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Creating caring cultures in health and social care: Getting started | FONS | Creative Connection

As health and social care staff we all want to be kind and caring and make
sure services are safe and effective. But how often do we step back to really look at what we do, think
about the people that we work with and the ways we work together to provide
care. We know that one of the most significant
factors that influences the quality of care is workplace culture. A caring culture make things better for everyone patients, service users, and residents and their families and carers experience good care. Staff feel valued and
supported which helps them to provide the care
patients want with compassion and competence. So what exactly do we mean
by culture? Put simply, culture is ‘how things are
done around here’. People make cultures, so whatever our role all our ideas and actions are important. So how do you get started with creating
a caring culture? Changing culture takes time, and planning
helps. But there are some simple steps that can
help you to get started A great place to begin is by asking
staff ‘what is it like to work here?’ Don’t assume that you know – ask them,
really listen. When staff feel heard, they feel happier
and this makes patients feel happier to. Conversations with staff and patients can help us to begin to create and agree a
shared purpose for care – this is an important step in culture
change. We can do this by asking each other simple questions about what we think is important about care. These our values and our beliefs and they influence our attitudes and
behaviours. Sharing these and finding common ground
can help to create a shared purpose and goals which help
teams to work more effectively. Of course talking about shared purposes
and goals and writing them down doesn’t always mean that this is what will
happen. There are often gaps between what we say and what we do. Because culture change needs people and their practice to change,
it is important that we involve staff in identifying these
gaps. By standing back to observe practice and talk to patients about their
experiences we can see for ourselves what’s going well what could be better. It
may feel a bit strange and uncomfortable at first, but remember to be open-minded. Learning in the workplace really helps
develop a caring culture because learning from practice helps us
to connect emotionally and become more fully engaged. The care
setting makes a great classroom because so much can be learnt from what
we do. Talking about care issues is a good way
to develop new insights and to take responsibility for improving
practice. Frontline staff have a wealth of knowledge and expertise
about the area of practice by working with staff they can get
involved in making decisions. Alongside patients and families, they are
in the best position to identify solutions to care issues and to make meaningful changes. Culture
change won’t happen on its own. It needs someone to lead and facilitate it – someone who is enthusiastic, persistent and willing to listen. Maybe this is you, but you don’t have to work
on your own. Successful leaders work with colleagues and teams and find people that can help
and support. Change takes time and there will be highs
and lows. You can see how far you have come by looking
back at the shared purpose you started with. This helps to stay focused. By noticing what has gone well
celebrating successes however small, staff will see they are creating a more caring culture and feel motivated to keep
going. We know that in caring cultures, patients
experience safe and effective care and staff feel valued and engaged. We can achieve this by working
together, talking listening and taking action, helping us
to provide care that is the best it can possibly be. Wherever you are working across health and
social care, we hope that this inspired you to get started today. If you would like to get started today or would like further help or information, please visit the Foundation of Nursing Studies website.

Jean Kelley



  1. Angie Titchen Posted on March 31, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Bravo!   Looking forward to seeing the resources as they unfold! 
    Angie Titchen

  2. Caroline V Williams Posted on April 1, 2015 at 11:56 am

    This is an excellent introduction to changing workplace culture, and will be very useful to share with staff. Really well done! Like Angie I am looking forward to the rest of the resources.

  3. Helen Cherry Posted on April 12, 2015 at 9:26 am

    yes this looks a fab creative video and now to increase recognition to change in our professional culture – please can you make this even more inclusive for those of us who are health professionals who are deaf and hard of hearing requiring the option to click on the CC (closed captions) so we can read correctly uploaded captions – please don't leave us out in this vital communication. The auto text has errors which you can easily correct for free by using the link http://www.amara.org/en/  to youtube please consider all videos be made accessible to those of us who cannot hear we are your colleagues too. Thank you.

  4. FoNS Posted on April 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you for your positive feedback Helen but also for the useful information about adding subtitles. We are very new to this process and so I didn't realise that this was possible. I have started the process but I am going to require some help to finish it which will come in the next few days. in the meantime I have added a copy of the script to our website: http://www.fons.org/learning-zone/culture-change-resources.aspx

  5. Joanne Bosanquet MBE Posted on May 6, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I have some ideas re: how we can expand this from a direct pt focus to a population focus. Team culture is paramount to the delivery of or otherwise of our organisation's objectives. I will be in touch!

  6. Pauline Bergin Posted on May 13, 2015 at 6:45 am

    fantastic and great, easy descriptions of culture, Practice Development and facilitation. Can I share the video or link on my web page? Pauline