Improving NHS culture: vision and values

The first characteristics key to shaping an organisation’s culture are vision and values.

Leaders at every level should communicate an inspiring, forward-looking and ambitious vision focused on offering high-quality, compassionate care to the communities they serve.

There should be clear values that set expectations for how staff conduct themselves and interact with colleagues and patients. Values are set out in the NHS constitution, and patient-centredness and responsiveness are core.

Good leaders reiterate at every level the message that high-quality, compassionate care is the core purpose of all staff, so that everyone understands and acts on this commitment. This takes time, sustained energy and dedication.

Essential reading

Staff engagement


Staff engagement publication
Six building blocks for harnessing the creativity and enthusiasm of NHS staff.

Exploring CQC's well-led domain

Exploring CQC's well-led domain front cover

Exploring CQC's well-led domain front cover
How can boards ensure a positive organisational culture?


Chris Ham in conversation with Sir David Dalton

David Dalton

David Dalton
Chris Ham talks to Salford Royal chief executive David Dalton.

Creating a narrative for culture change

Heather Tierney-Moore.jpg

Heather Tierney-Moore
Heather Tierney-Moore, Chief Executive, Lancashire Care, speaks on culture change.

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From the blog

Collective leadership

Collective leadership is fundamental to creating culture change in the NHS, says Michael West.