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

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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.

Where are we up to?

The first phase involved three pilot trusts testing the culture diagnostic tools. These were released in September 2016 and are now available on the NHS Improvement website

The second phase of our culture and leadership programme enables trusts to build on their work from the diagnostic stage, and to develop strategies to create a culture of compassionate and inclusive leadership. All of the tools are open-source and available on the NHS Improvement website. Twenty one trusts are currently following the programme.

Get involved

If you would like to get involved in 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, please contact nhsi.culture@nhs.net for further information.