Improving NHS culture: goals and performance

The second cultural characteristic fundamental to the delivery of continually improving, high-quality care is to have clear goals and performance feedback.

Goals must be set at every level from the board to frontline staff. Board goals should be shaped by patient input. Performance feedback should be based on patient feedback and patient outcomes.

Staff in health services report that they are often overwhelmed by their workload and are unclear about the goals they are working towards. This produces stress, inefficiency and poor quality care.

Such situations can arise when senior managers insist on too many priorities. A clear vision and mission statement about high-quality, compassionate care provides a directional path for staff. But this must be translated into clear, aligned, agreed and challenging goals at all levels of the organisation. It must be matched by timely, helpful and formative feedback for those delivering care if they are to continually improve quality.

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Salford Royal's journey

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David Dalton
Sir David Dalton, CEO of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, on its journey to becoming the safest organisation in the NHS.

Developing cultures of high-quality care

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Michael West looks at how leaders can develop a culture of high-quality care and patient safety in their organisations.

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Essential reading

Delivering a collective leadership strategy

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