A programme with NHS Improvement to support culture change through collective leadership

The King’s Fund and NHS Improvement are working on a two-year programme to help trusts (foundation trusts and NHS trusts) develop a culture that enables and sustains safe, high quality, compassionate care.

How will the programme be implemented?

Culture in organisations, often described as ‘the way we do things round here’ fundamentally affects the way staff treat each other and patients. The biggest influence on culture is the leadership in the organisation. Collective leadership is the key to creating cultures that will give NHS staff the freedom and confidence to act in the interests of patients, and can support sustainable operational and financial performance.

This programme will provide a series of practical resources to support trusts to diagnose their cultural issues, develop collective leadership strategies to address them and implement any necessary changes. The programme will consist of three phases – diagnose, design and implement – over the next two years.

Current stage and next steps

On 20 January 2016 the programme was launched with three pilot NHS trusts testing the culture diagnostic tools to ensure the programme has lasting value for trusts.

The pilot trusts are:

They have helped to develop, design and test all aspects of the support. The pilot phase has now been completed, and key learnings have been extrapolated and incorporated into the latest version of the tools. These were released on 7 September and are now available on the NHS Improvement website.

We are also in the early stages of establishing a community of practice to support people working on culture in their organisations to share their work and think together about how to tackle common problems. If you would like to get involved, please contact nhsi.culture@nhs.net for further information.

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