @BobKlaber and Mando @mandowatson have led Connecting Care for Children in West London, please do follow their work via @CC4CLondon. They are really shifting cultures, taking care closer to home and into GP Practices, they’re not only thinking but doing differently.

This week also saw our school nursing team employed by the local authority, the community nursing team employed by a local community and mental health trust, along with ward based staff from the paediatric ward and NICU unit supporting Ruth May on a visit to a local primary school. This collaborative and connected approach of health teams working together with schools is something we need to keep growing.

Then there was the Partnership Board led by a Local Authority, together with the Lead Councillor for Children, the Young Mayor, we all discussed the Children and Young People’s plan for the years ahead. The local head teachers discussed how we can secure system wide support for this the pupil survey, ensuring young people who aren’t in school have an opportunity to contribute too, we were able to plug the need for few more health related questions to help young people understand the services around them.

There was also the joy of attending the @Cavelltrust conversation with Teresa Chinn on Wednesday, discussing how nurses could support each other more on social media and the positive culture we can create whilst being true to ourselves. We’re all looking forward to supporting this years 10k for Nurses challenge

Cultures are clearly the result of our behaviours and actions, we can help others to flourish and thrive or we can make things difficult. I know the type of team, organisation, system, I’d rather work in but I have to take responsibility and know that I have a part to play ….

Author: @kathevans2

I’m a Children’s Nurse who is passionate about improving healthcare and life with people who use services. I love getting out in the countryside or to the seaside to promote my mental health and well-being. On a journey to doing 100 marathons (slowly!) & part of team #NHS1000miles (new members always welcome!) I also love charity shopping, cooking and healthy eating too 😉 Sharing thoughts on a range of things that interest me. Comments, challenge, links to further thinking and research are most welcome. Learning and thinking together is always more fun!

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